Production Facts

Release:   August 2002 in Asia; later in other regions

Cost of Making:   US$20 million

Filming Dates:   September 2001 - February 2002

Filming Locations:   The film was mainly shot in China except for a small segment of flashback, which occurred in Malaysia.

(click the map to see more details)
The story of The Touch starts in Qingdao, then moves to Dunhuang, before drawing to a close in Tibet. The actual shooting of the film was done in a reversed order: its Tibetan end portion was filmed first, and took up less than two weeks. This was followed by two to three weeks of filming in Dunhuang and then about a month's worth in Qingdao. Filming moved in mid November to Beijing, which was the venue for some interior shooting - e.g., some scenes and acrobatic performances which are supposed to take place in Qingdao and Dunhuang were actually filmed inside of film studios as well as a suburb of Beijing. The majority of filming (including all scenes involving Michelle) was concluded on January 12th, 2002. Two day's worth of filming - for what will be but a two-minute flashback in the movie - was then undertaken in Penang, Malaysia in early February.

      Qingdao, Shangdong Province: (click pictures to enlarge)


Zhan Qiao, Qingdao

Yingbin Building

Yingbin Building (interior)

      Dunhuang, Gansu Province: (click pictures to enlarge)

Mingsha Sand Dunes

Yadan Devil's City

Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes art

Mogao Grottoes art

      Tibet: (click pictures to enlarge)

Putala Palace
Lhasa, Tibet

Dazhao Lamasery

Namucuo Lake

The Himalayas

      Shooting Sets at Beijing Film Studios and a Beijing Suburb:(click pictures to enlarge)


Set in the studios

Specially constructed
set in the suburb

      Penang, Malaysia: (click pictures to enlarge)

Cathay Hotel


Notes on Xuanzang, Monkey King, and "Journey to the West":
The story of "The Touch" centers on the discovering and protecting of the Sharira - a relic purported to contain the pure essence of a Holy Man in the Buddhist religion - Xuanzang. Xuanzang (also translated as Xuan Zhuang or Xuan Zang, 602-664 AD) was a monk who lived during China's Tang Dynasty. After years of trials and tribulations, he decided to go to what is today's India, the birthplace of Buddha and Buddhism, in search of certain original Buddhist scriptures. He left Changan (today's Xian) in the year 629 to make his pilgrimage to that Holy land via the Silk Road route. Seventeen years later, Xuanzang returned to China bringing with him a substantial volume of Buddhist scriptures. The master monk then spent twelve years translating these scriptures. To this day, Xuanzang is regarded as a major historical as well as religious personage. He was not only a great contributor to Buddhism in China, but also an outstanding communicator and promoter of culture among the nations of Asia.

The story of Xuanzang was largely popularized by way of the famous Chinese classic novel, "Journey to the West", that written by Wu Chengen during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). Although this piece of writing is based on the true story of Xuanzang, the central hero is Monkey King who is one of the best loved mythical figures in China. The character Michelle plays in her circus show in the film is Monkey King. The battle between her and Brandon Chang (who plays her brother in the film) on the stage is from the part of the novel in which the Heavenly Emperor got angry on Monkey King and sent in a whole army of Heavenly Generals and Soldiers to catch him. Brandon Chang's circus character is Prince Nezha, who used the rings which could produce fire as weapon.

Some interesting links:
    Introduction to the Legend of Monkey King
    Journey to the West (plot and description)
    Monkey King (picture book. partial)

A personal note: The novel "Journey to the West" was/is one of my favorite novels. The only character that I remember allowing myself to be in childhood's pretended-plays was the Monkey King. I even made myself a rod - his weapon of choice - and (simple) costume according to the descriptions from the novel. ;-)

A Note on Sequel:  
     - A sequel is in its early (script writing) stage of development.

Production/News Photos:  
     - The section has been moved to a separated page.

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( page created: 07/23/02,   last modified: 10/07/02 )