Hengdian World Studios is one of the largest artificial film studios in China. It is located in Hengdian, Zhejiang Province.
Much of Legacy of China was shot using the Hengdian Studios in March 2008.
This is the opening scene shot at Hengdian World Studios, showing two Generals which are about to greet Qin Shi Huang, the 1st Emperor of China. The supernumeraries were recruited locally from the surrounding villages.
The picture shows a scene in the region of Guilin, which is famous for its karst mountains and the unsurpassed beauty of the Li River.
Guilin fishermen used birds (Cormorants) to catch fish. These large birds are tied to the fishermen but have enough rope length to dive for fish. They cannot swallow their catch because a ring device is placed around their throat hindering them from doing so. The fishermen often fish at dawn and use their long poles and lamps to light their way. The lights attract schools of fish and make it easy for the cormorants to catch them.
The traditional Yushu Horse Racing Festival takes place each year from July 25th to 30th. The festival is a pageant of the local Yushu Tibetans who are dressed in their traditional costumes. The program includes horse racing, Tibetan tumbling, horsemanship, archery, shooting, dancing, and singing. The festival was used to introduce and explain the impact on warfare which the invention of the stirrup had in the 3rd century BC. The stirrup allowed accurate shooting of weapons and a close association between horse and rider that has continued to this day. The stirrup was unknown to ancient cavalry armies including the Persians, the Romans, the Egyptians, and the Greeks.
Every year on the 28th of September the Birthday of Confucius is celebrated in Qufu, the hometown of the great philosopher.
The philosophy of Confucius was primarily concerned with the proper relationships between human beings. He stated different rules for different kinds of social interaction including family life, the correct behavior towards friends and elders, and the relationship between the Emperor and his citizens.
New York has many examples of one ancient Chinese invention, the suspension bridge.
Chinese engineering of the suspension bridge manifested an advanced understanding of physics as early as the 3rd century AD. The West did not build suspension bridges for at least another 1800 years.
The Anlan Suspension bridge across Minjiang River in Dujiangyan was built about 300 AD. It is the first of its kind in China. It was 261m long and was supported by wood pegs, stone piers, and bamboo ropes of 500m length.
This ancient Greek theatre was designed in the 4th century BC and provided space for an audience of 15,000 people. Greek theatre was used for drama, in a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between 550 and 220 BC.
The design of Greek theaters allows for excellent acoustics. The audience could easily hear an actor speaking without amplification. In fact, you could even hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage.
In 1264 Emperor Li Tsung gave a banquet in the Palace Hall in honor of his Empress-mother, Kung Sheng. A display of fireworks was supposed to impress the guests. Probably by accident, an unpredictable squib, nowadays known as the “ground rat”, raced towards the Empress-mother and frightened her greatly.
The ground rat firework is most likely inspired by another Chinese invention, the rocket. Developed around 1150AD, rockets were first applied in warfare in 1206 by the Sung Chinese defending the city of Hsiangyang against the Chin.
The Dongyuan Well is still producing 20,000 m3 of natural gas a day. It has accumulated a total of more than half a billion m3 – an uncontested world record.
As early as the 1st Century BC, during the Han dynasty, the people of Sichuan province drilled for “brine” (a combination of salt and water) in order to produce salt. Often it required to drill hundreds of feet through rock. Instead of finding brine only, they often also found gas. The Chinese started to channel the gas through bamboo tubes and used it to heat giant iron pans in which they placed the brine. The heat made the water vaporize and thereby separate from the salt. This marks the beginning of the Chinese gas industry, which started operating about 1400 years before the West did.
Around 850 AD, during the Tang Dynasty, gunpowder was invented by accident. Ironically, the Chinese alchemist was not searching for an explosive substance, but for an elixir that would make one immortal. The mixture had no life-lengthening properties, but it did explode with a flash and a bang when exposed to an open flame. The key ingredient which made the difference was nitrate. According to a historic document, “smoke and flames result, so that hands and faces were burnt, and even the whole house where they were working burned down.”
In 904 A.D, Song Dynasty military forces used gunpowder devices against their primary enemy, the Mongols. The weapon was “flying fire” (fei huo), an arrow with a burning tube of gunpowder attached to the shaft which instilled terror among both men and horses.
Director Jonathan Finnagan and Director of Photography (camera operator) Grant Mason with a crew of 65 persons at the Hengdian World Studios, shot the opening sequence of the film. The TV series was recorded on a super 16mm film and transferred to HD (high definition TV format). For the film production, a highly sophisticated lighting system was used. You can see how the camera is set up on “tracks”in order to guarantee smooth movement of the visuals. No efforts have been spared in order to create a visual masterpiece.
Family Mo lives in Guanxi Province in Southern China, an isolated rural area hundreds of miles from Shanghai. The family has been living there for hundreds of years and their property has been passed on from generation to generation. As the air is particularly fresh and everything else also seems to be better than anywhere else, the Mo’s believe that there is very good “fung shui” in the area. The family counts about 50 to 60 people who all participate in the agricultural production. In the Chinese culture, family life has always been extremely important. In the rural south, up to 100 relatives may live together under the rule of the oldest male. “Five generations under one roof” is said to be the ideal case. Younger generations are expected to obey older ones, to show respect towards them and to maintain the good reputation of the family name.
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