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!
The past few weeks, we’ve been recording music and audio for The Qiu Jin Project. Melody Chen and Min Seun Kim have recorded their guzheng and flute pieces respectively for the documentary. Rae went over to Matt’s house in Campbell to record the narration. We’ve been laying these clips on top of our existing audio and video tracks, and everything is turning out great. There are a few more musical pieces that we need to record, including a choir, cello, and piano piece. In addition, there are a couple of foley sound clips just waiting to be created.
Click on this link to view the photos.
We’re on the home stretch for completing our principal filming and photography. This morning, we photographed our betrayal scene with Xu Xilin and a Qing Dynasty Governor. Preston and Stan did a great job posing for the camera. I’m famous for the line, “One more time,” and they both were very patient when I snapped shot after shot.
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Rae, JP, and I took the redeye flight to Newark, NJ and Providence, Rhode Island yesterday evening. We’re on the East Coast to interview two more scholars, Lingzhen Wang of Brown University and Amy Dooling of Connecticut College. The weather in Providence is great; it actually feels like the Bay Area with sunny skies!
This weekend in Southern California, we filmed some scenes of Qiu Jin learning and practicing martial arts with her relative. Rae’s cousin was great for the role of Qiu Jin’s Tai Chi Master relative!
In addition, we filmed our first interview with a U.S. based scholar, Professor Hu Ying from UC Irvine. On our East Coast trip, we will be traveling to Brown University and Connecticut College to interview two additional scholars familiar with Qiu Jin’s life and work.
Click the link to see the rest of the photos of Tai Chi Master.
Rae and I are heading down to Southern California for our next round of filming and interviews for The Qiu Jin Project. We had a a very productive past three weeks filming in Berkeley, Saratoga, San Jose, and our very own Santa Clara. Next up are Irvine, San Diego, Connecticut, and Rhode Island!
Today, Tim and his friends helped us return the furniture back to the Teak House in San Jose. Our garage is looking and feeling a lot emptier now that our 19th-Century Chinese Set has been taken down!
Our actors and actresses braved the scorching heat in our garage to complete filming for the month in the Bay Area. We are now headed down to Southern California and the East Coast, where will will complete the rest of our filming.
Nearly a dozen domestic scenes were filmed this weekend. Notable scenes include Qiu Jin’s husband and his drinking buddies, wedding preparations with the evil twin maids, and young Qiu Jin learning calligraphy. The featured photo is the Qiu Jin family portrait. You’ll never guess who the baby daughter really was!
Click the link to see more photos from this weekend.
Day two of filming last weekend took us again to Hakone Gardens in Saratoga. We filmed scenes of Qiu Jin discussing political ideas with a group of Chinese female students. The actresses’ kimonos were prepared expertly by Yuki, who is a master at tying the obi! Hakone Gardens was also used as a fill-in for China, where Connie and Li Jing discusses their plans for the Chinese Women’s Journal.
Our garage set once again was transformed into the Datong School. Finally, we had Richard return to reprise his role as Sun Yat-Sen for a quick portrait.
Click the link to view photos from Day 2.
We had a 16-hour film shoot spread across three locations: Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, Overfelt Gardens in San Jose, and our Qing Dynasty House Set in our garage! Filming and photography yielded a lot of good footage and photos. Thanks to everyone who came out and participated! Tomorrow, we do it all over again, although our shooting schedule will be a little less hectic than today.
Click the link to see the photos.
Yesterday, we photographed and filmed Melissa, who is playing the role of a young Qiu Jin. Melissa was very patient as we fought through the cold, harsh and unforgiving wind at Vista Point and San Jose. More photos from our shoot to come soon. Thanks to JP, Sammy, and Melissa’s parents for their assistance in yesterday’s events.