Beijing, Are You Ready?


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    13 Half-hour Episodes (2008)

    Witness Beijing's transformation in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games with the TV series, Beijing, Are You Ready? D3 Productions' proposal for this 13-episode program was officially approved by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) in June 2006.  

    Beijing, Are You Ready?  began airing nationwide in the U.S. in March 2008. The program includes rare footage of key people and highly-restricted locations, including Olympic construction sites. In addition to looking behind-the-scenes of the Olympic grounds, viewers will experience the multitude of ways China's capital city is preparing to host the first-ever Olympics in China.

    This series includes the following 13 half-hour episodes:  

    Episode 1: Putting on the Show – The Ceremonies and The Volunteer Army

    Chat with the creators of the opening and closing ceremonies:  China’s biggest show in the last 5000 years. Then, the search for a song of Olympic* proportion….And, find out why volunteering at the Olympics is like wining the lottery. Finally, a candid conversation with some typical college students who are eager to make history…

    Episode 2: Building a Village for the World

    A world-wide exclusive:  inside the world’s largest Bird’s Nest:  The National Stadium – the Summer Games’ main venue. Then, how a bubbly building is making a 100-year-old architectural theory, a reality.  And, progress on the National Indoor Stadium:  events here always sell out! Also, thousands of reporters will send home stories of hope, achievement, and heartbreak from here - the National Media Center. Finally, imagine national heroes from around the world rubbing elbows at this “work in progress” -- the Olympic Village.

    Episode 3: Making a Buck – Business Opportunities

    These mascots are not only “must have” Olympic items, they help pay for the Beijing games. And, even the most entrenched government agencies get a touch of Olympic fever – and if it leads to a small profit, where’s the bad? Then, how a printing company went all-out and won a publishing gig for the 2008 Games. And, how two international companies -- Lenovo and Atos Origin -- are seizing an Olympic-sized opportunity to improve their balance sheets. Finally, Olympic-driven tourist demand is challenging the travel industry in China like nothing they’ve ever faced before.

    Episode 4: Exercise Your Appetite – Chinese Food

    See how Beijing is preparing for the additional 1.5 million mouths it has to feed during the 2008 Olympics. And how the city hopes to make a food festival out of the Olympic Games. Then, these restaurants are cooking up Chinese cuisine that may surprise you!  Find specialties that speak to your taste buds…just in time for a trip to the Olympics.

    Episode 5: Curing Homesickness – Some Things Are The Same All Over

    Your Olympic homesickness cure might begin at a café…and with its emphasis on American comfort food, this one could be called the Homesickness Hospital. Then, a visit to Beijing’s Athena restaurant, and cuisine from the very first Olympic country: Greece. And, this Brazilian chef’s advice about Chinese cuisine may surprise you… Also, the solution for a homesick sweet tooth… Plus, if nothing does it for you like Western food…there are signs that you can get your fast-food fix in Beijing.  Finally, these Western exchange students share their insights into Chinese culture and tips for surviving your trip to the Olympics.

    Episode 6: Having a Blast – Daytime Fun

    Even the most avid sports fan shouldn’t miss a visit to Forbidden City - the world’s largest palace complex. Then, step back 2,000 years in history...and step up onto the Great Wall of China. And, why should Olympians get all the exercise?  Ride a bike through historic neighborhoods, called Hutongs.  Also, Panjiauan -- the largest flea market in China…with the crafts of 56 Chinese ethnic groups. Finally, visit this abandoned factory and see the edgiest, most avant-garde art in Beijing.                

    Episode 7:  Having a Blast – Beijing by Night

    Sample Chinese delicacies at this 400-foot long buffet… Then, chill at The World of Suzie Wong or Buffalo Club.  You could also unwind with some classical music…Finally, nighttime fun at Lao She teahouse - where Peking opera and Kung Fu share the same stage. 

    Episode 8:  Shopping as Sport

    See why Beijing’s Old Pipe Street attracts non-smokers from all over the world. Then, take a step back in time on Liulichang street, where art’s been sold for hundreds of years. And, sharpen your  bargaining skills at Yashou, where you can score a big load of goodies even if your budget is tiny. Finally, high fashion shopping. The gold that’s flashed here is not Olympic – it’s plastic. 

    Episode 9: Getting Around – Public Transportation

    Beijingers with plates ending in odd numbers can only drive on certain days of the 2008 Summer Games.  Find out why… Then, in a hurry?  During the Olympics, and peak traffic times, the only fast, reliable way to get around Beijing is the subway. Plus, taxi drivers in Beijing are required to study English…it’s all part of being ready for their Olympic guests. And, if you really want to understand China, forget the cab ride and take a city bus. 

