Peter Chan (陳可辛), the director of American Dreams in China <中國先生> and crew filmed in New York in late September to complete final scenes for the film. American Dreams in China centers around the friendship of Chinese college students, their struggles, and their entrepreneurial spirit. The week of filming included Times Square, Columbia University, and the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, thereby completing the “Beijingers in New York” story.
American Dreams in China is a rag to riches story of how three friends created an English language training school and eventually evolved this company into a billion dollar empire. The story spans three decades and is set against the backdrop of economic and social change in China. Starring Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明), Chao Deng (鄧超), Dawei Tong (佟大為) and Du Juan (杜鵑), this movie will be released spring of next year.
NYPD Came to the Rescue
When the crew of American Dreams in China arrived in New York, they received enthusiastic support by local Chinese residents. Realizing that many passionate fans would show up at the busy Times Square and Fifth Avenue filming locations, the New York Police Department helped out by making sure the shooting went smoothly.
While the cast and crew were filming at Columbia University, many Chinese students studying there gave the cast and crew recommendations on places for great Chinese food; some students stayed there for the entire day to help out.
During the filming in New York, many of the crew’s families flew over to support the team. Deng’s family, Huang’s parents, and Tong’s wife and daughter all traveled to New York. The artists’ families cherished the tradition of celebrating the family during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Peter Chan Discusses “American Dreams in China”
During the final day of location shooting at Times Square, the three male leads took a heartwarming photo with director Peter Chan while lifting him up off his feet. Smiling widely in the photo, Peter said, “This is exactly how I feel about American Dreams in China: happiness. This film is marks a new start at the mid-point of my life. I did a lot of things for the first time. It’s the first time I did a movie with a modern theme on mainland China; the first time I worked with mainland actors, and not just one but three; the first time I made really close friends after the age of 30, and again three at a time; first time I hugged a man, and again there were three. I went home and told my wife, Sandra Ng (吳君如), that it must be tough being a woman, who often has to hug an unclean and unshaven man. Being picked up by the three actors and photographed in public, again, was also the first time. Those who know me are surprised by how I became so open so suddenly. ”
An Emotional Peter Chan
During the last day of shooting, Peter Chan shed his tears again. “Today will be the last day of shooting, and my eyes are red. This is not the first time, it happened many times in the film. It has happened to me many times in the past with other movies, but this movie is special. I hope to continue to make movies, and occasionally I will get emotional. It would be nice to keep this feeling for a long long time.”
When the shooting in Beijing was finished in late August, the production crew prepared a memoir for the starring cast. The memoir was filled with essays and records to wish the stars good luck. When filming was finished in New York, the cast decided to make a memoir with handwritten essays as a return gift for director Peter Chan, producer Jo Jo Hui (許月珍), photographer Christopher Doyle (杜可風), and Costume and Makeup Designer Dora Ng (吳裡璐).
Huang Xiaoming wrote, ” When a person recognizes you from the role you played, and not by your real name, you know you did a good job. People remember Cheng Dongqing, and not Huang Xiaoming. This was what I was working so hard for! ”
Chao Deng wrote with great length and a great sense of humor. He said, “There are three kinds of dreams, unintelligible dreams, nightmares, and sweet dreams! Our team is full of creativity and battle effectiveness! All of them are wonderful Mr. and Ms. Chinese!”
Tong was concise but his words delivered deep meaning. He said, “The best part, the chemistry of the creative team in their creative process! ”
Du Juan’s message was simple but she said it best, “In American Dreams in China, I am Samui. I feel great in participating in the movie.”
This article is written by Lance for JayneStars.com.
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