News / Asia

Obstacles, Perks of Movie Co-productions in China

Obstacles, Perks of Movie Co-productions in Chinai
X
June 22, 2013 6:07 PM
China's movie industry is set to surpass Hollywood by revenues in just a handful of years. Much of the progress comes from relying on the world's biggest audiences, as well as on government efforts to spur investment and protect its industry. With China being noticed by many within the American movie business, VOA takes a look at how the country is managing this growing industry, and how easy it is for foreigners to get in.
VOA News
China's movie industry is set to surpass Hollywood by revenues in just a handful of years. Much of the progress comes from relying on the world's biggest audiences, as well as on government efforts to spur investment and protect its industry. With China being noticed by many within the American movie business, VOA takes a look at how the country is managing this growing industry, and how easy it is for foreigners to get in.
 
The Chinese government just completed construction of a giant complex for part of its movie industry. One square kilometer of swamp near China's coastal city of Tianjin was turned into solid ground. On it stands an investment of over $13 million with office space, housing, film studios and animation equipment.
 
Ping Jiang is the founder and president of Yellow Mountain Film, a movie production company that made the newly built Tianjin studios its base.
 
“They have a superpower computer, which is the biggest of the world. And right now we have the directed fiber connection with that computer which is very important for CGI animation films. For the first year we do not have to pay any rent, and the second year we also get a pretty good discount on the rent. So this is an advantage.”
 
After working in the United States and Canada, Ping came back to China to exploit the growing business of co-productions.
 
“I think it's pretty challenging for co-productions. So that is why I want to build something here that is more solid. That we can be of more help for people [who] really want to come here to do co-production.”
 
The Chinese government allows only 34 foreign movies to be shown in theaters every year, but there is no such limit on co-productions. But securing co-production status comes with hurdles of its own. Movies need to include Chinese elements in the story, in producing and financing.
 
Robert Caine is a partner at a film co-production company. He says one major obstacle is censorship, and the opaque bureaucracy that comes with it.
 
“And it is not even much the fact of censorship itself, but the process of getting your script through and being approved. It's very difficult to predict what will happen. The rules are not very clearly defined, and it can seem very arbitrary - the decision whether a script can be approved for censorship purposes.”
 
Yet, the perks of co-productions are difficult to miss. Most notably, they get a 43 percent cut of the box office revenues, compared to only 25 percent for foreign movies entering the market through the yearly quotas.
 
Caine says on top of that, Chinese studios are eager to work with foreign talent.
 
“They are reaching out now. They have just made a big investment in the facilities, and they want to see it filled and used. In many cases they have overcapacity now so they would really like to bring in work from the outside and do service work. They know that their experience base is still not at the [top] level, because the industry is just newer here; so it's still not at the level that many foreign producers have. People here are eager to learn; they are especially eager to have good stories, good scripts, and good projects and stories to work on.”
 
Each year, no more than a handful of American movies are granted co-production status. But with more companies acting as mediators in China, industry insiders believe that not only will the number go up, but both sides will find better and more profitable ways to cooperate as well.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid