OCT 11 2016

Skyladder: The Art of Cai Guoqiang Coming soon

Skyladder: The Art of Cai Guoqiang Coming soon

Skyladder will finally be reaching a mass audience - The show will premiere on Netflix around the world as one of 'Netflix Originals’ on October 14th, 2016

Mandarin Film is proud to be the production partner for the project in China, with Patrick Carr as Supervising Producer: China.

Please take a look if you can!


See official trailer here

..and a clip here

Review in Time Out Beijing link

and imdb link   


CHINESE LINK   See official trailer here  



Skyladder: The Art of Cai Guoqiang


Cai Guo-Qiang is an electrifying artist who creates massive drawings from fireworks, meant to unite Eastern philosophy and contemporary social issues. Most famous for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Cai explores the connections between the human and the cosmic, destruction and creation, the eternal and the fleeting. The film follows the artist across the globe as he creates large-scale, visually stunning new work with explosives, and it traces his rise from an ordinary child growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution to the art superstar that he is today.

Mandarin Film was the China production services provider for this documentary feature film, arranging everything from permissions, logistics, crew, equipment to government liaison.  A memorable moment was having eight camera crews overlooking the 2014 Beijing APEC event where Cai was organizing a firework art piece for the world’s leaders and being told that our crews would be shot by snipers if they moved from their designated areas!  Sharpens the mind.

The most challenging part of the shoot came at the denouement of the film, when (without giving too much away) Cai attempts to suspend a 500 meter firework ladder from an enormous hot-air balloon.  In total we organized eleven camera positions, with everything from Red Epics, Amiras, Movi rigs and Gopros to two remote control helicopter crews circling the action (in high wind). 

To stay away from prying eyes, the event took place on a remote island with little electricity or internet connection, and several tonnes of equipment needed to be shipped to and fro using local fishing boats.  On top of this, the onset of typhoon season meant days of delays, and a shoot on the edge of safety limits (No one wants a balloon carrying a ladder containing several tonnes of detonating fireworks drifting over their head). 

The film has been selected for Sundance 2016:

“With unfettered access, filmmaker Kevin Macdonald combines the artist’s intimate reflections with interviews from friends, family, and members of the art world. Vérité footage of Cai's artistic process culminates in his final realization of a lifelong pursuit: Sky Ladder, a visionary, explosive event that he pulls off in his hometown in China after 20 years of failed attempts. Kevin Macdonald’s superbly constructed, luminous film captures for posterity the brilliance of an artist whose ephemeral work is, by its nature, completely of the moment.”

To know more about Sundance,click here.

Produced by Fisher Stevens (The Cove, Racing Extinction), Directed by Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, Last King of Scotland) and shot in part by Bob Yeoman (any Wes Anderson film you care to mention), this all star cast and crew was an incredible film to be involved with. 

Skills employed:  Mandarin Film, Documentary, television, tv, movie, micro-film, production, China, Beijing, fixing, location scouting, recce, crew hire, kit hire, cameraman, soundman, directing, director, subtitling, editing, editor, translation, media, aerial photography, drone, feature documentary, sundance.