Monday, May 19, 2008

More From China

Sorry, folks, but this'll be another posting having little to do with film-making. Truth is, a couple of folks (therefore 100% of our readership) told me they appreciated the "front lines" post earlier in the week from China.

As the result, this is a bit of a follow-up.

Today was the first day of a 3-day period of national mourning. At 2:28 there was a 3 minute period of silence.

People from the various companies gathered outside. Some were "formed up" military style by their companies. Others just stopped dead on the street. All traffic halted. All pedestrians came to a screeching halt. Amazing to see - like something out of a movie - because its such a massive city and so busy. Just... thousands of people and cars stopped dead in their tracks.

You know when you see movies and some crazy apocalyptic thing happens and they show zillions of New Yorkers all frozen in place and its this weird, freaky looking notion, because New York just NEVER stops? Beijing's like that. And that's exactly what this looked like.

After a beat, the sound started. Air raid sirens from all over the city... this buzzing drone. After a moment they were joined as every car within the city started blowing its horn. It was just this 3 minute long deafening buzz unlike anything I've ever heard before, and which is almost impossible to describe. It came from everywhere and was almost like a tv or radio station test signal sound. All around people were staring at the ground or looking to the sky. Many were crying.

I wanted to take pictures, to try to capture what it was like, but I couldn't think of a way to do so and be respectful. Its moments of massive national unity like that when you feel especially foreign.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yeah, I know... I don't do serious...

So, once again, its been eons since we posted (and I'm the worse offender between the two of us, I know).

Sadly, there's just not much to say. I have a minor update, though, and an appeal.

Last night I was blind copied by Producer Dude on an exchange between him and... well... I have no idea. The exchange went something like this:


Producer Dude,

Congrats on the thing with the thing! That's great... I hear it went well and people are excited. You must be pumped about this thing and how it'll impact that stuff. Way to go!!



Dear Fred,

THX, man. Yeah, the time is now, the place is here, the iron is hot, we're on the 1 yard line and the ball is in motion, its the 11th inning and bases' are loaded and we've got Dimaggio at the plate, we're the spaceshuttle about to blast off and the countdown has reached zero.


Producer Dude


Honestly, I have ZERO idea what they're talking about, or how it impacts Dave and I. None. Maybe the other movie that Producer Dude has been doing (in lieu of ours)?

Beats me. Maybe Dave can post and shed some light.

In the meantime, I'm back in China.

Most of you have probably read by now about the massive quake that rattled this country last week. The devastation in the Sichuan region is massive, and hard to comprehend. 50,000+ dead. Hundreds of thousands wounded. Millions homeless and displaced.

I've been watching the stories from the US, heartbroken for this nation, which I really do love. And yesterday got back to Beijing and was surprised at how dramatically this tragedy is permeating society and the public consciousness right now (though mostly, because, I guess I just hadn't really considered it, like most Americans).

Imagine the US shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Its pretty much all that’s on TV, radio, etc. There are donation drives and stands and boxes everywhere. Its what cabbies talk about, its what people on the street talk about. Every concert hall is hosting a benefit, every restaurant a fundraiser, every school a donation drive. Young couples from Beijing are convoying to Sichuan to try to adopt the thousands of now-orphaned children. Its equally heartbreaking and inspiring. Sometimes nationalism is an amazing thing. There is no "them" that were hit by the quake here. It impacted "we" -- and everyone wants to help.

This country has been rattled, both physically and psychologically, but is determined to do whatever it can. Its amazing to see how strong the grassroots efforts are in a nation known for such a strong centralized government.

Anyhow, China remains more beautiful than ever, her resilience and determination adding to her allure. And there are millions suffering right now in the far reaches of Sichuan. I'd ask if you're reading this to consider making a donation to one of the many multinational relief agencies providing support for this disaster:

Mercy Corps

World Cares

Red Cross

China Quake Donation

There are many others. Google it. But if you can, give.

Heck, if every reader of this Blog gave just $1, then... well... that'd be $2 more than they have now.

Thanks for indulging some seriousness...

- Charlie