Cannes Film Market: Lu Yang, Chinese Films Ying Xujun, Warner Zhao Fang and others talk about Chinese films going overseas

Possible route to sea

Cannes Film Market: Lu Yang, Chinese Films Ying Xujun, Warner Zhao Fang and others talk about Chinese films going overseas

Although the impact of the epidemic on the global market still exists, thinking about the international cooperation of Chinese films has not stopped.

On July 12, the 74th Cannes International Film Festival Film Market “Sino-Foreign Film Forum” event was held in Cannes, France and Beijing, China in the form of dual scenes. This is the first time in the history of the Cannes film market that it has landed overseas.

This time, the Cannes Film Market and Longyue Central European Producers Association joined hands with Chinese Films under CMC Inc. Chinese Culture Group Company to host an industry with the theme “Chinese Films in New Global Arena” (Chinese Films in New Global Arena) forum.

At this forum, Lu Yang, a well-known Chinese director and screenwriter, Benjamin Illos, selected Asian film for the Cannes International Film Festival Critics Week, Zhao Fang, President of WarnerMedia China, Vice President of CMC Inc. Chinese Culture Group, Chinese Film Ying Xujun , the president of the industry and the president of Oriental DreamWorks , was invited to attend the forum. The four guests connected via live broadcast to have an in-depth discussion on the streaming media distribution and going overseas of Chinese movies.

The cooperation between filmmakers and streaming media is going further upstream

The epidemic that occurred during the Spring Festival in 2020 caused the blockbuster movie “囧Mom” to be played on video platforms from theaters, triggering discussions around the battle between theaters and streaming media. 

While overseas, the launch of streaming media such as Disney+ since last year has led to the upsurge of Hollywood giants’ media layout. In May of the same year, Warner launched the streaming media platform HBO Max, which is also considered to be a borrowed time for users’ homes caused by the epidemic. The extended “East Wind”. 

In the face of the streaming media boom, director Lu Yang believes that the development of streaming media platforms “provides viewers with viewing convenience”, but “the works created for the screen and the works created for the streaming platform are very different at the beginning of their conception. Watch at home. look at the cinema and enjoy these two ways you will determine to absorb and appreciate the movie is not really in the same class. for me to say that a work point of view and the point of view in the phone screen, is obviously different. ” 

He keeps an eye on the impact of requests from the platform on film creation. He believes, “Will the consideration of the (viewing) terminal gradually change some of the creators’ ideas when creating content, will they change their creative requirements, and change their thinking, because there have been some changes in the past ten years? The emergence of a very successful film business model has increased its weight in the film. In the face of this situation, I think the original motivation for film creation is very important, which means that creators, producers and audiences want to be strong A determination and sincerity of communication.” 

Zhao Fang, president of Warner China, believes that from a content perspective, streaming media provides more opportunities for film creators to explore and try new creations for theater movies and online movies. Of course, this also brings challenges for creators. For traditional production companies, they may encounter competition in copyright transactions, competition in artist resources, and competition in director and producer resources. This is the change that streaming media has brought to the industry. But on the whole, this is a new platform that cannot be ignored, and there must be continuous advancement and development. 

Ying Xujun, the president of Chinese Films, is open to the development of streaming media and has already carried out some direct cooperation with streaming media platforms. “The cooperation is very extensive in terms of topic selection, script development, and a future investment business model. Specific An example is the cartoon “Flying to the Moon” co-produced by Chinese Pictures and Netflix. This animation has also been nominated for an Oscar animation feature.” 

Ying Xujun revealed, “Including filming this year and many future projects, starting from the source, from the development and selection of scripts, Chinese Films has already had some special in-depth and early cooperation with streaming media platforms. This cooperation is not After the production of Chinese-language films is completed, they will be sold to streaming media. Instead, they will soon go upstream and in-depth development.”

She specifically mentioned that the rise of streaming media platforms is also conducive to promoting content producers to explore new content with a more open mind and an exploratory attitude, such as the creation of future videos and short videos. 

