China Diary

Day 108: Seafood Fantasy


Ahh, a day off! I can do anything I want, just kick back and relax and not to worry about the shoot at all, just enjoy the time when there’s absolutely nothing to do.

Well, not exactly. The night is a terrible one. I’m having nightmares of the scenes the b-unit is shooting today – not really nightmares, but one of those dreams where you’re not completely aware if you’re awake or not, and the brain is on a high speed mode, figuring out how to do the scene. In the dream, I’m having the most boring conversation with Lei trying to explain what we’re about to do. When I stumble awake after only few hours of real sleep, I’m groggy and barely aware of what’s happening.

First, the driver drags me off to the studio, where we go through every set being built in I think five sound stages. We have great construction projects like Moonbase, Moon surface etc. slowly rising – first in wood, then being painted over, patinated and so on. It’s really inspiring, but being really tired I can only take in half of what I’m seeing. The production designer is excitedly explaining what he’s building and where, and I try to keep up with him my best.

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Afterwards, we convene at my trailer planning the B-unit shoot. It’s basically a bunch of leftovers from the days before, shots that need to be shot but were not shot on the day, but as they are on a board, they truly make a full shooting day for the b-unit crew. I’m wondering if I should actually stay in directing, but the production wants to leave these to the b-unit, while they have a dinner set up for me.

We drive over to a small local seafood restaurant for yet another shockingly great seafood dinner, Qingdao style. The food is simple yet beautiful: steamed in a big pot in the middle of the table, the main dish consists of shrimps, crabs, cochleas and some octopi. The water used to steam the food has some lamb stew in it, which they serve after the main course, and it’s a brilliant, perfect addition to the meal. We have buckets of “green bucket” beer, a local raw beer that only lasts for few days in the bottles, and of course, white wine.

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My plan has been to check out the local nightlife after the dinner, but the heady drinks and the bad sleep last night just makes it impossible to continue. At home, I listen to some black metal and crash to bed even before midnight.

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