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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs