BEIJING,June 27 (Xinhuanet)-- Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's upcoming film "Aftershock" has released a 3-minute behind-the-scenes short film revealing the simple but impressive performances by the extras and other non-professional actors.
The extras who worked on the film were all local citizens from Tangshan city and had no prior acting experience. Most of them had lost relatives in the massive earthquake in 1976 and they still had intense feelings regarding this tragedy. For them it was not merely about performing in the film but recalling painful memories.
During production many stories about the earthquake surfaced from the extras. There was a rain scene shot in October when it was turning cold, most of the extras were still wearing shorts and vests because the film was set to happen in July. They were wet and muddy from head to toe after shooting all day but they never complained. Moved by their strength, the film crew built a bathing room to help them relieve exhaustion.
Another impressive scene was the sacrifice to the dead. There is a tradition in China where people burn paper made to resemble money as an offering to the dead. The 3-minute short depicts a quiet summer night when every street was flickering with flames and people were connecting with their dead relatives. The scene was so moving every member of the film crew started to cry.
Xu Fan, the lead actress and also wife of the director Feng Xiaogang, spoke highly of the performances from the extras. She said they were the best she has ever worked with during her 20- year career. She remembered there was a mother with her daughter taking part in the shooting. The little girl complained that she was too tired but her mother told her that she was at her daughter's age when the earthquake happened and she wanted to show her daughter what it was like to face great difficulties in life.
In order to emphasize the great contribution by the extras, the director said that all of their names will be put on the "special thanks" list during the closing credits of the film.
On July 22 audiences will be able to experience one of the most shocking and tragic disasters ever to happen in China.