For me, the first fear, like everyone else, is fear of death.
The second fear. I often wonder, can I have a normal life? In a normal life you may have a stable home, a long-term plan for life. But it's my personality to pursue a different kind of career, which is not what my family wants. But, I don't see them much. They don't know what my life is like. They know I make films because I learned it in school. But they don't know what kind of films I make. In their minds all movies are commercial movies or movies with celebrities, but I never make those kinds of films.
This is a third fear of mine: Going to strange neighborhoods.
The fourth: Every time I go through customs I get very, very nervous.
The fifth: When you prepare to shoot a documentary. When you hold the camera and enter someone's life. Because sometimes you learn too much, and the more you know the more pressure you feel. In 1999 I filmed a three part documentary about factory workers and their living conditions and their families and their kids. They are very impoverished. I wanted people to see their lives through the documentary. To understand their lives. But this documentary didn't have this result. Making documentaries apparently doesn't solve any problems.
The sixth: During filming sometimes you learn something that is completely unknown to you.
The seventh: When I'm shooting I'm always alone. I'm always in a state of constant unease. Scared something horrible will happen and will interrupt the project.
The eighth: My health used to be great. But around 2010 while I was working I suddenly got very sick. So this sort of worry comes up a lot. In 2010 I was shooting at an altitude of around 3,000 meters. I was shooting a documentary called Three Sisters. During filming I walked into a remote place in the mountains, and I collapsed. It felt like death was coming fast.
The ninth: You can dream about your relatives in unfamiliar places, and they can’t communicate with you. With me. My father passed away a long time ago. I was very young. I sometimes think about him. Sometimes in dreams he's far away and you can’t get close.
The tenth: Going home to my family. That’s something very scary. Often, a long time has gone by and we don't see each other at all. When we do meet, you don't know what to say. It's like I really don't know what I should do. My mom's very old now. I rarely call. Basically I don't call, so she doesn't even know where I am.
My name is Wang Bing. These are 10 things that scare me.