IMG_1559 - Version 3P.H. Wells, Producer, Director, Writer, Editor. As leaps go, the one from screenwriting to documentary filmmaking is not a huge one. This is what P.H. Wells decided in 2011 when she met Virginia McCutcheon, a woman who “shall forever know that life was not wasted.” Getting her toes wet as Associate Producer on a friend’s short film (A Rendezvous), Ms. Wells fast-tracked her filmmaking education, created First Straw Films in Portland and began pre-production for My Shanghai. After filming was completed in Spring 2013, she raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter for post-production. Born in Pasadena, her background in design and construction turned out to be natural training for independent film production; nine years in the Portland Opera Chorus, less so, but key to her love of the performing arts. Her essays and observations have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian and a prime number of other prime publications. IMDb

Joan Macbeth

Joan Macbeth, Executive Producer, Co-Writer. An award-winning screenwriter, Joan has won or placed in competitions such as Big Bear Lake Film Festival, Moondance, Action on Film, Broad Humor Film Festival, Script Vamp, and Scriptapalooza. Most recently she adapted a novel for producer Michael Gruskoff (My Favorite Year, Young Frankenstein) and is currently collaborating on a feature film with a writer/producer based in Toronto. In addition to writing, she has a background in finance and was a venture capital consultant in Vancouver, B.C. IMDb

TierneyTierney Boorboor, Co-Producer. With 20 years of project management experience, Tierney has built effective working relationships with a large network of industry contacts across the U.S., the U.K. and India. As co-owner of Eye in the Sky Entertainment, Tierney has several projects in the pipeline, including two short films, Common Grounds and The Violin, and a horror feature, A Place in Hell. IMDb

Ron Macbeth

Ron Macbeth, Cinematographer. Ron was co-founder of IT Online, one of the first Internet casting websites, and Interface Productions in Vancouver, B.C. After extensive camera work at Interface, including casting videography on such projects as X-Files, Jumanji and Free Willy 3: The Rescue, Ron tried his hand at acting for a brief period. He has returned to his spot behind the camera with My Shanghai. IMDb

Jonathan Geer

Jonathan GeerComposer. A native Texan, Jonathan breaks into the world of documentaries with the original score for My Shanghai. His music has been heard on American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and Access Hollywood and is well known for his epic soundtracks for games on Mac, PC, Nintendo DS and iPhone/iPad. A classically trained pianist with an eclectic taste and a degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music, he lives in Austin and performs regularly with the Austin Piazzolla Quintet and Waterloo Trio. IMDb

Michael 'Gonzo' Gandsey Michael ‘Gonzo’ Gandsey, Sound Re-Recording Mixer.  Originally from Burbank, Michael grew up with the music and film industry in his back yard and has been working in professional sound since 1980. Among Michael’s many film and television credits: Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, Far from Heaven, The Hunted, Hear and NowOn Paper Wings; and The Revisionaries for Independent Lens, Buried Alive, National Geographic Explorer, Nova and The American Experience. Current work includes sound design for The Winding Stream, a feature music documentary-in-progress about country music’s legendary Carter and Cash families. IMDb

Vashi NedomanskyVashi Nedomansky, Colorist. Born in Czechoslovakia, Vashi defected to North America with his parents at the age of five.  After earning a degree in Film and Video studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he played professional hockey for 10 years (like Dad) and began his career in the visual media (like Mom) in 2001. He has edited seven feature films including An American Carol for David Zucker (Airplane, Scary Movie), many short films and hundreds of commercials for Volkswagen, Electronic Arts, Ford, Bud Light, National Hockey League, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and others. IMDb

Heidi Zimmerman

Heidi Zimmerman, Assistant Editor. Heidi is a picture editor with over ten years of post-production experience in narrative films, documentaries, commercials, and clip shows. Heidi received a BFA in Film/TV Production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked with major entertainment companies such as Universal Music Group and Warner Brothers. Under the mentorship of Academy Award winning editor Pietro Scalia, Heidi cut her first feature documentary, 40 Years of Silence, about the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia. Since then, she has cut a wide range of independent feature projects. From urban gardening in Detroit to Haitian development after the earthquake, her work continues to bring inspiring and provocative social justice stories to audiences around the globe. IMDb

13 thoughts on “ABOUT

  1. My name is Sven Aarne Serrano. I am a history teacher at Shanghai High School International Division, the site of Lunghwa CAC. I give tours of the campus and the remaining 7 buildings from the camp period. We are most interested in seeing any footage and accounts of the camp. Please contact me if there is any way I can help with your project. We just had another survivor, Maureen de la Harpe, from Australia, visit us just yesterday.

    1. Hi Sven,
      So nice to hear from you. Even though the film is completed, I’m still very interested in learning more about the camp history. Regarding Maureen de la Harpe, I looked at my camp roster dated September, 1944, and found a Maureen Beare, age 7. It seems likely that this is the same person as she would still be young enough to make such a trip. I’m sure it brought back a flood of memories. As for the film, we are currently showing at festivals in the U.S. So far we have no plans to screen it abroad, but that could change. We will release it on DVD and VOD, probably in the near future, but that too is just in the planning stages. Thank you for contacting me, and I hope someday I will be able to visit Shanghai High School. – P.H. Wells

    2. Hey Mr Serrano
      I was looking into Soviet history (not relevant) and found your stuff re. Lunghua. My Mom,eldest uncle and aunt were there without their parents or younger brothers. All are still alive (not my grandparents obv. though both survived to the 1980s, grandad in Shanghai)though my aunt is a bit gaga and in a home. My Dad’s best friend there was Peter Wyngard the actor (sadly dead). I would love to be in contact before my Mom and Uncle go the way of my aunt (hopefully not) or die. My Mom was very angry with JG Ballard when his book came out because he had his parents there and other more racist stuff she implied from the book but she’s got over that. They are all Eurasian as was Wyngard – not Ballard obv.. I visited Shanghai when I lived in Hong Kong with my Uncle who was pro.vc HKU then but nowlives in Liverpool and found where they used to live in Shanghai- still had the lamp even but didn’t (want) to see the camp. It has lived with us all ever since and I have published about the legacy but not recorded Mom or Len’s memories. The memories of the numerous flights before Lunghua are nearly as poignant.
      Hope you are still doing your excellent work and that this reaches you and you will be in touch.
      Celia Barlow. Relatives in Lunghua Leonard, Muriel and Evelyn Young (all teenagers then)

  2. I am another ex-inmate of Longhua Camp. My parents and I were allocated a room in G Block on the opposite side of the front entrance. I was six when interned and 8 1/2 when released. In 2007 my wife and I together with our daughter visited G Block again and entered the very room in which we lived. I had a brief correspondence with Ballard soon after Empire of the Sun was published.

    I may have some information of interest to you. And I would be interested to see any photographs from 1943-45 you may have.

    John Phillips

    1. Hi John,
      It must have been a powerful experience to go back there. I’d love to hear more. If it’s all right, I’ll contact you at the email address you used to comment here. Very best —
      P.H. Wells

  3. I’ve set up a FB page for Lunghwa CAC which I invite everyone to visit, contribute to, and promote. Our student campus history club is also raising $3000 to fund production of an android/iphone guide app for the WWII sites remaining on our campus on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site.



  4. My grandmother, Gloria Roberts, her parents, brother and cousin were all interned at Lunghwa, F block. My grandmother passed away five years ago, but I do carry many of her stories of this time in her life. She was 15 when interned, nearly 18 when released. I would love to view this film, and wish she could too. Will you be showing in Berkeley or San Francisco.
    My grandmother shared that she could only bring a small trunk to camp with personal belongings. So she filled it with her record player and records. Every night, until curfew, they danced on the rooftops to the same old records.
    Thank you for capturing this important part of history.

    1. Hi Stacey,
      Thanks for your note. I’m always glad to hear from the families of internees, and I hope “My Shanghai” connects all of you in some way. Regarding any plans to show it in the Bay Area, the short answer is no. I don’t have any theatrical dates scheduled, but you can see the film now as part of an onlne film festival, IndieFilm International. You would need to buy a pass (under $30) and could watch this and all the other films by streaming on your computer or TV. Here’s the link: http://filmfestivalflix.com/festival/2015-indie-fest-international/ . – PHW

  5. Hello P.H. Wells,
    Thank you for making the film! I would very much like to see it. Virginia’s stepfather, William Gande was my great grandfather. I will look for it on the filmfestivalflix.com. Is it still available there?
    Thank you, Anne Marie

    1. Hello, Anne Marie,
      So sorry to have delayed my response. It’s wonderful to know you became aware of the film and that you’re related to Bill Gande. The film not on filmfestivalflix anymore (and barely was before), but I’m going to look into other options this year. Thanks for asking.

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