Stuck in China


Since nobody reads the filmdouglas “news” on this blog, I think I have 0 subscribers. I might as well just start blogging about anything and everything. I’ll keep it movie related so that this still feels like the official Filmdouglas.com news site, or something.

It’s getting close to the one year mark since we first delayed the movie BALDUR. We originally intended to shoot the film in February 2008 but have still not shot a single frame. I’ve been close to firing my producer on a number of occasions, closest when for 3 months last summer, when we were supposedly going to shoot in August, she went missing. After a meeting with Irish co-producers and The Irish Film Fund in Cannes that did not go so well, my producer left and nobody heard anything for 3 months. So, my co-producers in Iceland … who originally had about 30% stake in the movie were left as the main producers. Thankfully, even if they are slow – painfully slow, they’ve still gotten us closer to shooting the movie than we have been before. My producer has reappeared and is still on board. It will take more than my entry on this blog today to explain why she’s still on board. Anyway, our co-producers still have a project of mine that was written in 2005 that is lying somewhere in their office being processed. Now I’ve got another film, Baldur that seems to be heading the same way. Hopefully we’ll start soon – at least being slow is better than being a criminal, but stories of my ex producers from my first three films will also have to wait a better day. Right now I’m stuck in China, economy crisis in Iceland – I’d be a mad man to use my credit card or ATM machines over here – buying a beer in Beijing has doubled in price for me – yet the price remains the same for people who earn their money here, of course. I can still not completely commit to anything in China and start to earn some real RMB – because we’re always a month or two away from shooting… but that month or two has now been nearly a year.

I’ve been offered a directing job on some ultra low Chinese exploitation movies – Kung Fu Soap Opera films with no budget. It’s a 7 man crew, 7 day’s shoot and a 90 min movie … straight to the Pirated DVD market I would guess. Of course all the big “legal” distributors in China are the same people who do all the pirating, just in case nobody knew that. Yeah, the budget of the movie would be around 50.000 dollars and the director would get about 5000 dollars for his trouble of showing up and directing for 7 days… it’s all in Chinese, but it doesn’t seem that language would be a problem on these sets. At least I was told that I’d just need to direct and maybe I’d get a translator… it’s not really the dialogue that’s the selling point of the films anyway, or the acting for that matter. Let’s see how it goes in the next few months. I might be in Iceland making an expensive Scandinavian dark humored drama with some aspirations for film festival prizes or I might be in Beijing doing a straight to DVD kung fu crapper with some aspirations towards making us semi rich… well making the producers rich.

(the photo is from one of these “cheap” movies. The director who is holding the walkie-talkie never stood up from his monitor and only directed through this device.)

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