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Producer tells story behind publicity video

2011-01-23 12:52:10 GMT2011-01-23 20:52:10(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Footages of a short film promoting China (L) are shown on the screens at the Times Square in New York, the U.S.A., Jan. 17, 2011. The video will be on until Feb. 14, 2011. (Xinhua/Wu Kaixiang)

BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Three years ago when Jason Shen stood on the Times Square for the first time, he didn't expect that a video clip he produced could be shown at the "Crossroads of the World".

"In the eyes of an advertisement specialist, Times Square is a dream, where the biggest screen was as tall as a four-storey building and every day about 70,000 passengers could see the ads," said the chief executive officer of Shanghai Lowe & Partners advertising company.

The company won the bidding of producing China's national publicity video in November 2009.

"Our biggest challenge was how to show a real China within just 60 seconds," he recalled.

After brainstorming, his team agreed that the main theme should be human beings.

"The persons appearing in the video clip were like messengers to convey China's friendliness to the world," he said.

The video was a step China takes in its foreign relations efforts, and a chance for Shen individually to fulfill a dream.

Working as the chief executive producer, Shen gave some details in the filming of the video.

"Famous actress Zhang Ziyi was a very amiable person," he said. "She was very cooperative and the dress she wore was decided by arranged by our team."

John Woo was excited hearing about the plan to make such a national publicity video work. "He told me that it was like reviewing the excitement when hearing China won the bidding of the 2008 Beijing Olympics."

Deng Yaping, the four-time Olympic table tennis champion, was not sure how to pose in front of the camera.

"I told her that she just need to smile like when Ex-Olympic Chief Juan Antonio Samaranch put the gold medal around her neck," Shen said.

All celebrities agreed to appear in the video free-of-charge.

The smiling faces at the end of the 60-second video were gathered at the Shanghai World Expo, when it was hot and the temperature reached 40 degrees Celsius.

But Shen and his team were left with some pity. "It was not easy to have six astronauts including Yang Liwei in the filming. But we could have made the video more lively by asking them to change more poses," he said.

After the video was aired, Shen was sometimes questioned if the 59 persons in the short video could represent the entire of China.

"A good advertisement should give audiences strong visual impact and be enlightening," he said. "I believe that the celebrities and ordinary people from all walks of life could represent a mild and elegant image of China."

The 60-second national publicity video is shown 15 times every hour on the Times Square from January 17 to February 14. It is expected to be aired on CNN from January 17 to February 13.

A 15-minute documentary produced by the team, which is to be used at important events of Chinese embassies, was also finished. It will show the beautiful scenery of China.

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