Friday, June 25, 2010

Secrets in China

Aside from the schemers, the thuggery, and other manifestations of bad taste, I'm not sure where to start. I could mention the visa fraud scam I took right to the US Embassy's Visa Fraud Unit, ending in the death (with no body at the funeral) of the person who tried to recruit me. I could mention the Chinese art scene as a haven for money launderers. I could go on about some clients I've had (one of them thought that by buying the film, they owned the rights to the images I produced for them -- hence I chose to drop them immediately and not return any calls) -- maybe this email to me from one of Asia's best creative directors (we met on an IBM campaign in 2003) may shed some light on what models can expect; if it exists on this level, it can exist on any level, especially in the modeling industry.

Mister Frady,
After many years of honing my craft, and all too often in the company of colleagues - who, shall we say, have a less sharpened career than myself - I am of slight concerns and am seeing the unmistakable hallmarks of a 'no thought, no planning, no idea, wing it through kind of business that i am seeing and experiencing at 798.
For instance - the 'busy' office with no procedures, no proper facilities or administration - but instead, a fucking Ay-i serving bitter shit tea endlessly, instead of hiring a hot receptionist to answer their phones... the sloppiness of the meetings with management and their genuine lack of vision and a serious lack of depth of understanding about what they are doing. The lazy 'legal girl' who said she was to email me - despite me already having emailed her. She is a pip squeak and probably winced at my fee schedule i sent them.
Look, I can go on with a litany of amateurisms that will only sadden me, and perhaps you. But there's little point.

So looking on the bright side i feel if 798 and I can reach an agreement and I come on board to help, then it will be high time to apply some stainless steel methodology and influence into the thing - and attempt to mould some sense and shape to this nebulous mass of seemingly desperate corner cutters.

If this eventuates - and the ball is now entirely in their court - I will need to work closely with you in terms of sharpening the 798 Group image. If the image and presenation is at least right and reflects the bullshit they proport to, then, well, fuck Shannon, it may get them over the line and put some cash in our pockets - despite the inner machinations and realities of the organization are a fucking hopelessly disorganised, counter-productive disaster.

At this stage I have done enough for free. Ive listened to their bullshit enough. They can now walk the walk.

Among the bad, there is always good, but one has to look very carefully. Rainbow Gao is generally a good person, she runs an agency out of Shanghai. I could recommend people, like Shaun Price from Kentucky (photos attached, he's the handsome black guy in the white suit), and my other friend Morgan, who was the guy who shot Jackie Chan in "Forbidden Kingdom" (also in the photos). In another photo is Henry Li, someone to look out for, he started China's night life (Quentin Tarantino was bartending for him while shooting "Kill Bill" in Beijing, he brought Paul Oakenfold to the Great Wall, and before I left China I had drinks with Colin Farrell at his bar, he knows everyone) and is generally a godfather-type figure with good intentions which may or may not lead to the right introductions.

I may be more qualified to steer people in right directions than to steer them away from certain people. Or maybe that's just my inclination. However I do feel responsible to pass on whatever I have learned in the hopes of staving away bad experiences.

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