Georgetown's Jason Reid originally wanted to make a film about a bicycle trip from Bangkok to Shanghai. That would have been about 4,000 miles. Instead, he settled on a trip from Beijing to Shanghai--an easy 1,000 miles, the results of which can be seen in a premier on KCTS tonight and a glimpse of which can be seen after the jump.
The maverick filmmaker first made a splash in 2009 with the Webby Award-winning Sonicsgate: Requiem For A Team, which documented the shady dealings that turned the Seattle SuperSonics into the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Reid is also no stranger to Seattle Weekly. He's produced several videos for our Reverb music blog called "Music on the Ferry," which is exactly what it sounds like and which you can and should watch here.
His new film "Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai" looks to be a decidedly less enraging flick than Sonicsgate. It follows him and a few of his Seattleite buddies, along with a Chinese guide, as they pedal through China's city streets, mountain passes, verdant fields and rural expanses on a six-week journey between the two major cities.
The small crew carries all its own camera gear, food and clothes with them, without the luxury of a van or other support vehicles.
Despite its big premier tonight at 10 pm on KCTS, it was actually shot in 2008.
Reid talked to the Ballard blog the News-Tribune for a piece they posted earlier this week, saying:
"This is actually our first feature documentary and we decided to go all-in. No matter what, we were going to make it happen. It was kind of a big risk but we wanted to be there right after the Olympics."
He also sums up the scope of the film in the opening lines, saying:
"Our team of four Americans and our Chinese guide will travel the whole way without a support vehicle, carrying everything with us on our bikes. Our goal is to go to areas that foreigners rarely visit and get a more intimate look at the people of China, their culture, and the rapidly changing environment in which they live."
Check out more info here and watch the trailer below.