Maria in NYC Music Project – Day 14

And it’s been another long day; wow. I spent from 11am in the morning until nearly 5pm working for my freelance client; I think I’ll ask to be paid at the end of the month. We’ve kind of got it set up where we negotiate payment for chunks of work at a time and we’ve sort of let it slip this last time, but I’m pretty sure it’s implied that I’ll be owed money. Either way, hopefully there’ll be multiple sources of income coming soon.

I had to run from my work to meet everyone for dinner; not to drop too many names, but we had dinner with ChenHong and her sons Alex and Authur (maybe Author?); we had Peking Duck :) This is incidentally the first time I’ve eaten that at a restaurant in all the long time since being in China! We then left to go to the movie set where Chen Kaige was filming his latest movie. It was pretty neat, though really far, like 60km out of town, but it’s a new complex they had built meant solely for filming movies in. So imagine a massive interior space, like, at least five stories high, with this neat fake period set with multiple rooms and courtyards and tents and such within. Real neat. Watching Chinese people film Chinese people movies is a wholly, entirely different experience. Apparently, whereas US filmmakers will use as much film as possible while filming, from as many angles as possible, for as long as possible per take and shot, so that when in post production and editing they are sure to have whatever possible footage they’d need, to the point even where they have as much as 100 to 1 of film they’d use versus film they’d shot, in China, it’s exactly the opposite. At most, 3 to 1 of film they’d use versus film they’d shot. Film is expensive here, or was, and that mentality has stuck, so they film a lot of REALLY short shots, like a whole bunch of prep just to film a 5 second sequence 3 times at most. They film exactly as they’d imagine how they’d ultimate edit the thing together, which means they’re left with very little flexibility in the end for deviating from their original vision. Shrugs, it’s neat though to watch :) We drank SuanMeiTang (plum juice), mingled with all the fancy movie people, exchanged phone numbers. Just to name drop one more time, apparently I’m supposed to teach English to Huang XiaoMing, the Chinese people might know him but I’d never heard of him before.

Um…so that takes us to basically now. I’m going to stop now because I’m exhausted and don’t wanna type anymore and am going to try to get some sleep.

Today’s song though is Simon and Garfunkle – The Boxer. Again, one of the first songs that I’d learned to play on the guitar. I even remember the process:

I was on a sailboat, in a private cove on Catalina Island (yeah, I know…). I had just started learning to play the guitar and hadn’t even learned how to tune one properly yet. I was there with Claire’s family and Burke, and had spent like half an hour tuning the dumb thing as best as possible. I was somehow convinced back then that I couldn’t do relative tuning and NEEDED to tune to a proper E. Either way. But as a testament to just how neat I was back then even as a wee youngin’, I managed to figure out how to play most of this song by ear!

Um…so here it is!

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maria | July 12th, 2010 

Your life is always more exciting when I’m away. (Wonder what the lesson is there.) Good for you, mingling with moviestars. ;) Wish I could see the filming space!

sean | July 22nd, 2010 

I’m sorry we keep going to all the interesting places when you’re not here. It’s not a conscious decision I promise you, and it’s not that I don’t want to do these things with you, it’s that I really do but just haven’t had the time or means to do it. I mean, we’re both busy you and I, (though I guess we did have the time and won’t anymore heh) and I only now have the time because I’m consciously devoting time to my family, and my mother’s paying for everything.

I will keep a list of all things we should do together and when you get back we shall visit upon them all I promise you :)

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