2017-12-11 10:17

Storyline, value, better directors more important, filmmakers told

By Yang Han in Hong Kong

The film and television industry should pay more attention to the storylines and the value it conveys to the whole society, said Geng Xiaonan, president of Beijing Sky Saga Film and TV Culture Media.

She was commenting on the common practice in the industry, where players turn to copyrighted materials for inspiration.

“Among the 20 highest-grossing movies in China, 14 of them are intellectual property-adapted films,” said Geng, citing data from 2015. She said the focus in making IP-adapted films is no longer on the story itself, but more on celebrity actors, world-class director teams and even special effects to draw audience attention.

But buying hit IP does not guarantee a successful adaptation. According to Chinese movie website Douban, Midnight Food Store, the Chinese-language adaptation of popular Japanese series Midnight Diner, scores only 2.8 points in public ratings.

In the words of China’s film and television industry, IP refers mainly to those novels and games that have potential to be adapted into blockbuster movies and TV series.

“There is a still a huge disparity between a popular IP and a blockbuster film. The industry has been focusing too much on finding the big IP that is eye-catching,” said Geng.

“Some people even say the script looks more like a business plan or a financing report,” she said, adding that one cannot fully blame investors or producers for that as it is only natural to follow the market trend.

It is time for the industry to cool down on the craze on big IPs, and return to the essence of film and TV production — which is to offer better stories, directings and acting performances for the audience, Geng urged.

Geng Xiaonan, president of Beijing Sky Saga Film and TV Culture Media. (PHOTO BY ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY)

Meanwhile, she said Hong Kong will continue to have a role to play in the development of the Chinese mainland’s film and TV industry in the years to come.

Working together, they can improve the whole industry. “Even though Hong Kong’s film industry is not as vibrant as it was before, it never lacks great stories and great teams.”

It has been seen in recent years that IP-adapted TV series like Empresses in the Palace and the detective drama Day and Night are now popular with overseas audiences.

“We still need to focus on the core value of filmmaking and TV production. It has to go along with mainstream social values.”

It still has a long way to go, she said. “But, during this process of pursuing perfection, the ‘imperfect’ films that we made are even more meaningful as they show our endless efforts toward making this industry better.”

Source: https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/169/48/242/1512701445777.html