That's A Wrap!
I'm back in Beijing now. I finished the movie that had started filming when I wrote my last blog. After filming, I returned to Xi'an to pay a brief visit with my girlfriend's folks, before flying back to Beijing and going on auditions again. I count six this week, if you don't include callbacks. Things are really heating up. Unfortunately most are shooting around the same time, so I if I am picked for any, there's the possibility I may have to chose between more than one. If I had it my way, I'd clone myself and do them all!
The last two weeks of the Yunnan movie were taxing, to say the least. We mostly shot on mountain tops in the middle of the night, so I found myself getting home and washing the mud and make-up off my face at 7 in the morning. Next I would shower and pass out on my hotel bed. I would wake up at random times of day, never knowing whether it was night or day until I opened the window curtains.
The 2nd female lead, who played my wife in the movie, was told to cry an N number of times for an N number of scenes. For some reason these were also the last scene of the day arranged at 5 or 6 in the morning. Each time, she just couldn't squeeze the tears out, so all kinds of hideous chemicals were applied to her eyes until they gushed like leaky faucets. Although, she can't complain; she is also the screenwriter...
We moved to four different cities; we filmed in temples, caves, turnip patches, and lily-pad swamps. I was rolled in dirt, bitten by ants, cut by bricks, and burnt by the sun until I turned a light maroon (by using fake sunscreen). By the end of it all, I must admit I was a bit delirious. After filming my final scene in the movie, I was stuck in a hot van waiting for 30 minutes for rest of the crew to file in (as usual). Remembering the rule that the van can leave once all seats are full, I ran out and grabbed two of the grips rushed them onto the van and ordered the driver to put the pedal to the medal. A fellow westerner (A Scot playing a French infantryman) who was sitting next to me looked at me like I was nuts. "That's how you get things done here", I explained to the green-thumb.
At the end of it all, we had a huge wrap party and most of us got so drunk that there was almost no one the next day to wish me off. But it's fine with me. I met up with the photographer and got a bunch of great press photos, like the ones featured in this blog. Next month: back to the US!
Photos by Jin Song
-- Nathaniel Boyd