Filmmaker Andrew Geraci of District 7 Media is no stranger to incorporating politics into his films. As the time-lapse artist behind the dramatic opening sequence to the Netflix drama, House of Cards, Geraci is used to working with governments, especially the one in his backyard of Washington DC.
So when District 7 Media was hired by a local company to help produce videos for the Chinese government, Geraci expected some paperwork headaches to obtain permission to film using his DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter and Sony A7s. But to Geraci’s surprise, there was barely any red tape.
We did not need permits for shooting, as the company we were shooting for was hired by the Chinese Government to produce these videos. There were a few areas that we couldn’t fly our drone, but for the most part we had free reign of the sky and all of the landscape for as far as the eye could see. It was incredible to be so unrestricted.
Working with his second shooter Drew Breese, Geraci knew he wanted to give viewers a unique look at the world’s most populated country. Geraci set out to show the world an aerial view of Lanzhou, an industrial mecca of 2 million people surrounded by ancient beauty.
Although the aerial footage was easier said than done, as Geraci estimates that it rained more than 60% of the 20 days that the team was on location for, therefore limiting the time spent being able to pilot the quadcopter.
But with limited time, and much creativity, Geraci and Breese have created a exceptional look into a little visited corner of China. The film beautifully shows that Lanzhou, like much of China, is rich with well preserved history, but is also home to a rapidly growing industrial sector.