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China’s ghost city is awakened by an influx of new residents in “The Land of Many Palaces”. A film by Song Ting and Adam Smith.
China’s ghost city is awakened by an influx of new residents in “The Land of Many Palaces”. A film by Song Ting and Adam Smith.
China’s ghost city is awakened by an influx of new residents in “The Land of Many Palaces”. A film by Song Ting and Adam Smith.
74 backers pledged £8,552 to help bring this project to life.

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The Land of Many Palaces – a documentary feature film

£8,552

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(中文介绍请见本页末。)

  • Who are we? 

We’re Ting (China, NYU '12) and Adam (UK, Stanford '12), two filmmakers currently based in Beijing, China. We want to kick start our fundraising efforts for the production of our first feature documentary "The Land of Many Palaces". We were drawn to working together due to a mutual desire to explore the unprecedented changes occurring in Chinese society through documentary film production, a belief in cross-cultural collaboration, and a hope to foster a better understanding of China abroad.

  • What is the documentary about? 

It all began when a Time magazine photo essay (http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1975397,00.html), about the new city of Ordos, that was been built on the back of enormous coal wealth in a remote part of China, grabbed our attention. The city became famous for been a ghost town, until recently when new residents started to arrive.

We traveled to the city in 2011 to see if there were stories worth following, with funding from the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts and the Stanford Center for Graduate Student Engagement. After this, and one additional scouting trip, we decided to embark upon a feature length documentary project about Ordos. 

In the local language Ordos means “the land of many palaces".

(From left to right: Hao Shiwen, Yuan Xiaomei, and Wang Xuecun)

The film is about the allure of urban life in China, set against the backdrop of the new city of Ordos. We are following three characters who represent various facets of the dream of urban life, whether these be governmental, familial, or personal: 

Xiaomei, a young government official responsible for the relocation of farmers to the new city, and their education about how to become new urban citizens, Shiwen, a herdsman who sells his land to a coal mining company and moves his family to the new city with the compensation money he receives, and Wang, a taxi-driver who arrived in Ordos in search of over night wealth. The city itself, beating with new construction, and an influx of new residents, will serve as a 4th character. 

  • Why are we making the film? 

We believe that there is a desire to understand more about China abroad, and that there is a demand for documentaries that illuminate the unprecedented changes and situations present in this country. Ordos represents many of the current issues and scenarios China is grappling with, and we feel the documentary will be of great interest to audiences interested in China, urbanism, and migration. The film will focus on the human experience and dreams being pursued in Ordos, so it will speak to a general audience as well. 

  • What will the money be used for? 

The money will be used to cover production expenses. We are trying to achieve the highest production values possible on a limited budget:

- Cinematography... we will rent an HD camera with accessories and carry them all the way from Beijing to Ordos. The transportation of bulk equipment also adds cost.

- Sound... even though it's a small team, we plan to rent professional sound recording equipment for all the shoots. We boom, and we use a wireless microphone on our main characters in order to get the best quality of sound possible.

- Travel... Ordos is 770 km from Beijing, so we fly to Hohhot - the capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and then drive 5 hours to Ordos. Once in Ordos we use a car to get from one shooting location to another. There are also gas costs and highway taxes.

- We will hire a local fixer.

We’ve managed to keep expenses down by being based in Beijing rather than outside the country. We plan to go on three production trips during 2013: a 2-week trip in May, a 3-week trip in September, and a 10-day trip in November. 

The amount we set on Kickstarter we can surpass, as our production expenses will be much greater. The idea behind this Kickstarter campaign is just to get us started, and to let the foundations we are applying to know that people want “The Land of Many Palaces” to be made. 

  • How does this Kickstarter campaign work?

    Just click the green “Back This Project” button! You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. “The Land of Many Palaces” is a UK based project, and the amount is shown in Great British Pounds. There’s no extra fee charged for backers if a pledge is made in dollars or any other currency. You’ll see the exact amount deducted through Kickstater on your credit card statement. If our project is successfully funded, your card will be charged when the project reaches its funding deadline on April 21, 2013. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card will never be charged. You don’t have to have a US or UK credit card to back our project. Anyone, anywhere (with a major card such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express etc) can pledge to Kickstarter projects.

    You can help by donating here on Kickstarter, sharing our project with friends, ‘liking’ us on Facebook, and ‘following’ us on Twitter. Your help means A LOT to us.

  • When can you expect the delivery of your gifts? 

