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 (robwhitworth.co.uk/) 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 (jtsingh.com/) 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.”
In a not too distant future, societies of all countries come to rely on an intricate network of artificial intelligence devices designed to bring efficacy to man's life. Yet, man continues to devour himself in useless wars. A strong political hierarchy now divides all powers into three factions, and A. I. devices rapidly gain ground as efficiency becomes a priority.
As social revolts grow worse everyday, authorities seek ways to control their citizens. They decide to carry out a series of tests that will determine not only whether some crucial powers can be transferred to non human entities, but also whether man is ready to yield those powers.
The world has become a cell for all man and women, who withstand and endure their lives, rather than living them. Machines might have found a solution.
From now on, you are set free. ..
Keloid is not about robots, it is about men. Big Lazy Robot created this spec film -- more than two years in the making -- with the purpose of giving free reign to the creative aspects of production that many times are so much missed during profit work. And yes, we enjoyed the ride!
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films.....
Colour Grade : Edel Rafferty and Roslyn Di Sisto
Online Edit : Peter Mirecki
Assistance in titles and production design : Lee Gingold, Jason Milden, Rohan Newman
Big Ups to Michelle, Kiri, Renee, Hana, Andre, Ross, Bernie & Julie for your patience and support and awesomeness.....
Huge Thanks to :
Marco, Juliana and Julio at GAP Argentina and Peru
Ariana Cardenas, Toni Figuera and cooltra scooters in Barcelona,
Abete Zanetti Glass blowing school, Murano, Venice (abatezanetti.it)
Annabel, Rosario and Carolina (Pitu) in France
Juane and Andrea from the Princeca Insolenta hostel in Chile
Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. The response has been phenomenal and overwhelming. We never thought this little project would reach out to so many people. x