Shana & Nicki reading their scripts with cashier Vicki
We began writing scripts for this video about a month ago and we filmed it in two consecutive days, 9am-7pm. The setting for the film took place at Taiping Elementary School in the Xiao Gang district, which is about 40 minutes from where all of us live at the Kaohsiung Cultural Center. When we got there, we immediately launched into filming our various scenes--classroom, recess time, MRT, airport, birthday party, shopping, talking on the phone, library, and hotel.
Rehearsing on the simulated airplane environment wth our scripts
Of course, our children's video would not be complete, though, without songs, right? So, after filming for many hours straight through, we sang three songs:
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
If You're Happy and You Know It...
For the "Hokey Pokey", we just danced. For "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," I played a chicken who "went a cluck-cluck here and a cluck-cluck there, here-a-cluck, there-a-cluck, everywhere a cluck-cluck,..." For "If You're Happy and You Know It.." we all sang the song and did the actions associated with the emotions happy, sad, and angry. It was quite an exhausting two days.
Can you tell we just loved each other after rehearsal and were so full of energy?
We were so exhausted from acting each scene multiple times. Furthermore, the air conditioning was off because the fans and the air conditioner would interfere with the sound. The good thing was that we could get all the filming done in one place, Taiping English Village. Taiping Elementary School had all the equipment we needed to do our film; it had a classroom, a simulated airport environment, a simulated MRT train, a simulated hotel, a simulated grocery store, and a big area where we could sing and dance.
Those two days were so tiring. However, I do look forward to our finished project, which we still have yet to name. We sang and danced our hearts out, Kaohsiung. We hope you find this video useful and entertaining!
Now I know how exhausting it is to be an actor, for say "Blue's Clues." Goodness, you really have to be smiling, happy, and full of energy. It's not easy.
You can find more pictures of our crazy day of filming here.
Ip Man (葉問)
Additionally, one of my relatives suggested I watch this documentary:
Up the Yangtze
Up the Yangtze is a documentary on how the building of the Three Gorges Dam in China is affecting the lives of millions of people and their culture. I hope to watch it when I go back to the States.
Above: The Pearl of Eternal Love (August)
There is a pearl for every single month. When we were at the Dragonfly Beads Art Studio, I decided to make the pearls pictured below for my family. I did not choose the pearls based on my family members' birth month, but instead chose the pearls based on aesthetics and meaning.
One of the artists helped me make the beads. She was part of the tribe, Paiwan, that specializes in making these glass beads. The population of the Paiwan is somewhat above 82,000. According to a brochure from the Bureau of Cultural, Park, Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Paiwan are the best at handicrafts. Apparently their expertise in handicrafts is a result of their heirarchical social structure; the nobles have a lot of time to refine their artistic skills because they do not participate in the daily-life productions. The Paiwan make a variety of objects, ranging from tools to architectural parts (i.e. wooden beams, pillars, etc.).
After making our beads, which took about 8 minutes to make and 40 minutes to cool, we headed to the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park. There, we saw the tribe members of Paiwan dance and light firecrackers. The costumes they wore were very beautiful and brightly colored. We took a bus to the indoor Naluwan Theater within the park and on the way, saw many beautiful scenic spots.
For more pictures of this cultural experience, please see this album: Taiwan Photo Set 19: Sandimen Village.
I am now in Hong Kong. I arrived the day before yesterday after 23 hours of grueling travel. I traveled from Denver to Los Angeles International Airport and then to Taipei, Taiwan before finally arriving in Hong Kong. It certainly wasn't the most comfortable trip, but I did find some movies enjoyable. I was especially moved by this Chinese documentary on young Chinese children training at Li Xiaoshuang Gymnastics School. You can watch the entire film on YouTube. It's a very sad story of the hardships the the toddlers and families go through in pining for glory in gymnastics. It was especially wrenching when I heard the kids explain why they wanted to pursue gymnastics. I will not ruin the movie for you here, but I do suggest watching this film and discussing it with friends and family.