1st Edition

The Making of The Wandering Earth A Film Production Handbook

Edited By Jiaren Wang, Regina Kanyu Wang (Storycom) Copyright 2022
    292 Pages 18 Color & 121 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    292 Pages 18 Color & 121 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    292 Pages 18 Color & 121 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This handbook takes us through the making of The Wandering Earth, one of the highest-grossing non-English films of all time. It is a rare, in-depth, behind-the-scenes study of the making of a masterpiece, taking the reader through the entire production process of a landmark Chinese science fiction film.

    The book brings to life how The Wandering Earth was created, from words to images, by a young and innovative professional team assembled by director Frant Gwo. It discusses specialized details of the filmmaking process and the collaborative work of the crew and the cast involved to present an intuitive feeling of the film’s production.

    A step-by-step guide on the making of a radical large-scale film, this handbook critically examines its various stages such as

    • its development and production stages – the planning, preparing, recruiting, setting up departments and processes; writing the screenplay; creating a visual style and the production design; and the principal photography;
    • its challenging post-production stages – the editing, visual effects production, color mixing; dubbing, sound editing; publicity, etc.

    Further, the chapters in volume also explore how Chinese science fiction films disrupt the Western narrative context and provide the larger discourse on Chinese science fiction.

    Richly illustrated with exclusive first-hand visuals from the making of the film, this handbook, part of the Studies in Global Genre Fiction series, will be an essential read for professionals, scholars, researchers, and students of film and media production, film studies, popular culture, cultural studies, Chinese studies, world literature, and science fiction. It will also be of interest to the general reader interested in filmmaking.

    Act I Calling for Adventures

    Chapter 1 Summoning the Heroes

    Chapter 2 “Worldbuilding”: Creating the Blueprint for a World

    Chapter 3 Screenplay: Not Simply Science Fiction, But Character Creation

    Chapter 4 Aesthetics: A Taste of Soviet Industrial Style

    Chapter 5 Conceptual Design: More than Concepts

    Chapter 6 Previewing: The PreViz Dynamic Storyboard

    Chapter 7 Photography: A Symphony of Light and Shadow

    Chapter 8 “The Four Big Shots”


    Act II Exceeding Limits

    Chapter 9 Director Panel: Growing Wildly

    Chapter 10 Camera Crew: Striving for Texture

    Chapter 11 Art Department: Realizing the Imagination with Chinese Characteristics

    Chapter 12 The Challenge of Industrialization, Science Fiction’s Calling

    Chapter 13 Ideal Actors & Actors’ Ideals


    Act III: Trials Along the Way

    Chapter 14 Editing: A Second Creation through Simplification

    Chapter 15 Visual Effects in Post-Production: Technology and Beauty

    Chapter 16 Sound Effects: An Acoustic Feast to Arouse Chinese Memory

    Chapter 17 Post-production: The Life and Death Choices of a VFX-heavy Film


    Conclusion: Voices from Film Crew Members

    The Creators’ Favorite Parts

    Difficulties and Challenges

    If I could do it again…

    Expectations for Chinese Science Fiction Films and for The Wandering Earth

    Wishes from the Director



    Brief Introduction to the “Worldbuilding” in The Wandering Earth

    The Character Traits in The Wandering Earth

    The Terms of Scenes in The Wandering Earth

    The Terms of Props in The Wandering Earth

    The Terms of Natural Phenomenon in The Wandering Earth

    Special Terms in The Wandering Earth

    Chronicle in The Wandering Earth




    Like a God, Creates a World, Then Describes It” – The Aesthetics of Liu Cixin’s Science Fiction Mingwei Song


    The Reality and Myth of Science Fiction: Science Fiction Landscape as a Cultural Phenomenon

    Yan Feng


    Editorial Note of the English Version


    Presented by Storycom

    Editor-in-chief : Jiaren Wang

    Vice editor-in-chief : Yiwen Zhang

    Producer : Zhiyan Dong

    English version editor and producer : Regina Kanyu Wang

    Editing-writing committee members : Changye Chen, Aki Jiang, Jiecai Deng, Xinyue

    Zhang, Mengyu Gu, Qianzi Wang

    Translator : Guo Qi

    Revisor : John Shanahan

    Essayists : Mingwei Song, Yan Feng

    "Rivaling the best of international productions – both technically and artistically, The Wandering Earth is a film of incredible accomplishment. Having experienced first-hand the brilliance and determination of the film makers in charge of this unprecedented film making endeavour, I feel incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed their vision and talent. A hugely positive landmark in Chinese film making and one that the people of China should be rightfully proud. The book does a great job in documenting the production process of the film."

    Richard Taylor

    Design and Effects Supervisor/ CEO

    Weta Workshop

    "The Making of The Wandering Earth: A Film Production Handbook is about far more than just one great novel or one exciting film. It shines light on upon one of the greatest and most promising trends in the history of all human mythic systems -- the rise of Chinese cinematic science fiction."

    David Brin, author of EARTH, Kiln People and Existence.