Category: China


Recording a music track for ‘Story of China’.

A little behind the scenes action. Celebrated opera singer Hermione Wu joins our composer Howard Davidson to record a poem written by Li Qingzhao, an 11th Century poet for the Story of China soundtrack. Li Qingzhao was traveling to Dong Lai, where her husband had just taken a new official post. She was around 38 years of age. Penglai is a magical island where immortals live.
Here’s the translation of the poem, ‘A Farewell Letter to my Sisters’

Tears stain my silk robe with rouge and powder, as the song of farewell is repeated, thousands of times over.
I’m told the going is hard over these endless ranges of mountains that block the view.
In my lonely lodge I listen all night to the patter of the rain.
Regrets at parting drive my mind to distraction: I forget how full I filled your cups as I bade you adieu.
Be sure to send word when the wild geese pass.
After all Dong Lai is not so far off as Peng Lai.


The Story of China – Shoot 7

We are getting very excited for our new series The Story of China as Michael Wood and the crew are nearing the end of their seventh shoot out on location. This time they’re in Macau and Hong Kong – filming in the cities, at a temple festival in Zhoukou, and they’re even off to film on a junk boat tomorrow!

The Story of China will be shown on BBC Two from September. Expect more updates from now on, but in the meantime here’s a sneak peek of what they’re up to. Back in the Maya Vision office, we’re a little jealous to say the least!

The Story of China - Shoot 7



Getting our priorities right

Everyone knows that film crews need coffee but not necessarily what it takes to get a caffeine fix in some locations. Here Mick, our soundman, brews up on top of an ancient mound from the Shang Dynasty, 1600 BC watched carefully by Michael.


Yellow River filming


Filming on a pontoon bridge on the Yellow River. This was actually a rare sunny day with blue skies, sadly not caught on this camera! We were very fortunate as the bridge was undergoing maintenance work so the only noise was from a queue of trucks waiting patiently for it to reopen.


Michael marvels at the size of the planets in China

while the locals get on with their shopping under the night sky, forests, umbrellas and snow trees.

This shopping mall is in Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China, and the location of the capital during the Han, Sui and Tang, several of China’s greatest dynasties.



Bored with being a TV presenter….

Michael in class

Michael is a hit as the new TEFL teacher in China!

Michael visited this school at the site of the tomb of Du Fu, one of China’s best loved poets. The pupils showed Michael around and shared their enthusiasm for eighth century verse, and their pride in the super-hero poet linked to their own home town.


New China Photos

After 5 trips to China, we organising our photo library and wanted to share some of our most spectacular pics.


Michael trying on a Tang stone suit for size…

China4-Mick--P1020159-176In Qianling Mausoleum, Tang Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu Zetian share a burial tomb. Wu Zetian is the only woman to have ruled China. On her instructions the entrance to their mausoleum is lined with stone animals and human statues of the 61 foreign ambassadors who attended the Emperor’s funeral. Each figure is depicted in a long robe with a wide belt and wearing boots. The name of each individual and the country he represented is carved on the back of the statue. It is not known how or why but each statue has been decapitated at some time in the distant past.


New crew member in China


Everyone pitches in on Maya Vision shoots, even the contributors. In this case a Buddhist monks at the Temple in ?