pRODUCTION NOTEs

 
 

 

HONG KONG

 

In March 2006 cast and crew headed to Hong Kong to film the Hong Kong Ballet's full dress rehearsal of SUZIE WONG, a stunning new contemporary ballet, directed by Stephen Jefferies. We fully participated in the Press Conference to launch the Ballet's limited season with Nancy Kwan, the original Suzie Wong, playing a pivotal role as a spokesperson for the production. On a foggy morning, three days before the full dress-rehearsal, we took a 1960's era Ferry boat out on to the fragrant harbor to conduct various media interviews with the Ballet's principal cast members, which was filmed for our production. Nancy Kwan was the principal guest on the opening night premiere, which took place at the Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium in the New territories.  Many local celebrities were in attendance, including Martial Arts Superstar, Jackie Chan. The ballet was a "smash success", and Faye Leung (the show's "Suzie Wong"), captivated the sold-out audience. We celebrated the show's success at a wonderful old side-walk traditional restaurant, right beside the local bus station. The ambiance was enhanced by the constant diesel fumes from the buses!

 

SAN FRANCISCO

 

In early July, 2006 we flew to San Francisco, where Nancy was starring in the Gala night opening of LOVE LETTERS with her FLOWER DRUM SONG co-star James Shigeta, at the historical Herbst Theater. We filmed the full dress rehearsal of the play and conducted individual on-camera interviews with James Shigeta and the plays sponsor Chris Hirano of the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California. The opening night was a gem, and little did the nearly sold-out audience realize that James Shigeta had inadvertently skipped a few lines in the script, requiring Nancy to quickly realize what had happened and to adlib a bridge to allow James to continue as though nothing had happened. It was a master stroke of genius on Nancy’s part and the audience were completely unaware of the James’ flubbing of his lines.

While in San Francisco we also interviewed a most delightful lady Renee Robertson (Nancy Kwan’s Aunt) who recounted some compelling memories of Nancy’s life to the cameras. We also interviewed Mark Longtin and his wife Lina Hsu, who were visiting from New York. Mark and Lina created and initiated Nancy Kwan’s official website at www.Nancy-Kwan.com

It would be a year later in 2007, that we would return to San Francisco to do further interviews with Renee Robertson and a sit down on-camera interview with the lovely Joan Chen.

CAMBODIA


On March 1st, 2007 our crew consisting of cameramen Brandon Hull and Craig McCourry and with Nancy and Norbert and other crew members, flew to Cambodia via Thailand to “shoot” what has become the “heart and soul” of KA SHEN’S JOURNEY. We were met at Siam Reaps’ airport by Jonathan Lee, who had flown in from Hong Kong and Nancy Nash who represented the incredible Amansara Resorts who were our hosts throughout our Cambodian stay. Three days were spent capturing on camera the majesty and mystery of the temples of Angkor Wat, including the people and their way of life. Cambodia was in many ways a humbling experience for us all. It was also a poignant time as Nancy spoke on camera of the loss of her beloved son Bernie, which is the third act in our picture. We cannot speak too highly of our Amansara hosts who were remarkable and who made our stay most memorable. On our last day we toured the countryside and visited a Silkworm factory. It was amazing to see the conditions that the locals worked under to produce such beautiful products.

HONG KONG


After Cambodia, we returned once more to Hong Kong where we shot on-camera interviews with local legends Ted Thomas and Arthur Hacker in the most famous watering hole in Central – the Foreign Correspondent’s Club. As it had been very hot in Cambodia we did get to sink a lot of cold beer in the Club as we made it our base while in Hong Kong for the second time. On Monday March 12 we drove out to the beautiful Dragon Gardens where we had been granted very kind permission to shoot further B-Roll and a further interview with K.K.Kwan. This was the original location for an action shoot on one of the early Roger Moore / James Bond movies.

Back at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club we continued to do further interviews with locals who had known Nancy at various stages of her life. On one of the days we visited with venerable Charles Wang of Salon Films, who did a series of on-camera interviews with us. Charles was most gracious as he re-counted the story of his beloved father T.C. Wang who had founded Salon Films and joined forces with Ray Stark to produce THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG. Sadly Charles passed away before we had finished our picture.

Back on Central we visited with Phil Whelan at Radio Television Hong Kong where we interviewed Phil on camera, then in turn Phil conducted an interview with Nancy on air. Our last interview in Hong Kong was with Elaine Forsgate Marden, who invited us to her beautiful home high up on the mountain above central on Hong Kong island.

LOS ANGELES


We spent many weeks shooting in and around Los Angeles including on-camera interviews with actress Vivian Wu, veteran producers Andre Morgan and Ed Feldman. We spent some interesting time with many of Nancy’s friends and acquaintances including Irene Tsu and Veronica Kwan-Rubinek. We were able to learn a lot about Nancy’s talented son Bernie, a unique individual and an accomplished stuntman and director. Since commencing our first “shoots” in Hong Kong in March of 2006 we finally concluded our last “shoots” in Los Angeles in September of 2009 – everything as they say, was finally in the can!