“The experience of creating Safety 2022 was amazing and indescribable.”
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Heritage Magazine, and Mr. Phuong Vu, director of the 2022 inflight safety video Safety 2022, joined me to explain how they’d “crossed forests and conquered mountains” to create Vietnam Airlines’ innovative new inflight safety video. Watch for it on planes starting this August!
The incoperation of contemporary dance into the 2020 flight safety video makes a strong impression. What motivated Heritage to undertake this innovative project?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: Part of Vietnam Airlines’ goal is to improve our passenger service by transforming the mandatory and rigid flight safety instructions into appealing cultural and travel experiences that surprise passengers and inspire travel, particularly after passengers have been stuck in one place for so long due to the pandemic. The team considered these issues when we wrote the script for the Safety 2022 video.
Why did Heritage choose Phuong Vu, a relative newcomer to the market, to direct Safety 2022? And why did Mr. Phuong Vu agree to undertake this project?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: Vietnam Airlines is evolving and revitalizing itself. We recently collaborated with SpaceSpeaker on Vietnam Airlines’ exclusive theme song. That spirit extends to Heritage too. We’re still young enough to believe in young directors and their creativity (laughs).
Director Phuong Vu: This is a huge project. I felt a lot of pressure when I accepted the offer. However, as a young adult interested in self-expression who was given this opportunity by such a large corporation, there was no reason not to give it a shot. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and did my best to excel in this role.
What is the underlying philosophy of Safety 2022? How did the script meet all three criteria, namely to provide flight safety instructions; be fresh, creative, and appealing; and promote tourism in Vietnam?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: “Always create new things that appeal to viewers.” The first element, providing flight safety instructions, and promoting our culture and tourism were the foundation for achieving all three goals at the same time. We then developed a plan based on those requirements. Because creativity is endless, Heritage need never worry about how to convey ideas in our videos.
Director Phuong Vu: Our idea was to use traditional dance movements from various ethnic groups to demonstrate flight safety. The important thing was to figure out how to make Safety 2022 appealing to people of all ages while maintaining cinematic quality.
Which of the three above requirements is the most important and was prioritized?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: The video must convey flight safety instructions, so that’s clearly the crucial factor.
Director Phuong Vu: Issuing flight safety instructions is definitely the key, followed by culture, and creativity. Above all, all three elements must be perfectly aligned.
Flight safety videos are one feature that distinguishes Vietnam Airlines from other domestic airlines. Vietnam Airlines does not stop there but continues to come up with and invest in new ideas, scripts, and images. Safety 2022 is the product of hard work. What kind of feedback are you hoping to hear from passengers?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: We are confident that passengers will appreciate the beautiful scenery and remember the flight safety instructions that have been cleverly and impressively integrated into the shots. Passengers will love and stay loyal to Vietnam Airlines and look forward to the fun experiences we always strive to provide.
Director Phuong Vu: This project will be watched by millions of domestic and international passengers on our flights. At first, I was worried because I didn’t know how the passengers would feel. But I’d like to say that the team did its best and that we hope to hear positive feedback from viewers.
How did your feelings change before, during, and after you finished the video?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: As a project manager, your main concern lies in the many challenges of the filming process: costumes, choreography for a large number of dancers, and the sheer number of shooting sites. Each place we visited had two filming locations with props tailored for each scene. The weather was another issue: despite careful planning, we still faced unforeseen circumstances. Fortunately, everything went off without a hitch, and our efforts were not in vain. We are thrilled by the prospect of launching our creation on flights starting this August and seeing passengers’ beaming faces as they watch this video.
Director Phuong Vu: Before filming, I felt immense pressure to bring a young person’s perspective to the table, create an intelligent video clip, and instill positive feelings in viewers after COVID-19.
During filming, I put a lot of work into researching, exchanging ideas, and overcoming difficulties in context, timing, and weather to introduce Vietnam’s beautiful scenery, culture, and ethnic dances. I also travel frequently and hope our video energizes viewers.
When I finished the video, I was happy with the results.
What was your most memorable experience while filming Safety 2022?
Director Phuong Vu: We traveled almost everywhere in Vietnam to find the perfect locations. We spent one morning in Pleiku and were in Ha Giang that night. In the end, it was an amazing and indescribable experience. I learned a lot about Vietnam’s ethnic cultures, regional dances, and scenic spots.
Three words to describe the Safety 2022 video?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: Cultural, creative, and modern.
Director Phuong Vu: Creative, cultural, and young.
Do you intend to be “passengers” when Safety 2022 is officially released to best observe other passengers’ reactions to your passion project?
Ms. Ly Thanh Huong: Without a doubt!
Director Phuong Vu: Likewise. I’d like to sit on the plane and watch the premiere while observing everyone’s reactions. That’s exactly what I’d like to see.