China madness or how we ended up shooting 3D photos and 3D video for the first 3D exhibition in China

Well the news is officially out so also I can tell you about my last super exciting project. After I came home from Brazil to Slovenia I really didnt have any ideas what I am going to do next. New projects? Moving back to London…? 3 days later the answer came. A message on Facebook..saying..bla bla bla.. we love your 3D photos… bla bla bla, would you like to come and have a 3D photo shoot in China?… My fists thoughts were… Yes sure I am coming and I hope that also the Nigerian princ that is sending me emails about helping him to transfer some millions on his Swiss account is coming. But after some more emails things became a bit more clear and getting more and more realistic. The deal wat that me and my team comes to China for one week and do 4 3D photos and a 3D video that would be shown in combination  with my previous work shoot in UK and Slovenia. Some negotiations over the  fee, my team, their team etc. And next thing you know me, my 3D partner Peter Gedei and trusted assistant Aleš Pirec were sitting on a plane to Beijing.  And anything from this part on was pretty much surreal and really do not know where and how I would start describing this. The first day somehow just didnt ended. Started out trip at 5.00 am in Slovenia, came to Beijing at 6.00 am and then we just went on with the day… First we have meet an incredible Chinese team Haiwen, girl that is actually responsible for everything together, Justin her co worker and Afra the producer.
And then… I just realized that If I would like to describe this amazing experience would took me aaages… SO I will try to be as brief as possible…

Day 1… No sleep, meeting with the crew, scouting for a cherry blossom location with Afra, trying about 12 new amazing dishes and the effect of rice wine with 56% of alcohol and the local beer, some more late night location scouting – the Olympic stadium Birds nest, buying paper kites for ore bellowed once, some more food and more beers, playing pool and going to a hotel after about 36 hours of being awake…
The Emperor hotel next to the forbidden city was great pick… Great designer rooms, minibar that they refilled for free every day, a omelet master at the breakfast… But the best thing was that it was next to the great dumpling shop and a restaurant with barbecue meet on the stick… Great for early breakfast or midnight snack. Oh, and I should no forget the radio under the shower and that they fixed my jeans in one day for free, that I have tear on my crotch while jumping from rock to rock in the cherry garden…

Day 2….Due to success of the first days location scouting we had one day of free time. We rented bicycles at hotel and went to see the famous forbidden city, Tienanmen square and the Silk market… Forbidden city is ENORMOUS, beautiful and filled with Chinese tourist… Tienanmen square is city is ENORMOUS, beautiful and filled with Chinese tourist… Silk market is big, annoying but if you want you can get any designer bag, watch, glasses, phone that you want…Original of course!

Day 3… Shooting at the Great Wall… Leaving hotel at 5.30, standing on the guarding tower of this majestic creation that is more than 6000 km long, at 7.15! It was an amazing feeling that we were the first people that day on the top, first in the cable car on a nice sunny day. Because of the strong sun the first two days we took a 9×9 meters sun block and couple of fleshes with us… I bet the equipment guys wanted to kill me after I used natural light for almost all my shots… 🙂 Great organisation, a huge team and walkie talkies helped that we continued with out work even when the bunch of tourists start to flock onto the wall.
The next location was the botanical garden with a beautiful pond surrounded by blossoming cherries. Of course I needed to complicate and shoot the model on the rock in middle of the pond shooting her from the watter. Afra has found me a pair of fisherman’s pants so I could carie the model on the rock and shoot with the tripod in the watter. That was a great opportunities for a huge disaster but we managed to screw the Muthpy this time. On this location Peter and I also shoot the first part of the 3D video.

Day4. Early morning and shooting at ghost town. A movie set – typical Chinese village with streets, temples and surreal dried out lake with some islands sticking out of dried grass, with boats lying around the dried out land. One of the craziest locations on this set was an alley full of small stone made Buddhas that were wearing red or purple super man like coats?. Our shoot has attracted a huge number of workers from the factory next to the village so they dropped bye to watch what is happening. It was freezing, later it started to rain but we manage to do 4 photos and 3 video shoots.

Day5. Again only about 5 hours of sleep liters of coffee and red bulls when we departed to the mountain village about 3 hours outside of Beijing. Trip there was totally surreal. First part of the trip was full of the cherry blossom trees next to the road in totally grey countryside and when we were approaching the mountains there were more and more white treas on the hills. It took us at least an hour that we realized that this is actually snow on the trees. The night before snow covered the hills and also out picturesque stone made village. The most interesting part of the shoot was timing to be able to shoot with natural light. Small valleys, staircases, courtyards, friendly villagers. We finished the day by shooting in the small canyon next to the village when the snow was long go. We ended the day by drinking well deserved Tsingtao, eating cvan (meet on the stick) and a midnight traditional Chinese massage where we were all already partly a sleep on the massage table.

Day6. Last day we have hardly got up but we tried to look at best since it was our last and really important shooting day. We were shooting a famous Chinese actor Li Chen and one of the best Chinese models Danni Li. We have started the day shooting on the roof top of a hotel with Danni and continued with shooting in tinny alleys of one of the hutongs. Hutong is a ˝district˝ of small houses one next to another, with small shops, couryards…  In the hutong we have shoot Li Chen. We have manage to put together a great styling that resembled on lets say factory worker… Well a factory worker wearing Prada, Gucci and Raybans… Streets are always full of people, but if there is a photo shoot of the celebrity by some white guys going on is even more interesting… The last photo was taken on the spectacular location of Olympic stadium the Birds nest. Location is normally couple of thousands of euros per day but our fantastic producer Afra manage to trade in couple of 3D photos of the stadium to shoot there in return. I must say that this is one of the most impressive buildings that I have ever seen. After the shoot we run to have a goodbye donkey sandwich and then my crew went to the airport to catch their plane to Munich and the rest of us went to celebrate the successful project with my Chinese team. My plane to London was not leaving by the next day…

So in the end due to the amazing Slovenian and Chinese teams we managed to shoot about 13 photos in stead of 4 that we were planing. At certain point there was a crew of more then 25 people on the set. Defiantly I could do nothing without incredible Peter and Aleš that gave me all the technical and moral support through the whole project and also without Afra, Haiwen and head of Chinese crew Big Beard that took care that everything went smoothly.

So if I had to sum up the whole week in couple of words would be: Amazing food, no sleep, crazy locations and crew = work hard, party hard, again work hard – unforgettable!!!

Check an amazing video made by Ales Pirec about shoots to get the better idea how it looked…

Dream team of Place3D (the front row… doth know who the others are:)

Ghost town

Hi tech

Getting ready for the fancy dinner…

Afra the one and only producer and ultimate dringking, eating, shopping guide….

Brothers from another mother! My new gang!

The one and only Big Beard!

Li Chen and the Queen

Almost the whole crew from shoot… Still couple missing…

Big Brother

Our last shooting location… Amost the same as the stadium in Ljubljana, huh?

os

Photos by Place3D team

~ by matjazz on May 25, 2011.

4 Responses to “China madness or how we ended up shooting 3D photos and 3D video for the first 3D exhibition in China”

  1. Ti si nor!
    Kok se maš hudo! Komi čakam, da vidm slike k ste jih posnel.

  2. izgleda da se imas dobro, uzivaj se naprej, drugace pa se pridruzujem zgornjemu mnenju,… slikeeeee 😀
    lp

  3. hudohudohudo 🙂

  4. Huuudo!

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