China Diary

Day 54: Sleepless in Beijing…


Four hours is not a lot, but that’s what I got last night. I opened my eyes to a darkened room, wondering if I was already hours late or way early – my cell had run out of battery. Unfortunately, it was early – 6:58 am. Thanks, brain… I guess going through the film twice yesterday kept me only half-asleep the night, at least based on the weird-ass dreams.

The first meeting today was about props, stunts and sets in the main action locations. Our production manager was late almost two hours, so we had to start without him, but as we went on, many of the issues became clearer and more specific, until I learned we lost one of the key locations in the film. It was one of those things that bug me: for weeks we had been asking for a confirmation for the location. Then, on the meeting I bring it up again, and one of the location people just grabs a phone, makes one 3 minute phone call and tells it’s not possible to use the location. At all. Ever. In any capacity. I wonder how long he had been sitting on that piece of information before dropping the bomb…

Infuriating. To be honest, everything should be shot in studio, so this kind of problems wouldn’t arise…

Still, all the other discussions we had were quite clarifying, and then it was time to continue the construction vs. CGI -discussion, which went on for hours and hours again, but luckily this time, we finished in time. I managed to leave the office around 6pm and arrived back home, only to find out the Internet on the hotel is dead. A quick nap later life was looking up again, I went to grab a bite outside at my beloved Chinese local joint – the one with terrible service, noisy atmosphere and food I never have any idea what it’s supposed to be. I ended up ordering randomly something, which turned out to be fried soy rice, some kind of a tofu soap and something that’s kinda like sweet bread with a sweet, sugary sauce to dip it in. Not my favorite, but it was edible nevertheless.

Tomorrow: up early, first test shoot day ahead!

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