The Shanghai Wedding Shooting /p1

unseen movie. rbtx translation from the lost original


The wedding of the nineteen-year-old daughter of a Chinese real estate investor with the son of one of Hong Kong’s largest textile exporters, who is a few years older, takes place at a time when the bride is six months pregnant.
According to Buddhist tradition, the official wedding ceremony takes place in a temple within the city limits of Hong Kong.
Afterwards the young bridal couple is flown by helicopter to a casino still under construction in Shanghai.
There – according to the will of the father of the bride – the wedding photos will be taken.
The casino will be the largest and most luxurious in the mainland and will bear the name of his daughter from the very first thought of its planning!
The fact that these photos have to be taken in a building shell is – in his words: ‘Thanks to nobody and nothing but the groom’s impatience and uncontrollability! – But nevertheless and in spite of everything! – A place other than this building – whether it is finished or not – is out of the question for many reasons! – What is documented here is nothing else but the beginning of a dynasty which will consist of two large and important Chinese families that will unite … and – if fate keeps its protection over them – … will last for many decades … and perhaps even centuries and will enter the history books of this country…’!

‘The final photos will be taken on the huge roof of the 18-storey building … Against the backdrop of an incredible LCD monitor – about 70 square meters in size and rotating 360 degrees day and night – on which the bride’s name and photos of her growing up from childhood in the arms of her family and in the kindergarten would be broadcast from that moment on in slow rotation many miles across land and sea  … And this name and this face would be the face of happiness … The happiness that in every minute of their lives they would give to their mother and father… And her whole wide-spread family! … and now the whole country!… The whole nation would share in it!! .. “

A naturally prepared, rehearsed speech in the immediate family circle – (which was documented by a professional 4-person video team with 2 cameras) – and yet the tears that came out of the bride’s father’s eyes while speaking each syllable of this speech were completely true and credible!

The worries and concerns, and actually already intentions of the groom’s family to refuse to let the photo session take place under such provisional and dangerous circumstances, cannot even be expressed to this claim.

But the father of the bride still continues and continues his speech and adds – like heavy bricks – arguments for how this photo-shoot in a only half-finished shell construction will enrich the legend of this marriage with an otherwise unattainable dimension: … ‘Just as this building is growing inexorably … Is the offspring in my daughter’s womb! .. …and that of our uniting families!’.

The shooting is assigned to the most renowned Wedding-Photo-Studio in Asia: “R’T”. Their HQ is in Beijing. They send a preparation team into the building weeks before the shooting date while it is still in full and hectic construction.
This team has the task of finding the best possible shooting points from floor to floor – testing their suitability under different lighting conditions and sending the results to the headquarters in Beijing.


On the day of the wedding the scenery on the construction site is prepared in every imaginable perfection in terms of safety and lighting. The top photographer of the Beijing agency is on site and a team of 7 assistants to him!

The course of the shooting proceeds in all 5 pre-planned stations up to the penultimate floor exactly as programmed in the schedule. –
The photographer’s entire crew and the additional security team provided by the client and the father of the bride, whose eyes had only one and only mission, to observe the bride every milli-second and to protect her from any unforeseeable damage … arrived on the last floor … —
But despite so many people gathered around the construction site, mainly for the protection of the nineteen-year-old bride, – it happened on the actually only short staircase that separated the newly married couple from their last station – the roof with the huge monitor – the really most important station of the whole shooting!
… to a ridiculous accident actually – if you think about the security measures you had taken for weeks and how many security personnel you had installed around the bridal couple …

.. At a moment when the bride was supposed to lean a little bit casually against the still temporary railing of this small staircase according to the photographer’s instructions … this small railing gave way under her hand and the actually only small weight she entrusted to it … – and she consequently or – quite inevitably – fell after this railing, which came loose under her hand … with no support for anyone or anything … down the height, perhaps only 2 or 3 metres, which she had climbed up by her husband’s hand …

Unfortunately, the crook of her newlywed husband’s arm – in which she was hooked with her other arm – did not respond quickly enough … to pull her back … and so there was nothing else that could save her from this  fall … –
And she had to get him over with. “Completing” it actually like an unfortunate gymnastics exercise ..

