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Between Takes: Inside China's Film Industry
Monday, July 18th, 2011

China’s entertainment industry is big business. China's box office sales were $1.5 billion in 2010 and that sum is expected to grow as more construction of movie theaters are planned, according to the China Daily.

With thousands of years of history to draw upon, period films are a favorite genre for the Chinese audience. Hired as a still photographer for one of these feature films, Sheila Zhao passed her time by taking personal photos, depicting her fascination with modern individuals functioning in a beautiful yet artificial environment.

The movie, "Wheat," set during China’s Warring States era, took almost three months to film and brought the cast and crew to a sprawling, stunning area of China that borders Siberian Russia.

Take a look at Between Takes: China's Film Industry


Sheila Zhao is a freelance documentary photographer currently based in Beijing, China. Zhao has been living in China since 2005, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University. After an initial start at an international public relations agency, she decided to shift her focus and pursue a career in photography in mid 2007. Since then, Zhao’s work has appeared in various international and domestic Chinese media. 

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A crew member of a Chinese movie set walks down an on-location set in the early morning, in Inner Mongolia, near the China-Russia boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Extras practice a night time scene on location at a Chinese movie shoot.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Extras holding down their position in preparation for filming.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Lead actress Fan Bingbing gets her make-up and costume retouched during shooting at a sound stage.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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An actress waits while crew members set up the scene around her.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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An actor uses his mobile phone in between takes during shooting at a sound stage.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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On location shooting in Inner Mongolia, near the Russia-China boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Lead actress Fan Bingbing listening to music during a break.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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A Chinese crew member smokes a cigarette during a night time shooting break.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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A child extra gets his make-up retouched on a Chinese movie set.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Chinese extras resting during on-location shooting in Inner Mongolia, near the China-Russia boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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A movie crew member and a set umbrella during on-location shooting in Inner Mongolia, near the China-Russia boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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A extra with two carp tattoos waits for makeup and costume change.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Extras eat lunch while working during on-location shooting in Inner Mongolia, near the Russia-China boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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An extra waits on a bus during a break in shooting.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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An actor in costume on location.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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An actor smokes a cigarette while he receives finishing touches on hair and makeup.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Actresses and crew members on location in Inner Mongolia, near the China-Russia boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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Extras exploring a sound stage during a shooting break.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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On-location shooting in Inner Mongolia, near the China-Russia boarder.

(Sheila Zhao - GlobalPost)
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