    Episode 10: Breathing Easier – Controlling Pollution

    The Olympic calls for clean air and blue skies in Beijing – one of the world’s most polluted cities. See how China’s best scientific minds are meeting that challenge. And, dread taking out the garbage?  Well, imagine having to deal with 16,000 tons of it…daily.  With an influx of 1.5 million Olympic visitors…who takes the trash out? And what they do with it? Then, how many green parks will it take for Beijing to breathe easy again? 

    Episode 11: Staying Healthy – Sports Medicine

    No pain, no gain… at least not with physical therapist Dr. Bob Chan. And, doctors at 3rd Peking Hospital are routing for their patients… not just to recover, but to win Olympic gold. Then, remember China’s SARS outbreak? Can Beijing’s CDC guarantee it won’t happen again? Next,  9-1-1 won’t work in China… but, dialing 120 will – even if you don’t speak Chinese. Finally, foot massage anyone? Find out how to get rid of that throbbing headache… with your foot.

    Episode 12: Putting the Best Foot Forward

    Olympic spirit is school spirit at this grade-school.  This elaborate celebration ends with a surprise visit from a Gold Medal Winner.  Then, preparations continue as these folks learn how to welcome their Olympic guests in English.  From age 6 to 86…they’re learning to say: “It’s nice to meet  you.” Next, if you’ve got deep pockets, luxury hotels are finding creative ways to pamper you. Or, turn down one of Beijing’s oldest alleyways and spend the night in a 19th Century Chinese General’s quarters. Finally, how the Summer games offer foreign exchange students the chance to demonstrate their hometown pride, even when they’re far from home. 

    Episode 13: Going for the Gold – Chinese Athletes in Training

    An exclusive look at how the Chinese National Gymnastics Team prepares for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. And, Personal stories of two world champions:  their talent, drive, and the pressure they and their families will face when they compete before millions of fellow Chinese. Then, Chinese Wushu, or Kung Fu as it’s known in the U. S., is waging its toughest battle:  the battle to become an Olympic sport. Finally, how a pentathlon world champion multitasks for a medal at the Beijing Games, the first Olympics ever held on Chinese soil.

  • Production for Beijing, Are You Ready? began in 2006. The following photos offer a glimpse into the content presented in this series on the 2008 Summer Olympics.

    ► March - April 2007 / Photos from the second production trip.

    The slogan for the 2008 Summer Olympics is clearly visible from the Great Wall. 

    Mary spends the day weaving through a sea of visitors on the steep stones of the Great Wall.

    The official Olympic countdown clock is in the center of Beijing, at Tiananmen Square.

    July 1st Elementary School celebrates the 500 day mark before the Olympics begin with a performance by the children.

    These two kids help "huanhuan" 
    --one of the five friendlies, or mascots-- 
    navigate through her fans. 

    Mary interviews swimmer Qian Hong, a gold medalist from the1992 Barcelona Olympics.

    Mary sees the progress on the Water Cube, one of the most popular projects under construction.

     Birds Nest Construction is coming along, and workers are now also focusing on building massive underground parking lots.

    A few apartments in the Olympic Village have been unveiled, but the rooftop gardens are still in-the-making.

    A visit to Aptos Origin's office reveals how this top sponsor acts as the nerve center during the Olympics. Media rely on them to quickly relay scores and athlete information.

    Qian Zhen Hua's not only a fencer -- he completes in the Pentathlon. That means he fences, shoots, rides horses, runs, and swims.

    Swimming is Qian's best sport, but he still trains daily.

    Mary interviews gymnast Teng Haibin, who won a gold medal in Athens 2004.

    A visit to Teng Haibin's home not only reveals his gold medal, but also his parents deep pride.

     Teng Haibin, age 22, has been training since he was five. He practices six days a week with the Chinese National Team.

    These athletes deal with both physical stressand the psychological pressure that comes with China’s high expectations for gymnasts in 2008.

    Zhang Nan hopes to top her gold medal from the World Championship Competition, but first she has to make the 2008 Olympic Team. 
    Zhang Nan's parents share their worries and hopes for their daughter.

    Dr. Chen teaches physical therapy at Hong Kong Polytech University. He moved to Beijing to help the athletes prepare for the 2008 Olympics.

    Dr. Chen and his apprentice work on an athlete's shoulder injury.

    Mary interviews martial artist Zhao Qing Jian. He will complete the Wushu competition held at the same time as the 2008 Olympics.

    Liu Xiao Lei performs Wushu at Beijing's Shi Chai Hai Sports School. She's hoping that Wushu will be accepted as an Olympic sport in the future.

    This soccer player awaits surgery at Peking University 3rd Hospital, where all Olympic athletes are treated for injuries from doctors that utilize western and eastern techniques.

    Mary gets her own taste of eastern remedies with a foot massage at Oriental TaiPan Massage & Spa, where she learns the importance of pressure points.

    Mary interviews Chen Weiya, president of the National Song and Dance Ensemble, and advisor for the Ceremonies.

