Monday, May 18, 2009

A Day at the Movies (as an extra)


For the umpteenth time, Blogger has been blocked in China. It can be some days, or it can be months, as it is still the case with Youtube. Certainly this is not helping the Chinese government to gain supports from other countries, but do they need them anymore, once the Olympics are gone? Anyway, I can't access my own blog and I can't publish anything other than text, but still I can do so by email... Please if any of you reading the blog ever access to my page in Youtube, some people are asking me to upload more chapters of Españoles por el Mundo, maybe you can reply to them telling them that I am in China and that I cannot open Youtube, nor even to reply messages (and once you're at it, pls also let them know that I don't have any more chapters, they should look em up at TVE website).

Anyway, yesterday Sunday was an interesting day. I was called on Saturday evening to participate as an extra in the shooting of a Chinese movie, and seeing that the weather was rainy and I had not better plans for Sunday, I accepted. Waking up at 6:30 to be at Xujiahui at 7:50 turned out to be the toughest challenge of the journey, but a small sacrifice anyway. A bus picked us up to drive us to the Shanghai Film Park (http://www.sfs-cn.com/images/hsdy/filmpark/index.htm), a place I had always wanted to visit but never had the chance to do so (when I was managing the Movie Club at CEIBS I always tried to organize a group visit, but we maver made it).

The place belong to Shanghai Film Studio, one of the three biggest media and entertainment groups in China, and in its more than 4,000 sqm it hold reconstructions of places such as Nanking St. in the 1930's, old Suzhou creek, traditional Chinese houses, European style buildings, churches, ancient Chinese villages... We were actually shooting indoors, in a set, but since we arrived at 9:30am, and our scene didn't start until 4pm, we had plenty of time to discover all the hidden places in the Park. We were about 40 foreigners, from countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, USA, France, Russia or Moldova, and then twice or three times as many Chinese, all dressed in old elegant costumes.

The movie is called Dongfang Yu (东方雨), it is a spy movie set in Shanghai 1940's, directed by Liu Yunlong 刘云龙 and starred by himself and megastar Fan Bingbiing 范冰冰, with whom I took a picture that you can check, together with others, here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=94451&id=556215527&l=87ca31370e. My part was a ballroom dancer during a music scene, and I managed to overcome my natural clumsiness thanks to the skills of my dance partner, Angela from Colombia.

We were paid enough, we were provided decent food, coffee and I even got a free haircut! But most of all we had a great day and made good friends :)

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