Depending on the package you select: regular updates via email (and of course on our blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account) during the production, post-production, and completion stages of the documentary, gifts via mail throughout 2013, and completed DVD’s and screenings of the film from fall 2014.

    • When will the film be finished? 

     We plan to wrap the production up by the end of 2013, and go into 7 months of editing and post-production from January 2014. We hope the film will be finished by mid-summer 2014, ready to submit to film festivals. We plan for the film to tour film festivals throughout 2015. 

  • The Team: 

Song Ting (Director, Producer) 

Ting is a Chinese filmmaker. She went back to China in 2012 and has been working for co-production films. As a director, her short films have been selected for competitions at film festivals such as Hawaii International Film Festival and Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival. She was selected to attend workshops at the Busan International Film Festival 2011 and Golden Horse Academy at Taipei Golden Horse International Film Festival 2011. Before going to Tisch, Ting worked for the leading financial company PriceWaterhouseCoopers as Associate Auditor and worked as an integral part in several auditing teams that assisted media and entertainment companies during their IPOs. Ting will get her MFA degree in Film Production from Tisch School of the Arts New York University in 2013. She holds dual BAs in English Literature and Finance from University of International Business & Economics (Beijing)

Know more about Ting at:

www.songtingfilm.com

Adam Smith (Director, Producer) 

Adam is a filmmaker from England, currently based in Beijing China, where he teaches fine art studio practice at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. To date he has directed five short films: "DubaiWorld", "The Diner", "Love & Allegiance", "Shangri-Li", and "Role Play". His documentaries have screened at film festivals throughout America, including: Starz Denver Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Palo Alto International Film Festival, and San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. His film "Role Play", about the challenges immigrants face pursuing their acting careers in Hollywood, won 'Best Culture Documentary' at the International Student Documentary Competition, and "Love and Allegiance", a film about military weddings in Las Vegas co-directed with Tijana Petrovic, was a Student Academy Award finalist. He holds a BA in Fine Art, and an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University.  

Check out more information about Adam on his Stanford profile: http://art.stanford.edu/graduate/mfa-documentary-film/student-projects/2012/adam-smith/ 

Kathy Huang (Production Advisor), graduate of Harvard and Stanford, director/producer of “Tales of the Waria”, and current Blakemore fellow at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Tim Crowley (Artistic Advisor), graduate of University College London and Chelsea College of Art, curator of “Reasons We Still Need Superman”, and current head of Historical and Critical Studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. 

Indie Choudhury (Editing Advisor), graduate of Cambridge, previous curator at the Tate, and current PhD at Stanford.

  • Learn More:

Learn more about the film and our production trips by following us on: 

Facebook www.facebook.com/landofmanypalaces

Twitter www.twitter.com/PalacesOrdos

Or please feel free to email us with any questions or thoughts you might have at: thelandofmanypalaces@gmail.com 

Thanks for making this documentary possible!

  • 我们是?

Adam Smith和宋婷分别来自英国和中国,目前生活在北京。我们希望以此方式筹集到我们首部纪录片《宫殿之城》的拍摄启动资金。我们想用纪录片的形式探索目前中国社会正发生的但尚未被影像纪录的变化。我们相信通过跨文化的合作能对中国现状有更好的了解。

  • 这部影片是关于?

我们的合作始自《时代》周刊的一篇关于额尔多斯新城的图片报道:

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1975397,00.html

该报道介绍了在中国北方的草原地区,一座建立在丰富煤矿资源上的城市短期内拔地而起,但极少的居民和无数空置房屋让新城冠上“鬼城”的名号。这个城市吸引了我们。

在获得斯坦福大学创意艺术学院和研究生实践中心的资金后,我们于2011年第一次去到了额尔多斯,找寻是否有值得纪录的故事。2012年下旬我们再一次考察了这座城市,并最终决定拍摄一部关于这个城市的纪录片。

在蒙古语中,“额尔多斯”的意思即是我们的片名“宫殿之城”。

这部纪录片以额尔多斯新城为例,讲述摩登城市生活对中国人的诱惑。我们将跟随三位人物,他们代表拥有摩登城市生活梦想的不同人群,政府的、家庭的、个人的⋯⋯

袁小梅是新城搬迁农民安置社区的主任,她的工作是安排接收搬迁农民以及帮助农民变成城市居民。郝世文曾经是一位牧民,村里的土地因煤矿开采被征用,获得政府征地补偿款后他将同千万农民一样搬迁进他从未生活过的崭新的城市。王学存是一个怀着掘金梦来到新城的河南出租车司机,他梦想在这座城市里拥有自己的房子。新城,遍地是未完工的建筑工地和空置楼盘,迎来了它的新居民,它本身也成为我们纪录片的第四个主角。

  • 我们为什么要拍摄?

