Dan in Beijing

Dan is a senior cinema-television major who is producing, writing and directing a TV show with Televisa during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

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Days that last 30 hours

Before I tell you guys a little more about China, I would like to start with the beginning of the summer.

Since last April things have been completely crazy in my life – there are mornings that I wake up (if I even go to sleep) where I just sit and try to realize that this is actually happening.

After spending two months working in the major motion picture The Burning Plain with a good friend and mentor, Guillermo, the perspective of my dreams changed. I started seeing people whom I admired and idolized not as untouchables, but as co-workers, and even got lucky enough to call some of them friends. Job opportunities kept appearing as days went by.

After crazy days running around L.A., learning more than I could ever have imagined and getting my first film credit, I was re-hired by Universal Music Latin America to fly south of the border and shoot three new music videos. I took this chance to allow two of my good friends at SMU to get a professional break (I asked Will to be my Director of Photography and Rob to create the Special Effects). After pushing both of them by shooting three videos in four days, I wasn’t even done when I had to jump on a plane again and go location-scouting to Russia, Sweden, Finland, England and Denmark.

And finally one of my last stops of the summer, currently I’m in Beijing working for Televisa, directing, producing and writing a series of episodes for the Olympics broadcast show I created. As my boss said to me on the first day: “No pressure, not that many people see us – only more than 300 million …”

Well, actually there is pressure, and things are crazy. Days seemed to last 30 to 40 hours. As the countdown clock was ticking for the Olympics to start, more and more stress desperately took over the halls of the IBC. I got here on August 1, and I started working on my episodes I prepared months ago right away. First of all I would like to mention that one of the main sections I take care of involves directing and producing an 8-year-old. It’s cool to actually be the youngest producer in the history of the Olympics and have in my show the youngest reporter of the Olympics, but it’s too much work to work with kids.

After finishing the first four episodes, I found myself almost about to cry when the boss asked me to change the whole focus and structure of the program. It was back to zero … I felt frustrated. Here I am by myself in a country where I hardly understand anyone, missing home, wishing I could be resting at least one day of my summer, and I was feeling worthless, but that didn’t stop me. I woke up the next day and filmed all day.

Yesterday I showed one of the new episodes to the boss, and everyone went crazy, reviews were amazing. Now there is a bigger problem – I was asked to change my originally 15 episodes planned to 30 episodes.

So here I am sitting in my hotel room in Beijing by myself, tired and stressed. I haven’t seen any sights except for the ones I film in – but I love it. I love what I do, I’m excited to go out every day, and I can’t wait for the debut of the show tomorrow.

I’ll try to post as much as I can and keep everyone updated. There are many amazing things about this country and culture I want to tell everyone about. And photos will be up soon.

If anyone is interested in watching the show, the show is broadcast by Televisa. In the United States, check Univision and look for “La Jugada Olimpica.”

Zai Jian (goodbye).

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