And so she falls. The actually short distance behind the yielding railing she falls on the floor of the previous floor … on gray rough, raw, stained concrete …

In addition, she falls on the edge of a small stack of dark Carrara marble slabs that would later be used on the stairs. The construction workers had this stack the day before,  – at the photographer’s request, – piled up exactly at this point – since he hoped that this graphic element would increase the scene expressively.


Of course panic breaks out immediately! One screams with distorted faces and moves instinctively closer to the place where the bride is lying in her snow-white wedding dress and some call for a doctor – others call the emergency number. –

The girl is conscious – but visibly in shock.

– At least 20 people are gathered at the scene of the event at this moment, and all of them have followed every movement of the young bridal couple with the utmost attention. Almost all of them are holding up their smartphones and filming everything that happens from their respective locations. Among them are the bride’s two older brothers.
None of the direct parents are on site. They await the couple in an extremely luxuriously furnished and decorated ballroom over in Hong Kong, where the wedding will be celebrated with about 150 selected guests.

On the fabric of the wedding dress you can see at different places rapidly increasing, first still tender reddish then more and more into the dark red coloring spots. The two brothers of the girl kneel to her sides and try to find out where the injuries are most severe.

They are called to give them advice that is incomprehensible in the confusion … Others take off some clothes and lay them next to the victim to improvise a soft surface to lie on …

Nobody really knows what to do… One does not dare to move the girl too much in this condition and to take her via the only available construction lift on the façade down into one of the parked cars and drive her to a hospital!
There is nothing left to do but to wait for the emergency medical team !! ..

The construction site of the casino is located outside of Shanghai in an area that is not yet fully developed … – The emergency medical team will have the difficulty to be guided there by GPS, because possibly not all data are loaded into the online system yet.


And an agonizing time of hope and waiting begins for all present!! ..
(This scene  last much much longer than represented by these few words!)


Even before the rescue team arrives at the construction site, photos and videos of the accident are on Instagram etc. … and are immediately shared thousands of times! – The bride’s parents learn about it this way – some of those expecting the bride and groom to arrive with them in the banquet hall have received the message on their accounts and cannot hesitate to pass it on to them,- even before the girl’s brothers find time to call and inform them.


The official statement of the family a few days later reads: ‘The accident tore our daughter away from her life plans in a very cruel way on a day that could have been one of the happiest days of her life. It is with the greatest regret that we must announce that she has lost her baby. Other injuries also made a stay of several months in a rehabilitation clinic necessary. She received every possible support from her family and of course from her deeply sad groom and his entire family too.


From now on, the girl will be so rigorously screened by a security service that no direct photos or information can be obtained from her, nor will anyone from her surroundings dare to pass on details about her whereabouts and condition for the time being.


What becomes known are other things: The investigation of the accident leads to a confrontation of several “parties”, who blame each other for the loose banister.
The first liable builder contractor “channels” the question of guilt to his subcontractors and these to the construction workers who were working in the days before the accident.

The interviewed foreman who was on duty states that ‘he checked every single railing on the planned path of the bridal couple daily in the days before the photo shoot and found it intact and stable each time’. –

He noticed, however – since he arrived at the construction site very early on the day the pictures were taken – ‘that the photographer’s lighting team had spent hours on this staircase and had repositioned large tripods with heavy spotlight elements around it again and again and had also secured them to it … – Due to these repeated loads, the railing must have been overloaded and finally torn out of its mount when the bride touched it only slightly ‘…


The office of the photo studio in Beijing responded with an official statement, formally written by their lawyer: ‘The lighting team in charge of the project did not damage the railing – or its attachment – in any way. If such accusations are upheld, they will take legal action and sue anyone who makes this statement publicly for defamation and false testimony for a very large sum of damages’.


Out of these contradictions a drama develops that can not be stopped.


End of Part 1