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Michael Ouyang

I'm never on this site, am I?

It's probably been a literal 2 years since I've even logged into this site, had forgotten I even had it. But today came across the reminder in my Inbox and actually clicked it instead of immediately discarding it without reading.  Since the last blog entry here, I've done a lot. My short film "Pigs in Zen" was in the Alternative Film Video Festival in Belgrade, as well as screened in various art galleries in Beijing, Malaysia, Shanghai and Berlin. "Goodbye Shanghai" won a bunch of awards. I directed a multimedia play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I wrote, directed and produced successful digital branded content videos for a whole bunch of big clients (including McDonald's, Swire, Cathay Pacific, Haier)Finally, I went back to TV and am now Creative Producer at Endemol Asia, as a consultant producer for China. And currently, the only one. That means any Endemol show formats in China, I go shoot them with the broadcaster. In the past year I've worked on 5 major shows, 3 of them requiring me to shoot in Argentina (that's 3 months in Buenos Aires if you're counting). It's been exciting and looking forward to the second half of 2012!

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Over a year, the more things change, the more they, well, change

Here's part of my half-hearted attempt to keep myself promoted.  Notes: 2010 so far has been decent, as we launched a new TV show, "The Joy of Kitchen" 《乐享厨房》on Shaanxi TV 陕西卫士 6 pm Sunday nights. We'd already wrapped that show for the year when I found out that the 35 mm short film I produced won a prize! Written and directed by Adam Christian Clark, "Goodbye Shanghai" was shot August 2009 over 3 days here in Shanghai, starring Charles Mayer and Loran Frederic, with Zhang Jing and Yuzu Chen. Great cast, great crew (especially DP Shu Chou), relatively smooth shoot other than a couple of props gaffes. Anyway, it's starting its festival run this summer and so far is in 3 of them: New Media Film Festival (LA, won best short), Beijing International Movie Festival (shown twice by popular demand) and HollyShorts Film Festival in a few days. The synopsis: When Jon is ordered to leave Shanghai, this hardened economic hitman has to test the trustworthiness of his new partner, Loran. The stakes are life, death and $15 million in cold cash as Loran must navigate an intricate web of deceit to find the contact who is his only way out of the Paris of the East. Finally, I've managed to get my own Canon 5DMkII short done just a few days ago. I wrote and directed "Pigs in Zen", shooting last December with DP Jakob Montrasio. We just finished post, as the animation, made from original paintings by Wang Taocheng which we scanned and re-animated in Motion and Aftereffects, took forever to complete. It's a mix of live-action and animation, starring William Poy Lee (author of "The 8th Promise"), Aimee Butler and Charles Mayer. The synopsis:This is the worst day of ad executive Jim Fu's life. In the wake of swine flu, he's getting fired for failure to get people eating pork again. He's pretty sure his girlfriend is cheating on him. And her pet miniature pig smells to high heaven. But in this new generation telling of Animal Farm, Jim will get one last chance at redemption, as Pinky the Pig reveals the secret of the true relationship between animal and human.It's just starting the festival application process, so I'll be sure to add photos and keep y'all up to date-ish.

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Blog: Wednesday, Jul 15

AND keeps screaming at me over email that i'm a bad person for not updating my blog, so here goes:

TV show is going really well, great feedback from guests and viewers alike. As time goes on, we're developing the show more and more and getting more surreal, which is good. Honestly, I think we're more creative and interesting than about  90% of the rest of Chinese TV, but our promotional arm kind of bites so it's not helping too much. I just talked to them about it so hopefully they will pick up the pace soon. In case you've forgotten, it's Laowai Lai Zuoke, 8:55 pm Sundays on NMTV.

Then I've got a bunch of assorted projects. I'm shooting a 35 mm short film in Shanghai at the end of July. It's an economic espionage film that I've assembled a really good team for, working off a great little script by and directed by Adam Christian Clark.

I'm also working on a silly little stop-motion short. I actually shot the thing, then I tried to put it together and realized I need to do reshoots, so I'm waiting to have time to do that. I wrote a couple more shorts, and will try to figure out production for them in the fall.

Meanwhile, I'm working with Lucy Brydon on a new play for 5th Wall, deals with serial killers, so that's always fun. So if it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm probably not, I'm just INSANE

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Blog: Saturday, Mar 28

Hey guys, do us a favor and tune in Sunday nights at 8:55 pm to NMTV (Inner Mongolia Satellite TV) to see our world cultures game show, "Laowai Lai Zuoke", where intercultural teams compete in physical, cultural and knowledge challenges to win great prizes.  I produce this show for XSEL, and it's pretty surreal entertainment!

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New Website and New Show

http://www.shanghaiisart.com/mc/mc.html January 16 and 17, 2009 at River South Art Center, 7 PM!

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Marriage Counseling: Three Sessions--5th Wall Theater Event!

The debut performance for my new theater/performance collective, 5th Wall, went much better than planned! We had about 175 paying customers over 3 shows, and well over 200 people in attendance, which was way more than we planned for! 

For those of you to whom I haven't spoken in a while, I started 5th Wall with a couple of collaborators this fall. Our mission is to provide original, experimental performances here in Shanghai, breaking down the theatrical experience for the viewer so that audiences can experience performance in new ways.

For Marriage Counseling: Three Sessions, which showed November 14-16, we took a scene in which a wife wakes up in the middle of the night to find her husband with a gun in his mouth and transposed it into three counseling sessions. First, we ran the originally scrīpted scene, between husband and wife, finding out all the ways these two people have been betrayed and deceiving each other. Second, we changed the characters to two females, thus exploring the differences in communicative styles between men and women. Finally, we took away verbal language and performed the third session as a physical theater piece in which the male Muay Thai boxer and the female modern dancer had to find a common ground or common body language. 

The show was performed in the River South Art Center along Suzhou River, a century-old warehouse space once owned by Green Gang leader Du Yuesheng. Each session took place in a different part of the space, making the performances site-specific. 

And people were moved! I didn't see myself, because I was hiding out in the bird's nest doing lighting and sound cues (oh yeah, I directed the whole show as well as the preshow and afterparties), but reports are that people laughed and cried. We had some repeat viewers for sure. and lots of media reportage.

Watch out for our next show! We are currently planning a couple of very interesting performances to open in just a few months!

http://www.shanghaidaily.c om/sp/article/2008/200811/20081119/article_38

1099.htm.

http://www.smartshanghai.com/gallery/11106.

http://tvshow.smgbb.cn/dianshi/shipin/chengshijiepai/2008-11-11/68893.html

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Greetings and Salutations

My feelings on blogging are neatly summarized in the MC Frontalot song, "I Hate Your Blog."

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Michael Ouyang

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English Name Michael Ziming Ouyang
School Stanford University, Wesleyan University
Job Writer, Director, Producer (Screen, Small Screen, Stage)
Location Shanghai