Shooting a Chinese Superstar in Eastern Europe with TIM NACKASHI

12.02.2015 - Posted by : Black Dog Films

The end of 2014 was a whirlwind for us at Black Dog, as director Tim Nackashi knows. After all, we traveled halfway across the world to shoot a Chinese superstar in a country where neither of us knew the language all that well. Sound like an adventure? Oh yes, it was.

Leehom Wang is one of China’s biggest stars (hello, he carried the torch during the Beijing Olympics), and we were so excited to shoot with him this past year. What better director to take on the challenge than Tim Nackashi, who has directed the likes of Theophilus London, The Faint, Death Cab For Cutie, and more. We flew to the Czech Republic (yes, you read that right), for a shoot that we will remember forever.

But to better give you a picture of the unforgettable, amazing project, we figured we would go direct to the source, and ask Tim a few questions to share with y’all.

What was shooting in Prague like?

It was amazing to shoot in Prague. It’s a beautiful city; feels like a darker, older Paris. At night, the heavy fog and lamp-lit cobblestone streets take you back a few centuries. Actually they kept telling me that every location we were shooting in was about 700 years old. Crazy! On the first shoot day, it was the 25th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s freedom from the Iron Curtain of communism, so everyone was really happy and some remembered being a part of the actual Velvet Revolution (which is a pretty cool name for a revolution)!

Is there any other way to say it but… what was it like to shoot a Chinese superstar halfway across the world in the Czech Republic?

I hadn’t done anything like this before. Leehom was very specific about how things should look and feel – particularly aimed towards the Chinese market. So it felt like a great assignment – sometimes feeling like it was somewhere between a music video, a commercial, and a film.

What was it like on set?

The Prague crew was super friendly and had an incredible work ethic. One of the best people on set was Franki, the AD. He spoke 5 languages, including Chinese (which turned out to be a nice plus), was a military-trained sharp-shooter, and also happened to be really good at being an AD. During one of the gunfight scenes he was shouting to the extras from a megaphone, while taking notes from me and giving Leehom notes in Chinese, while also concurrently firing a pellet gun at a car window 20 feet away to add sparks to the shot. I couldn’t have done those videos without Franki.

Lastly, what’s up next for you Tim?

I’m writing a script for a short film I want to make soon. Excited and nervous about that!


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