MAR 23 2018

 

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] mandarinfilm.com

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

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JAN 19 2018

Mandarin Film has worked on some charity and pro bono work in the past, but never in a systematic way.  Our Fresh Start initiative is a chance for us to team up with vibrant communities of organisations, volunteers and activists trying to make a difference, and in a small way help to tilt things in their favour.

As a part of the Mandarin Film’s Fresh Start initiative, we produced a video for the “Beijing Waters” NGO’s annual research launch.

Communicating your ideas is also a critical factor for success.  Making a video that captures the essence of their goal often helps tip investors,volunteers and even the general public into a new way of thinking.

“Beijing Waters” is an organization that arranges volunteer activities and investigations. Beijing rivers and wetlands ecological data collection let the NGO fill the gaps in existing data, publish the results and enhance public awareness of the rivers ecological situation to assure its future conservation and advocacy.

“We arrived to Jumahe. In Beijing, there is a so few non-polluted rivers like this one,” said Patrick (Wang Yibin), getting out of the car.

He is one of the volunteers, who arrived to the Juma River with his wife to take part in the “Beijing Waters” NGO research.

“My work is pretty stressful,” shared Patrick. “I have tried different ways to release this pressure till the moment I realized, when you go back to nature, it makes you calm and relaxed, and makes you appreciate what you have now.”

However, what we really face now is pollution, climate change and shortage of water – not necessarily the most stress-free of challenges!  In October 2017 Mandarin Film team joined the “Beijing Waters” voluntary activities to see with our own eyes how the research on bio-diversity and river quality is done.

When I was small, I went to the river every day to swim and catch fish there. Due to the city and village development, rivers become like you see now, stated Li Cheng, who has been living in that place since childhood.

What we saw was beautiful, sunny day with blue sky and no smog, but the river landscape with its shallow waters and narrow riverbanks full of piles of rubbish, old, broken furniture, dry plants and smelly rotting food was dismaying. It was our first stop at the Juma River.

We had three stops during that day, moving along the stream of the river and exploring it from the worst part to the cleanest part. On our last stop, nature was picturesque: clean water, steep cliff, mountains, chirping birds and horses walking around, giving hope that the environment can be better.

“We think optimistically that the future will be better if people work on it,” says Xiao Yuru, Head of “Beijing Waters”.

“Beijing Waters” is one of the projects of the NGO with the unofficial name “Let’s protect environment together.” Their first project is collaboration with schools for environment education, the second one is help local people organizing their own environment protection groups, and the third one is “Beijing waters” to do research on river creatures and ways people influence them as well as the river quality.

Over three months Mandarin Film worked with Beijing Waters to produce a brand video that encapsulated their mission statement and documented the work they were doing.  The movie was released on Dec.2, on the “Beijing Waters” press conference.

In the film, you can find out the key reasons ‘why’, see which waters are endangered and what volunteers do there, and understand the essence of what a better future might look like.

Mandarin Film is a film and TV production company with more than 10 years experience and over 500 projects in China under its belt.

We often travel to the most remote regions and film in extreme environments. We have seen people and organizations triumph over insurmountable odds.  We have seen (and filmed) humanity’s indomitable spirit. 

We would like to try to give something back.  We have done some charity and pro bono work in the past but never in a systemized way.

This leads us to teaming up with Vibrant Communities. We would like to offer our pro bono support to organizations who share the above vision and have the tools and drive to make it happen.

If you own/work for an organisation working for positive outcomes in the community that you believe could meaningfully benefit from some focused support from professional services companies like Mandarin Film. We would love to hear from you.  Mail us at info@mandarinfilm.com, and check out our website www.mandarinfilm.com

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JAN 08 2018

Popular shared bikes have brought great convenience to many people who find their daily commute a hassle in big cities across China. Now that we have the colorful dockless bikes within reach in a handy fashion, what’s next?

Well, the guys over at Bee-fly are counting on the next generation of  Chinese hipsters to scoot their battery-operated shared scooters into a new era of shared-scooter transportation!

Mandarin Film worked with Bee-Fly and produced the Bee-Fly launch video entitled “One More Choice in your City Transportation Armoury!”

We are not new to the concept of shared economy. The challenge is how to create an outstanding branded video that people can remember? It is about the concept, and of course about how to produce a high quality video under a tight budget.

Mandarin Film produced the video ’script to screen’, from coming up with and finalizing concept options to delivery to a full scripted shoot, edit and delivery in an incredibly tight turnaround of three weeks.

Professional actors were used and awe-inspiring locations were scouted that tapped into the essence of the ‘Beijing spirit’ as well as what the scooters were all about – adding some drive and distance into Beijing’s shared bike options.

Take a look at the video and see if you agree – and we wish the Bee-fly team all the best with their launch!

Nelson Quan, director and Jack Lam, DOP turned the Bee-Fly scooter into a moving dolly track.

Head of Bee-Fly acted as one of the tens of thousands of the programmers at morning rush hours at Wudaokou Subway station.

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