Hello! It”s me, Kishi, your friendly, neighbourhood Camerman (worlds worse superhero)…
It was a rainy day in June when Ramy picked me up. With everything crammed into my carry on bag (luggage was reserved for camera kit) we set off on our adventure (with student, Alex) to Hong Kong, the Big Chinese Apple(…?)
We had been sent packing like a pair of Railway Children to film a promotional video for the Business School up at the beautiful University of Gloucestershire
We left early Monday evening and landed Tuesday early evening. After finding out what the Cantonese for ‘thank you’ was – mhgoi in case you need to know – we headed through airport security and out into the Special Administrative Region (SARs) of China. Heat. Heat and sweat. Even Ramy, a native to Egypt was wilting.
We hailed a – very questionable – cab and proceeded to The Grand Harbour Hotel in Fortress Hill on Hong Kong Island. After check-in in a hotel we were definitely under-dressed for (accompanied with a harpist playing at the top of the grand staircase) we popped out to grab something to eat before going to sleep. The restaurant we chose was on Lockhart road in the Wan Chai district. After pointing at what looked delicious on the menu we ordered. When the food arrived we took an educated guess as to which dish was whose and started eating. I don’t know what I ate in the end but it was noodely, delicious. And not at all dog.
Then sleep. Well, “sleep”. At 35 degrees and 95% humidity, even air-con couldn’t help escape the tropical, equatorial climate which made sleeping, walking, eating, breathing and being a challenge. Still, we got some sort of rest. Wednesday morning we woke early. A trip on the glorious MTR (the Hong Kong underground system. Air-conned and with phone signal even at its’ deepest depths, the only time I’ve ever enjoyed being on an underground) took us to Kowloon side, the main land area of the SAR for our first shoot. The difference between Hong Kong island and Kowloon side was just a drastic a change as Hong Kong island was to the UK. Where as HK was very British (British road signs, pedestrian crossings, shops, businesses, banks etc) Kowloon side was everything you’d imagine China to be. Bustling market places, street vendors hawking their wares, the occasional funny straw hat oh, and the heat (did I mention it was warm?)
We decided to set up shoot on one of the main streets in Sham Shui Po. We had taken with us an a7s with a Sigma 24-70mm lens for our wides and a Canon 5D with a 30mm lens for our alternate close up. In a land of technology, we didn’t expect to draw much attention with what we deemed to be our modest set up, but it didn’t take long for the crowds to gather. It got to the point where we were forced to literally ask people to not be in shot/look at the camera. Weather it was someone off in the distant background (which we can deal with), to people standing right next to Alex staring right down the lens as if they were his co-host, shooting on the streets was a challenge.
This kind of thing wasn’t new to us. Even in sunny old Blighty you encounter members of the public who love breaking the fourth wall (like, seriously, c’mon, who do you think you are? Woody Allen?) Although we had the additional language barrier to deal with. a standard part of shooting in public is politely telling people where they’ll be able to find the video or explaining the nuances of Radio law (which still governs filming to this day).
It was at this point we decided to head up a hill we’ll never forget….
For more information on us and what we do, or if you want your own video made (we can shoot it here, you dont need to send us abroad) drop us a line on the electronic mail or telephonic communications device.