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  1. In 1980 Shanghai had no skyscrapers. It now has at least 4,000 — more than twice as many as New York. ‘This is Shanghai’ explores the diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai going beyond the famous skyline.

    Photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces combining deep city exploration and pioneering filmmaking. ‘This is Shanghai’ is a roller coaster ride seamlessly weaving between the iconic, sparkling and mismatched buildings of the financial district travelling by boat and taxi touring Shanghai’s impressive infrastructure whilst glimpsing some of the lesser-known aspects of Shanghai life such as the lower stratum areas or the stunning graffiti of Moganshan road. And of course there is the opportunity to try some of the vast variety of street food and Shanghai’s most popular homegrown delicacy, the pan-fried pork dumplings, the shengjian bao.

    Wherever you travel in Shanghai the cities skyline is always present. The looming silhouette of the almost constructed Shanghai Tower now dominates and perfectly encapsulates the new heights this city is yet to reach. Once completed, in 2014, it will be the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

    To understand the city, the team carried out rigorous urban exploration. In the words of JT “we walked, walked and walked, the Jane Jacobs way”. Weibo, China’s main social media platform was used to ask local Shanghainese people to share ideas of different vantage points and what they thought were the over-riding characteristics of the city. Stealth and curiosity were required to find and gain access to rooftops and locations. It became addictive for the team discovering breath-taking vantage points of the city. There was always an adrenaline rush upon reaching the top of a different building to see the vast urban jungle of Shanghai.

    Rob Whitworth ( is a creative time lapse photographer from the UK based in Asia. His previous videos, ‘Traffic in Frenetic HCMC’ and ‘Kuala Lumpur DAY-NIGHT’ have received international attention including being short listed for 7 film festivals, and have had received well over 2 million online views.

    JT Singh ( has explored hundreds of emerging cities around the world and is a next generation thinker about the value and impact of 21st century cities. Having grown up in Toronto JT is now based in China. He explains:

    “The over-riding reason we made this video was to creatively show the world visually how China is rising, in particular Chinese cities. Just as New York City exemplified the strengths and ambitions of emerging America in the 20th century, Shanghai, perhaps more than any old or emerging rival, will personify the power and dreams of rising Asia in the 21st century.”

    JT Singh

    Rob Whitworth

    Copyright all images Rob Whitworth 2013 - | Soundtrack used under license Artist ‘Subscape’ Track ‘Shanghai’ © submergedmusic

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  2. New York trip 2012 :)

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  3. The world is fascinating. People and cultures inspire us. Sadly, the fast paced lifestyles of our generation result in many not taking the necessary step back to soak in the existing world around us. Our goal with this film is to help viewers further appreciate and take notice of the beauty in life & culture that lies within our world... the next time you notice something that strikes you as interesting, stop for a second, start powering on your camera, think about why it's unique, and snap the shot before you miss it. Life is extraordinary. Embrace it.


    Production Company/Creative Collective: Variable
    Post Production/Editorial: The Mill

    Directors/Cinematographers: Jonathan Bregel & Khalid Mohtaseb @ Variable
    Executive Producers: John Rule & Mike Sutton (@MNS1974)
    Producer: Tyler Ginter @ Variable
    Line Producer: Viraj Velinker
    Phantom Tech: Nick Midwig

    The Mill: New York City
    Post Production Producers: Dee Allen & Alex Maxwell
    Editor: Ryan McKenna
    Colourist: Sal Malfitano

    Original Score/Sound Design: Salomon Ligthelm -

    Special thanks to the risk takers who helped make this job possible:
    Rule Boston Camera - for trusting us with their Phantom Flex -
    Angenieux - for trusting us with their prototype glass -


    # Uploaded 3.7M Plays 522 Comments
  4. The films of Ozu are filled with people walking through alleys and hallways: the in-between spaces of modern life. This is where Ozu resides. In the transitory. It’s what he values as a filmmaker. Alleys are not an opportunity for suspense but for passage.

    Music: A1 by Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm

    # Uploaded 104K Plays 36 Comments
  5. Last year I visited Istanbul for just three days, on my return I reflected upon what I had seen there, I truly felt the power of the people, the solidarity and so aptly named this film. In light of the recent problems in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey today, I feel that the Turkish people will come through this together and stronger, the people in power will have to listen and restrain themselves from aggressive action, after all this is a city of intelligent and diverse millions.

    This is what I wrote back then...

    A few weeks ago I had a beautiful weekend experience in Istanbul, a city of millions in so many ways.

    'Istanbul, where two great continents kiss, harmonious vibes such beautiful energetic bliss,
    like a cat free to roam, so safe walking through the city as if in your own home
    a tasty treat awaits your at every corner, from sweet to savoury, kebabs to baclava,
    where elders are shown respect and children love,
    from spice bazaar to street seller, everyone is a businessman, free from world recession to expand,
    listen to the sounds of the street to the magical east meets western beats,
    admire majestic stunning feminine beauty to the handsome men, elders with such grace and vitality,
    pure and rich, like Lord of the Rings, submerged in unbelievable history,
    a city with so many, everybody from different cultures living so peacefully,
    Istanbul, a city of millions and so much more, moi film j'adore' by TFA

    Gipsyland & Anoushka - Salaam
    Album Turkce Pop 2012
    Dogukan Manco FT Baris Manco - Binlik Demik Radio Mix
    Emre Aydin – Soguk Odalor
    Murat Dalkilic - Bir Guzellik Yapsana
    Tracks 12, 3 and 7

    # Uploaded 31.8K Plays 108 Comments

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