We were somewhere 30 minutes outside of a mountainous village outside of a city two hours outside of Shanghai.  This moment, here on the outskirts of China overlooking a seemingly endless, mountainous horizon, I decided that I was not in the vast, monolithic, and dizzying place that I had once decided this country was.  China was hushed, peaceful, and reserved.  As an intimate, four-man crew, we experienced and captured through our lens one of the most majestic sunrises that I have ever seen.  Yes, majestic for its impressive beauty but also for its impressive circumstance.  Here we were — the four of us.  Three of us were Canadian yet of differing cultural backgrounds.  Canadian-Greek, Canadian-Ukranian, and Canadian-Chinese.  Our 1st Camera Assistant, Wen, was not from Canada.  He was from China and spoke 1 1/2 words of English.  Wen was intelligent, compassionate, and hard-working.  He had this innate ability to communicate and identify with his emotions.  He was a storyteller.  It’s how we communicated, Wen and I.  Through story, shot compositions, cinematography, focus, and beats.  The sun pierced the darkness and illuminated the world around us.  Others had told me that it would be difficult to see through China’s infamous smog and, yet, here I was.  Wen pulled the focus, smiling, as we captured the torch of a new day.


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