Hollywood director: Saipan a hidden gem

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A Hollywood director that is currently shooting a Chinese-produced TV series here thinks that Saipan is a “hidden gem” in the Pacific.

In a news briefing last Sunday, actor and director John Henry Richardson said that he and his crew started shooting nearly three weeks ago.

Richardson wants to return here and plans to recommend the Marianas location to other directors because of its beauty and versatility.

“Saipan is ideal for movie shooting…it is the best-kept secret in the Pacific because of its atmosphere,” he said.

Richardson added that if he can replicate Tucson, Arizona on Saipan, anything is possible film-wise.

“Saipan can be any place…and if you can replicate the Arizona desert on Saipan, then we can do anything here,” he said.

Aside from the island’s versatile scenery, Richardson also admired the warm welcome he and his crew have received since they started filming. “Everyone is happy to have us here. They would even stop traffic for you…you can even have gunfights on the streets and that’s what we want,” he said.

Richardson is with a crew that is shooting a TV series called Seven Days that is produced by Pilot Media. The crew originally started shooting in Las Vegas but decided to move the production to Saipan because majority of the crew are Chinese nationals and were required to exit the United States from time to time, as required by their visas.

They eventually decided to move the shoot here since Saipan is the closest U.S. territory to China that would allot them ample amount of time to complete the series and near enough from the crew to return to China any time.

The series is set to air in China by 2019, but discussions are still being held about premiering the series on Saipan where the majority of the scenes are being shot.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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