Three-Inch Golden Lotuses

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Three-Inch Golden Lotuses - Foot Binding

At the age of four or five, a young Chinese girl growing up during the 10th and early 20th centuries would begin the process of foot binding. Her feet would be broken and bound into tight bandages for the next ten to fifteen years. The goal was to achieve the desired size of the three-inch golden lotuses. Foot binding caused constant, excruciating pain. In the beginning, a girl could barely even stand on her own. Walking even a few steps would often be painful and tiring.

Qiu Jin was considered one of the more fortunate victims. Despite the pain, she continue to remain active throughout her life.

Rae and I are getting closer to completing the rough cut of The Qiu Jin Project. It’s been a long process, but the light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible now. Of course, there’s a lot of work still to be done even after we get the rough cut done. For instance, we have to complete our musical score and perform color grading. Still, having the rough cut is a significant goal that we set out to achieve this month!

Wushu ala Final Cut

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This afternoon, we edited a scene from our filming of the Chinese Women’s Army at Tilden Park in Berkeley. Li Jing, who plays Qiu Jin in the documentary, is running through a hand form.

The timeline from a wushu scene from the film

Nine takes were used to construct this scene. One take was a wide shot which we use to start the sequence. Mixed throughout are eight closeup shots detailing the action as Li Jing goes from one move to the next. Add in a little wind sound, and we’ve got ourselves a nice 34-second clip!

There’s a saying that a film is really created in the editing room. After having spent several months living in Final Cut, Rae and I certainly agree with that statement!

Editing Continues Its Inexorable Progress

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We’ve been hard at work editing the film over the past two months, hence our long delay between posts. It seems once filming is done, the only “exciting” photos we have to share is us sitting in front of our computers staring at Final Cut and Aperture! So far, we have assembled nearly 50 minutes of footage for the final film. There’s still much to do, but we have a good sense for the narrative is shaping up to be.

There remains a few more pickup scenes to shoot along with recording the music and narration for the film. Our target is to complete those tasks by the end of this month.

In other news, we should announce that our fiscal sponsorship has moved from Film Arts Foundation to the San Francisco Film Society. After thirty-two years of serving the independent film community, Film Arts is closing its doors; fortunately, the SFFS was there to take on the task of supporting existing fiscally sponsored projects, including ours. Visit our support page to learn how you can donate to our project. It’s tax-deductible!