Kedong County

A few months ago, I took a brief trip to China’s rural northeast. With the speed of China’s urbanization evident every day I passed in Beijing, I had begun to wonder what China’s rural villages looked like. Was it just opportunity drawing millions of migrant workers to China’s cities? Or was something pushing them out of the countryside, too? Here’s what we found:

0 thoughts on “Kedong County”

  1. Hey, I really enjoy what you guys did with the film. It’s short simple and to the point. And it really strikes a chord watching it. The interviews are super cool and it’s a nice contrast of the different generations point of view at the end.

    That being said, I have a bit of criticism about the the cinematography (with the knowledge that you guys are working on a second film.) You guys obviously put in a bit of time to translate everything and having subtitles going back and forth between chinese and English, and I understand you guys were on a tight budget but consider next time putting a little extra time and energy; 1. into the actual filming I.E how your holding the video camera. and 2. into the editing of the film.

    Watching was getting me pretty dizzy and there was some points where I literally had to stop watching and just listen. I know a bit about low budget films and this is the only reason I would comment about this. I used to work for a small skateboard shop, and not being as good as the rest of the team at the shop I ended up having to film a lot of the time for the little local skate video’s. Super low budget, cheap equipment and no professional editing software but the more we filmed the cleaner and more professional looking they came out. they were fun to make and watch.

    when your doing moving shots (i.e. while your walking.) don’t bounce up and down with the camera in your hand. tread softly with out a lot of up and down movement and pay attention to whats going on with the camera so you don’t get the bouncing, shakey shots. Also when your panning around (i.e. up the building, or in the deserted hospital) as much as you might want to jerk the camera from one thing to the next you need to remember to make smooth subtle movements. The Key: smooth movements and simply being conscious of what your doing with the camera and shot your getting.

    I did a lot of shots back when I was younger while riding a skateboard, and had to really work to make them look good. (not to mention ran into things frequently because I wasn’t looking where I was going. and although the first films were nothing to talk about the films progressively got better and more professional looking. (we never made any real money from the films.) I’m telling you this because I believe you guys can improve enormously, you guys have great subject and great Idea’s. With a little more time and effort (and really no extra money) you can make these look a lot more professional. whoever is filming has obviously got a good eye. There’s some great shots, they’re just sometimes shaky and jerky .

    Also about editing, you’d be amazed what you can do with the basic software on macs. we had a buddy that had one when we where doing the movies and we edited everything on it, I’m sure you can do a lot with windows now too I just know the software came on the macs to start. now I have one as well but am no longer skateboarding or making movies. You can clean up some of the coloring from one shot to the next so that the color transitions are more smooth to the eye. you can do a lot more than that but I just noticed that the colors would get goofy from time to time. once again, a little more time and effort, no extra money = much more profesional looking movie.

    I honestly love it, it’s raw and full of Ideas. My reason for being critical is because I see a lot of potential.



  2. @ stirfry: Thanks for you comment, and sorry for the very slow reply, I just now saw it. But you’re 100% right about the shots in this. We learned a TON from making this film, which I think is bad in a lot of different ways; we made mistakes with everything from the research to the shooting to the editing, and more.

    But one of the biggest lessons I learned from it was hold every shot steady for ten seconds before you try anything weird. We shot a lot for this piece that was unusable because I didn’t hold shots long enough, but we couldn’t go back and reshoot so some of it ended up in the piece anyway.

    This was also the first thing we’d shot in 24p, which obviously is much harsher on sudden camera movement than 60i which is what I’d previously been shooting.

    As you can see, at the time we also didn’t have a tripod or even a monopod, let alone sliders or anything like that, to help stabilize shots. If you check out the trailer for Living with Dead Hearts i think you’ll agree the camera work is better — although still not perfect.


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