    Member of the National Song and Dance Ensemble are working hard in hopes of participating in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics.

    Yves Pepin compares the Olympic ceremonies with his Eiffel Tower Millennium Celebration. He shares what it's like being part of an expert team which includes Zhang Yimou and Steven Spielberg.

    Mary meets pop singer Yeah!! and his producer, Sota Kawasaki, on their way to submit an Olympic theme song.

    Over 100 volunteer drivers for the 2008 Olympics gather at this award ceremony to pledge their commitment.
    These taxi drivers attend mandatory Saturday morning English class in preparation for the Olympics. 

    New subway lines and stations are popping up around the city in preparation for the 2008 Olympics.

    On her rental bike, Mary pedals through some of the remaining hutongs—or small alleyways—to get a taste of old Beijing.
    Mary gets more than a scarf at this store, she gets a lesson on how silk is made—from removing the silk worm from its cocoon to stretching and hanging the silk to dry.

    From the Ming dynasty through today,  Liu Li Chang street is the place to buy the “four treasures:  paper, ink, ink stone and paint brushes. 

    Old Pipe Street no longer sells tobacco, but shoppers won't be disappointed with the list of souvenirs available on this walking street.

    With water on-hand, Mary fishes for chicken in this bowl of chilies.

    The 12 main spices in Sichuan cooking are on display at Baoguobuyi restaurant.

    Mary joins these bakers at Haolilai Bakery and learns to make pastry with sweet beans.

    Executive Chef Vivi's Brazilian restaurant has become famous in BEijing after only 4 years -- using its romantic setting and fusion food to attract both Chinese and foreign customers.

    Chef Yang learns to make Baklava for the only Greek restaurant in Beijing -- Athena.

    Public toilets like these are new to the streets of Beijing – and more are being added in preparation for the Olympics.

    Largely inspired by the upcoming Olympics, 
    mass tree planting projects are underway throughout Beijing.


     Beijing continues to expand in rings around the Forbidden City, located at the very center. The city is growing so fast, its well into its 6th ring. 

    The high walls of the Forbidden City kept emperors isolated from the world outside for 500 years.

    ► November 2006 / Photos from the first production trip.

    Mary points to the National Stadium in progress, also nicknamed "Birds Nest"

    Mary and the crew explore the inside of 
    the "Birds Nest"

    An interview with Kang Wei, the GM of the National Swimming Center Project, in front of what is nicknamed "Water Cube"

    The construction site of the National Convention Center, which will be home to media from around the world

    Mary inside what will be the 
    National Indoor Stadium

    An interview with Sun Weide, Deputy Director of BOCOG's Media and Communications Department

    Mary at the Olympic Village, which will house over 16,000 peopleincluding at least 10,000 athletesin 2008.

    A meeting with Dennis Wei, Resident Manager of Lu Song Yuan Hotela typical 'cultural hotel'

    Mary gets her Western food fix cappuccino and cheesecakeon the 2nd Floor of 'Sculpting in Time Cafe', located in the middle of the University district.

    Mary gets lost in the night market stalls, which have been serving over 60 Chinese specialty snacks since 1984.

    This panel of foreign students living in 
    China shares some cultural tips.

    A visit to this Air Quality Monitoring Center explains how Beijing tracks the number of 
    good quality air days.

    A typical Saturday morning at the free Dongsi Olympic Community English Class, where students range in age from 6 to 88.

    Mary goes behind the stage at LaoShe Tea House to meet Peking Opera performer An Yanli, as she transforms into 'White Snake'.
  • Coverage
    Beijing, Are You Ready? has a 
    coverage of over 80% in the U.S., including 96% of the top U.S. markets. It is airing in 44 states on over 418 stations, including PBS World and otherdigital channels.

    Air Dates and Times
    Stations will be added below as we become informed of their schedules, however, not all stations or times will be listed and details may change.  Please check your local listings.

    TV Programmers
    Please contact us to request an Online Media Kit which includes high-resolution photos.
    To request Beijing, Are You Ready? contact the TV Programmer at your local PBS station
    We do not have pre-packaged DVDs of our television weekly series or specials. However, as a service to our viewers and educational institutions, we are glad to make copies on a per-request basis.

    Title: Beijing, Are You Ready?
    Episodes: 13  
    Length: 30 minutes each episode; 390 minutes total  
    Format: DVD  
    Production Year: 2008
    Price (13 episodes; 7 DVDs): $195.00 plus shipping and handling.
    The DVD price is for home-use. If you are ordering for a library, college, business, government agency or other institution, the price is $75.00 per DVD plus shipping and handling fees.
    Availability: Allow 2-3 weeks for processing and shipping.
    Shipping and handling in the U.S. is $5.00 for the first DVD and $2.00 for each additional DVD. For international shipments, prices will vary.
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    D3 Productions, Inc.

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Oakland, CA 94621