During late May and early June this year, filmmaker Kadri Koop and I co-directed and shot "Fantasy Factory" throughout China and are currently in post-production.
"In a series of photoshoots, a disorienting docu-fantasy explores the dissonance between desired and lived realities against the industrial, rural, and replica-cityscapes of contemporary China."
While living and teaching film in China during early 2017, I spent 3 weekends shooting "Nightworld" in Chongqing - one of the world's largest, but strangely unknown, cities with a population of over 30 million. The film was entirely shot at night, beginning as a study on urban night activities throughout the city, with an emphasis on performance. While shooting and researching the city, I came across a community of scaler daredevils, who climb buildings and structures throughout the city and take photographs that are later posted on Instagram and Chinese social media accounts. It took a while to build a line of communication and trust with the community, as what they do is technically illegal. On my second trip, I managed to meet with two mute-deaf scalers - Cao Yu and Liu Zhixin - who climbed together and agreed to let me follow them. Their journey throughout the city, climbing various structures, became the backbone of the final short film, from which I build out other shot and night scenarios of the city. The final film plays just under 6 minutes, is without dialogue, and features music by Rob Scales who I worked with on "The Land of Many Palaces" and "Americaville"
The blog for documentary filmmaker, Adam James Smith.