世界想了解中国,也呼唤思考中国城市巨变的纪录片。额尔多斯,作为一个极端的例子,展现了很多中国城市急速发展带来的问题。我们相信对中国、当代城市生活或者人类迁徙感兴趣的人们会非常期待这样一部纪录片。这部影片关注新城市里人物的体验以及ta他们追逐的梦想。

  • 筹集的资金将用于?

这里筹集的资金会用于拍摄。我们努力以最有限的资金保证最高的制作水准。

摄影:我们从北京租赁高清摄影机和辅助设备并挈带到额尔多斯。租赁和运输是拍摄成本的很大一部分。

录音:虽然我们团队很小,我们坚持使用专业的录音设备。租赁录音机、话筒、无线话筒和辅助设备都增加了拍摄成本。

交通:额尔多斯距北京770公里,我们需要先飞到内蒙古省会呼和浩特,然后租车行使5个小时到达额尔多斯。在新城内,我们需要开车从一个拍摄地转移到另一个。燃油费和路桥费也是成本的一部分。

另外,我们会聘请当地的一些人员协助我们。2013年我们计划3次拍摄:5月份的2周,9月份的3周,以及11月的2周。

最终的电影拍摄花费会远大于这里筹集的资金。使用Kichstarter在于启动这个拍摄,并有助于我们对电影基金的申请,让大家知道《宫殿之城》是关于什么的,将怎样拍摄。

  • 如何在本Kickstarter网页捐赠和支持我们?

    您只用点击网页右上方绿色的 “Back This Project” 按钮!然后网站会询问您认捐的金额和想要获得的礼物。《宫殿之城》是在Kickstarter英国项目部注册的影片,所以认捐金额是以英镑显示。在截止日期2013年4月21日,只有当我们的目标数额成功获得认捐后,您认捐的金额才会从您的信用卡上划走。捐赠金额会如实反映在您的信用卡帐单上,不会有任何其他服务费用。如果届时认捐总额没有达到我们目标,您的认捐会自动撤消,不会有任何金额从信用卡上划走。您不需要有美国或者英国信用卡来参与认捐,在世界任何地方只要您有常见的信用卡例如Visa, Mastercard, American Express等,您就可以参与支持我们。

    您的捐赠非常重要。除此之外,您可以在社交网站如Facebook和Twitter上分享我们的页面。

    Facebook www.facebook.com/landofmanypalaces

    Twitter www.twitter.com/PalacesOrdos

  • 影片什么时候完成?什么时候会收到您的礼物?

我们计划在2013年末完成拍摄,然后有7个月的后期制作期。影片将于2014年夏季完成,然后参与电影节直至2015年末。不同的捐赠带给您不同的礼物:我们的邮件群和社交网络在拍摄期、后期制作期以及影片完成后会有定期的更新。影片的DvD和各种放映将在2014年下旬和2015年进行。

Risks and challenges

We understand that making a documentary in China is challenge, but we feel it is achievable given our experience as filmmakers, and our past experiences living and working in China. We also think that because of the nature of our collaboration, and with it being cross-cultural, we have developed a way of working in China that is efficient and effective.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    (£10 CONVERTS TO AROUND $15 USD)

    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! We'll send you email updates about the production of the film, and you'll be in the ending "Thank You" credits and on the films official website.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $30

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    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! You'll get a set of digital movie postcards, an opportunity to see the finished film online, plus everything above.

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    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! You'll get a copy of the film on DVD, plus everything above.

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    (£50 CONVERTS TO AROUND $75 USD)

    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! You'll get a limited-edition DVD of the film with bonus content, plus everything above.

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    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! You'll get a framed poster, we'll organize a Skype conversation with you to answer any questions you have about the film, plus everything above.

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    (£500 CONVERTS TO AROUND $760 USD)

    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! You'll get a book about the production of the film, and everything above.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,512

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    Massive THANKS from Adam and Ting! You'll get 2 tickets to the premiere of the film in your country (flight tickets not included), and everything above.

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Funding period

- (30 days)