Experiencing Interruptions?

Beyond Farewell

AI engineer Sam grieves her late girlfriend Joy by working nonstop. Experiencing paranormal activities, Sam finishes her AR goggles as guided by a mysterious line of code. To her gleeful surprise, Sam sees Joy through the goggles. Reunited, the couple goes on an adventure to check off everything on their bucket list. As the morning light caresses her face, Joy glitches and fades. Against the rising sun, the couple kisses one last time, reminiscing the fleeting eternity. Opening her eyes on the grass, Sam finds herself alone again, unsure if the memories were real.

  • Jackie Shijie Xing
  • Jackie Shijie Xing
  • Jingzhi Hu
  • Zilong Wang
  • Yiwen Qian
  • Jingzhi Hu
    Key Cast
  • Taylor Goodwyn
    Key Cast
  • Yinan Shi
    Director of Photography
  • Beatrice Mai
    Production Designer
  • Jackie Shijie Xing
  • Hauton Xu
  • Project Type:
    Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, Sci-fi, Romance
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 13, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    Chinese, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Red Gemini
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
    August 12, 2023
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sidewalk Film Festival
    Birminghan, Alabama
    United States
    August 26, 2023
    Alabama Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Woodstock Film Festival
    Woodstock, New York
    United States
    September 30, 2023
    New York Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Cinequest Film Festival
    San Jose, California
    United States
    March 15, 2024
    San Jose Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jackie Shijie Xing

Jackie Shijie Xing, a writer-director based in New York, brings a unique cultural tapestry to his filmmaking. Hailing from Beijing and nurtured across two distinct worlds, he seamlessly weaves his diverse experiences into captivating narratives that offer multifaceted viewpoints. A fresh alumni of NYU Film and TV, Jackie adeptly melds artistic ingenuity with compelling and resonant commercial storytelling. His portfolio boasts premieres at esteemed global film festivals, including the illustrious Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival and the prestigious Woodstock Film Festival.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"Beyond Farewell" is a narrative music video, envisioned as a companion piece for Jinzy's haunting melody, "Joi."

When the melancholic echoes of Jinzy's song first resonated with me, I was intrigued by the sense of weightless sorrow in her performance. The lyrics, telling a fragmented yet vibrant story, left me curious. Upon inquiring, Sydney (Jinzy) revealed that her inspiration sprouted from Ana de Armas' character Joi in Blade Runner 2049. The lyrics interweave abstract elements of the movie's narrative and the melancholic anticipation of separation between lovers.

A mere homage to another film in our music video would have been unfulfilling. However, resonating with Sydney's inspiration, I saw potential for a narrative about a love separation tinged with elements of sci-fi and artificial intelligence. This concept evolved into a quirky, retro-futuristic romantic comedy, featuring a bereaved AI engineer reuniting with her late girlfriend via homemade AR goggles—an homage to LGBTQ relationships in our digital age. Thus, "Beyond Farewell" was born.

Budget constraints, courtesy of Jinzy's label's hesitation to entrust funds to student filmmakers, informed some of our stylistic decisions. For instance, upon my first encounter with the song, I envisioned translating the weightless sensation in the music into a scene where the spectral girlfriend, masterfully portrayed by Taylor, levitates Sam, taking her on an ethereal flight across New York. Our producers, Chris and Jessica, however, convinced me that such a feat could exhaust our resources. Instead, I reimagined this concept with the budget-friendly substitute of spinning, culminating in my favorite scene, the whimsical shopping cart merry-go-round.

I aimed to visually differentiate the two phases of Sydney's character, Sam—before and after the reunion with her girlfriend, and ultimately, their final parting. I used distinct textures and aspect ratios to bring this vision to life.

I discussed with our production designer, Beatrice, my aspirations to design Sam's studio reminiscent of a '90s IT/sci-fi show. Consequently, she crafted an interior brimming with retro technologies, including an enduring old Macintosh. Her design harmonized well with the budget-friendly analogue cinematography and visual texture. Together with the director of photography, we agreed on the lighting reminiscent of a '90s TV show but invigorated with modern techniques. This approach gave birth to two unique textures: a "90s sci-fi TV show recorded on VHS" representing Sam's grieving state, and a "90s sci-fi rom-com shot on 16mm film" symbolizing Sam's reunion with her girlfriend. VFX artist and colorist, Hauton, beautifully brought these effects to life.

Sydney, Taylor, and I rehearsed twice, ensuring the actual shooting days remained efficient and weren't hindered by performance tweaks. Our camera and G&E teams excelled despite the complex setup and rigs we built, including the DIY spinning shopping cart rails. The principal photography process was engaging and enjoyable, barely feeling like work at all.

The final product left me astounded, especially considering it marks both Jinzy's and my debut into music videos. The essence of our collective effort is encapsulated within this project, and for that, I'm immensely grateful to my team.