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 Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs