Video “The Longest Way 2.0 – Back to Xinjiang”
I am so happy to be able to finally show you my second TLW video! As you might already know, The Longest Way is a project that I started in the fall of 2007 – the original idea was to walk home from Beijing to Bad Nenndorf in Germany.
I never made it. Or rather: I haven’t made it yet.
The first The Longest Way video was about my walk from Beijing to Ürümqi in 2007 and 2008, a distance of roughly 4500 kilometers.
And this one, the second installment, is about the way from Ürümqi to Khorgas on the border of China and Kazakhstan (about 1000 kilometers), which I walked in the summers of 2010 and 2012.
The video is very different from the first one, mainly because this time I didn’t go for the whole “weird beard selfie” angle.
There are only a few shots where I look into the camera.
Most of the footage I ended up using is about the things that I see and hear on the road. There are a bunch of kids that say hello, there is a camel, a sheep, a dog, a snake and a horny bull. My friend Zhu Hui makes an appearance (02:42), and so does Uncle Shen (01:47 and 02:55 – both off). There are some time lapses of Xinjiang’s scenery, and there is a long, long tunnel that I really didn’t care for very much. I added some illustrations that my friend Jia Meng made. Oh, and there is an awesome dancing scene in the end, right in front of the customs area in Khorgas!
Let me get to some practical issues: a lot of people have been asking me about the songs that I used in the video. The songs are:
“See You On The Other Side” by Peter McIsaac Music.
“Elegant Euphoria” by Chris Haigh.
I license most of the music that I use from a few large royalty free sites. You should be able to find them.
About my equipment: I carried a small outdoor camera that I could attach to the Caboose to shoot some of the walking footage (like the starting sequence or the stuff around 01:51). For the rest of the video, I mostly used two full frame DSLR bodies, one with a 16-36mm lens, the other one with a 70-200mm lens attached.
So what is this Xinjiang that I keep talking about?
Depends on where you stand. It can be the most northwestern part of China. It can be the most eastern part of Central Asia. It can be home to the Uyghur people and to other people as well, it can be a place dotted with oases and mountains and deserts.
A lot of people who have never been to Xinjiang seem to have their own misconceptions about it. They believe it to be barren and unsafe, but in reality it isn’t. It is beautiful. In this video, I am trying to show you the Xinjiang that I walked through once. It is a place of contradictions, but also a place full of stunning landscapes and friendly people.
If you want to read my travel blog entries from both the 2010 and the 2012 trips, here are their starting posts:
August 26th 2010: Prelude, Interlude, or Leisure?
August 5th 2012: Xinjiang wins