Cannes Film Market: Lu Yang, Chinese Films Ying Xujun, Warner Zhao Fang and others talk about Chinese films going overseas

Chinese films going overseas: to find the best combination of localization and internationalization

In addition to changing the way movie fans watch movies, the epidemic has also had an impact on Chinese films going overseas and the exchanges between Chinese and foreign films. As a long-term issue, the epidemic cannot change the future trend of Chinese films going to the international market and using international resources to empower Chinese films. 

Zhao Fang, President of Warner China, believes that the cooperation between Chinese and foreign films is developing in a deeper and broader field. “It has gone from the initial film co-production and local service to the in-depth cooperation of co-creation from the script stage.” At the same time, foreign counterparts also pay more attention to understanding the characteristics of the Chinese market and the tastes and needs of Chinese audiences. So for Chinese films, this is both an opportunity and a challenge. 

Ying Xujun, president of Chinese Films, believes that Chinese filmmakers are changing from IP spectators to world film IP producers. 

Specifically, she believes that there are two aspects worthy of observation. One is that some of China’s own and self-created IPs are linking international creative resources and industrialized resources, thereby gradually internationalizing China’s own IP. For example, the sci-fi work “The Wandering Earth”, the “Three-Body” that is currently in production, the “Megadon” co-operated by the Chinese and Warner , and the “Megadon 2” in preparation. 

Second, China’s distribution channels are also internationalized, gradually expanding from the distribution of Chinese-language films to the distribution of Asian films, and to the distribution of world films in the future. This will bring about the internationalization of China’s overall film industry.

As for how Chinese films can best combine localization and internationalization in the process of going global, Zhao Fang believes that the first step is to have an understanding of the domestic and international markets. 

Zhao Fang said, “The international market is an important market. To have a particularly large improvement in the quality of film production, first sufficient production costs are particularly necessary, but many international blockbusters like Hollywood have a budget of at least 100 million US dollars. At the beginning, for us, if we only recover from the domestic market, it is really difficult to cover the cost. This requires us to grasp the balance between localization and internationalization.” 

To go out and walk well, Zhao Fang believes that there are two paths, which can be divided into two steps. The first is a more concise and quick way, which is to find some international stories, and use international expressions to achieve success in China and the global market; the second step is a completely localized story, by borrowing some expressions from Hollywood, some types To enter the international market. Zhao Fang believes that the latter is more challenging, but it is also the direction of efforts.

Ying Xujun believes that if a Chinese film wants to gain more international audiences’ likes and have greater international influence, “on the one hand, it can do more typological expressions, and on the other hand, it can be a visual effect blockbuster. road”. 

Regarding the former, Ying Xujun believes, “If a movie is a very local comedy content, or a content that requires a large amount of local historical and cultural knowledge, it may be very difficult to have a relatively large one in the international market. Audience. And typography can solve this problem.” 

Regarding the latter, Ying Xujun believes that visual effects blockbusters are generally easier to enter the international and global market. “For example, “The Wandering Earth”, “Assassination of the Novelist” directed by Lu Yang, and “Megadon” films, in terms of themes and thematic stories, there are not so many historical and cultural understanding thresholds. They say It is a problem common to humans in the future, and it is more understandable and acceptable to audiences all over the world.” 

But Ying Xujun also emphasized that while striving for internationalization, local audiences should not be forgotten. “While attaching importance to the internationalization of themes and productions, the localization of the character’s emotions is also very important.” 

“Because the Chinese market is very large, if you can’t convince the audience in your country, there will be no way to achieve resonance. You must make the audience feel that this person lives in China, so that he will not feel a sense of disobedience and thus generate inner feelings. A sense of resistance. Only then will the international market recognize it.” 

Regarding Chinese films going overseas and exchanges between Chinese and foreign films, Director Lu Yang believes that it is necessary to learn both in terms of technology and content, and to pay attention to the exchange and reference of work with foreign counterparts. In the future, it is possible to shoot cross-cultural and cross-regional stories. On the other hand, I also hope that more creators can come to China to shoot Chinese subjects. 

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