China Diary

Day 37: Rainy Sunday Scouting

IMG_9676Qingdao trip started off in rather rainy mood. We headed over to scout some of the locations we had already visited; them being namely an abandoned construction site and the mall that’s just below our hotel. After the welcoming dinner, the day started off in rather tired mood, but lightened up as we started to do some practical planning on how we would actually shoot some scenes, what kind of stunts there would be, and discussions of that sort. The most amazing thing about this location is that it has been here for years without anyone taking over the building – but there’s no graffitis on the walls, anywhere! If this was anywhere in Europe, the walls would’ve been filled with tags and colorful art pieces which we would’ve had to cover with art department, but not here in China. There’s one old guy and his tiny dog watching over the construction site, meaning anyone could easily sneak in and do whatever they wanted there. But guess that’s one of the cultural differences we have with Chinese.

Big, abandoned construction site.

The frustrating thing, though, turned out to be that for some reason, all of the communications that we’ve been having with the local location scouts haven’t been as accurate as we had hoped, and pretty soon we learned that most likely we’re going to have to lose one of the key locations for the film. This was a depressing setback and truly kicked the mood down. The location, a silent, closed business district area where we wanted to stage a motorcycle racing sequence, turned out to be great in every other way, only that we couldn’t do any of the stunts planned there, because the location manager feared we would end wrecking the location. I understand this completely, but standing in after having spent hours of planning those sequences, the question remained: why didn’t we learn about this a bit earlier… Well, life is all about learning to deal with setbacks, and here’s one for you.

After a long day of sitting in car or standing in a street corner in the rain somewhere we had a dinner and headed back home. I had a lengthy Skype session with Annika and went eventually to bed, listening to the crashing waves and rattling AC unit in my otherwise super high-end hotel room…

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