MAR 23 2018

2018 Ten China Locations


It’s that time of the year again when the firecrackers chase the ghosts of years past away and the year of the dog is ushered in. 

If you had a ruff one last year don’t worry – this year is going to be absolutely pawsome!

Our new year tradition has come around too – sending the most unusual, beautiful and diverse locations from around China we have had the pleasure of working on over the last year.  Enjoy!


10. Electric racing in Hong Kong

Formula E is one of the world’s fastest growing sports and the track in Central and Wanchai along the waterfront in Hong Kong couldn’t be more stunning.  This project is hush hush, but look out for an amazing new feature doc on this subject coming up later this year!

9. Blue Map Apping

OK – we haven’t highlighted one location here – its more like 8000 surface water quality monitoring stations and over 9000 key air emissions and wastewater pollution sources across China!

The Crowd & The Cloud is an exciting new four part series for PBS exploring the new frontier of citizen science in the age of mobile technology.   

Mandarin Film helped feature one such solution: the Blue Map App, which was created by the IPE, enabling the public to check up on air and water quality, local sources of pollution, and keep record of emissions from 9,000 polluting companies.

See the trailer here

You can download the Blue Map App here

8. Mandarin Film’s new office in Shanghai!

Our office might not be one of the world’s most amazing filming locations but Shanghai is – and it DOES mean we are spreading our wings further and will be able to service our clients all the better from multiple offices around China!

7. Terracotta Soldiers Photogrammetry and Great Wall Tobogganing

China’s first international Virtual Reality (VR) travel series was created when Mandarin Film partnered with Discovery US and luxury travel operator Abercrombie & Kent.

In just ten days, the crew travelled across the major cities and landmarks of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Chongqing, Chengdu, and cruised along the Yangtze River to bring China’s highlights to the world’s eye using VR.

One of the highlights was getting exclusive access into Beijing’s most sacred temple Temple of Heaven and one of the world’s most visited tourist sites XiAn’s Terra Cotta Warriors with nobody else inside, which gave them a great chance to capture a moment of zen.  The Terracotta Warriors were shot using a cutting edge technique known as photogrammetry - taking photos from all angles then stitching and mapping them in post-production to crate an incredibly detailed 360-degree world. 

Other techniques were designed to give VR users insane birds-eye or action adventure views: whether be using camera to follow a kite-flyer on the busy Bund of Shanghai or sliding down the Great Wall toboggan, the journey was definitely one filled with all the great surprises and wonders of modern China.

6. Avian Superhighway

US news site Upworthy,“covering current events in a way that elevates the shared conversation and ourselves.” commissioned Mandarin Film to produce a short video as part of a global series about long term change-makers, entitled ‘the Long Game’. 

The Nature Conservancy has been involved in environmental protection all over the world for seventy years now, and in China for almost thirty. 

We arranged to go to Heqing, Yunnan Province in China’s far South-West corner, to film TNC’s work around Plateau Wetland and Bird Habitat Conservation.  We were blown away by what we witnessed.  Amidst the rapid modernization of this area we discovered a quiet, clean haven for birds of every stripe, and a paradise for bird watchers and nature-lovers. 

You can find out more and donate to the TNC here

5. Dam Biking

Mandarin Film helped Icon Films produce the Chinese episode of the new show “Monster Rivers”, an 6-part series commissioned by Animal Planet US/Discovery Channel about the world’s six greatest rivers, featuring angling superstar Jeremy Wade and his journey down these rivers to learn about the diverse cultures.

The film isn’t out yet, but look out for riding a bike along the Three Gorges Dam, finless porpoises and the biggest fish-release event in the metropolitan of Shanghai, arranged by Buddhists who volunteer to come together and released over 6,800 kilograms of carp fish to save them from slaughter. 

4. Cleaning Beijing’s Waters

Mandarin Film has long been a supporter and passionate advocate for environmental causes, producing everything from a Oscar nominated ‘Before the Flood’ with Leonardo Dicaprio, ground-breaking documentary ‘Green China Rising’ for National Geographic in 2011, to short ‘micro films’ for a Chinese audience like ‘Thirsty Earth’.

Mandarin Film recently launched a new initiative called ‘Fresh Start’ whereby it donates its time and resources to help NGO’s and charities hone and market their vision using the power of the video.  We do this work completely for free.  If you know of a worthy beneficiary of this, let us know at info [at]

3. Crash Zooms and Wall Raves

Mandarin Film was the local production partner for the China part of the Channel 4 and TNT drama series, shooting in multiple locations across China.  

“For me the defining shot of the show is, one of the opening shots of the show, a big wide shot of a massive intersection in the middle of Beijing where we crash zoom into Dylan and Sean standing with a guide book and Sean’s comment that’s basically ‘Is there a beach nearby?’ In some ways this summarises the show, it’s about people who are out of their depth trying to make sense of their environment, and us watching them and having fun, whilst we see them navigate that world. 

We couldn’t be more delighted with what we shot in China…When we filmed live at the music festival at the Great Wall, it felt like we’re doing something quite innovative in some ways and when we were filming on the subways and at the train station in Beijing.” Jamie Campbell, Executive Producer, Eleven Films

We believe this is the first foreign drama to be shot entirely on location in China (other than just small scenes) – and we are proud to have been a part in it.

2. One Amazing Day

 “From BBC Earth Films, the studio that brought you Earth, comes the long-awaited sequel – Earth: One Amazing Day, an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world, narrated by the Oscar-winning American movie icon, Robert Redford.”

This is a landmark film in many ways.  A true China-UK collaboration that will be of key interest to the wider industry as it is the first film to be produced under the new UK-China film treaty, signed by President Xi Jinping and then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014.

A co-production between BBC Earth Films and China’s Shanghai Media Group, Mandarin film played a key role not only in helping facilitate the film within the terms of the treaty, but also by shooting key elements in China, and, perhaps most importantly, helping ensure that the Chinese version was every bit as good as the international one.

On the production side, we filmed Pandas, Cranes and Langur Monkeys using gimbal and drone rigs specifically designed for each shoot.  A highlight for us was drone shooting with the cliff-dwelling monkeys of Guangxi.

1. Ski The World

We’ve never been involved in anything quite like this - champion skier Candide Thovex skis in some of the world’s most iconic locations on brick, sand, mud, grass and water - anything but snow!

Mandarin Film provided production support in terms of research and location scouting as well as securing locations, equipment and fixing for the China sections: at the (fake) Great Wall and the incredible Huo Lingol statues in Inner Mongolia.

Hope you enjoyed them! Wishing you no dog days but a great year of the dog!

Patrick and the Mandarin Film team