Director's Blog
A Thankful Holiday Season
November 24th, 2012

It’s been an incredible year for SHANGHAI CALLING, with sold-out film festival screenings on two continents, rave reviews, and even a few festival prizes. In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I’d share some of things I’ve felt incredibly thankful for in 2012.

1)  A Talented Cast

I’ve met with a bunch of producers recently, many of whom have praised me for the actors’ performances in SHANGHAI CALLING.  I usually just smile and say “thanks,” but to be honest DANIEL HENNEY, ELIZA COUPE, BILL PAXTON, ZHU ZHU, GENG LE, and ALAN RUCK made me look good.  All I did was put my trust in them and make them feel safe, so that they could feel free to try different things and make their own discoveries on the set.

It helped that we were also on a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime adventure running around Shanghai shooting a movie on a shoestring budget.  That’s the kind of experience that builds the chemistry that comes in handy when the cameras are rolling.  And during the promotional work, too – at the at the Shanghai International Film Festival, we all wound up ducking into musty projection booths and cramming into cargo elevators to stay out of sight.

Eliza Coupe and Daniel Henney hide from the crowds in a Shanghai projection booth.

Daniel Henney, Zhu Zhu, and Kara Wang ride a cargo elevator.

Definitely not the most comfortable conditions, but hilarious reminders of what it’s really like to shoot a movie in China!

2) A Spectacular Producer

If you were to approach me today with a script that took place in China, required a bunch of bilingual US and Chinese actors, had neither the financing nor the permits in place, and was to be helmed by a first-time director, I’d advise you not to waste your time.  Fortunately, producer JANET YANG didn’t feel that way about SHANGHAI CALLING.  She recognized the potential of the script and took a gamble on the movie despite my inexperience, and together we embarked on a two-year journey to get the cameras rolling.  I told Janet early on that if we ever managed to get the movie made, I would shout praise from the mountaintops about her abilities as a film producer.

Make no mistake about it: without Janet Yang, SHANGHAI CALLING would never have happened.

3) Amazing Fans

Seriously, our fans are incredible.  You guys have come out to support the movie in LA, New York, Shanghai, Mill Valley, Denver, San Diego, and something tells me we can count on you to keep spreading the word about the movie when we release it here in the U.S.  Speaking of which, there’s one more thing I have to be thankful for…

4) A Enthusiastic Distributor

We just signed a deal to distribute SHANGHAI CALLING in the U.S., which means it will be coming to theaters and VOD early in 2013 year.  I can’t say anything specific yet about the cities or dates, but our distributors are EXTREMELY excited about the movie and will be working their butts off to get the word out there.

As we gear up for the release next year, you can count on seeing more blog posts, tweets, and Facebook announcements from all of us at SHANGHAI CALLING.  Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay informed of the latest news!  Happy Holidays everyone!



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