Shooting for Not Much took place in Beijing during the summer of 2003 and post production lasted through the end of the year. Actual filming took 11 days and was shot on DV using the Sony PD-150 digital camera. This is quite possibly one of the lowest budget DV movies of of its size made in Beijing. The total cost of production including actors, crew, location and post production was around USD$4200.
Auditioning actors in Beijing during the summer of 2003 was unusually difficult as the city was recovering from the outbreak of SARS. To prevent further spread of the disease, most productions had been called off until the fall. In spite of the fact that most actors were out of work for the summer many were reluctant to work at all. Schools and universities were quarantined, limiting the search for student actors to waiting at school gates for people who looked like acting majors to come out. Surprisingly, this approach netted the film’s lead actress.
Zhang Hao , the film’s lead role, is played by An Chi, star of film and TV in mainland China. Playing opposite him is Sun Qian, graduate of Beijing Broadcasting Institute. They are joined by stage actor Zhang Chunhua who plays Zhang’s nemesis.
Local and Imported Talent
Not Much was filmed using all Chinese cast and crew with only a few exceptions. The only non-Chinese people involved in the production are writer/producer Kyla Morris from England, director Paul Hackett from Canada, and cinematographer/editor Rick Curnutt from the United States. These three foreigners met when their paths crossed living and working in Beijing.