Michelle Yeoh is also stained with the light of “Metaverse”

Technology is the icing on the cake for movies.

If you want to vote for the most popular movie in the past two months, “The All Cosmos” must be on the list.

Produced by the independent film company A24 and starring Michelle Yeoh, “The Universe in a Moment” has quickly rushed to the front row of the film circle since its release at the end of March, with a double harvest at the box office.According to BoxOffice data, as of June 5, the global box office of “The Cosmos”, which cost only US$25 million, has exceeded US$78 million, ranking 19th in the 2022 global box office list.

In discussions about this movie, the setting of the multiverse is undoubtedly a point that is talked about. At the same time, being labeled as “Metaverse movie”, the movie also seems to have more space for discussion.

But the multiverse is not the groundbreaking idea of ​​the film, and this setting is often used in Marvel movies. Works such as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and “Doctor Strange 2: The Multiverse of Madness” are based on this core narrative. Even the concept of the Metaverse, “Ready Player One” and “Out of Control Player”, have taken the lead in testing the waters.

At present, the Metaverse concept is unabated, what can the film industry learn from it? On June 5, Zhu Yuqing, secretary general of the Film Committee of the Beijing Cultural Industry Investment and Financing Association, said in an interview with the “Daily Economic News” reporter’s WeChat: “The innovation of technological concepts is very good, but it is only one aspect, just like “Avatar” once. With the popular 3D, few 3D movies have surpassed it later. For movies, technology can only change parts, but cannot change the fundamental attributes of movie storytelling.”

The “Metaverse” tag is just a point of attraction

On Michelle Yeoh, her “star star” label is always dazzling.

As a representative of Chinese actresses in Hollywood, Michelle Yeoh has been recognized by Hollywood and has had moments of honor. But before “All Universe”, she has never been able to star in a Hollywood movie. This has nothing to do with the attention-grabbing “star” label on his body. In the real world, Michelle Yeoh has enjoyed the aura of this identity for more than 30 years, and she also always suffers from the limitations it brings.

The original protagonist of the film was not her, but Jackie Chan, but under the “fate of fate”, the director changed his mind and re-tailored the script for Michelle Yeoh.

Michelle Yeoh is also stained with the light of "Metaverse"

“The whole universe in a flash” photo source: Douban

In the film, the protagonist played by Michelle Yeoh is a Chinese-American immigrant. When she was middle-aged, her family and business were both in crisis, but she unexpectedly gained the ability to travel back and forth between multiple parallel universes. The narrative of the film is also interspersed with her journey. She suddenly discovered that her life seemed to have infinite possibilities, and she could even save the world.

The clever structure setting is only a key to attract the audience into the movie. How to keep the audience immersed and the coherence of the content experience when following the protagonist through different universes, the solidity of the script and the richness of the actors’ performances are the “palace” .

Zhu Yuqing believes that the form is only superficial. In order to attract audiences into the theater, the film side must first express a sincerity to the audience. “This sincerity is the innovation on the content side. It is the core that the audience can resonate with the content. Simply relying on technological and form innovation to attract audiences cannot solve the fundamental problem.”

As far as “All Universe” is concerned, the praise from the audience also verifies this. Most of the praise for the film on social media focused on the plot and the actors’ performances.

Although the film is labelled “Metaverse”, in Zhu Yuqing’s view, the Metaverse is just an attraction for the audience.”Conceptual things are auxiliary, they are the icing on the cake, and we can’t give help in the snow. The film industry has to rely on the creative side and the production side.”

Perhaps Michelle Yeoh herself is willing to star in such a low-budget film with complex settings and strong concepts, precisely because she saw the “instant” in the creative end of “the whole universe”.

In an interview with the magazine media, Michelle Yeoh, 60, said emotionally: “When I read the script, I thought this was the role I had been waiting for too long. I finally had the opportunity to show my audience and my family what I was capable of, That’s where I can be funny, real, sad. Finally someone understands that I can do it too.”

Michelle Yeoh is also stained with the light of "Metaverse"

Michelle Yeoh’s interview with “GQ” Image source: Video screenshot

The success of ‘Avatar’ is not just 3D, the Metaverse is not a movie savior

Under the popularity of the Metaverse, movies that create virtual content products are also regarded as a major field for the imagination of the Metaverse.

The popular discussion of “Ready Player One” and the dark horse-like success of “All Cosmos” seem to have verified that the Metaverse and movies can create new value and markets.

Zhu Yuqing does not deny the importance of conceptual innovation and technological innovation. He said: “I think it’s very good, just like the 3D innovation that caused a revolution in movies, the Metaverse concept is also very attractive.”

When it comes to the rise of 3D movies in China, “Avatar” cannot be avoided. In 2009, the 3D movie “Avatar”, which cost nearly 500 million US dollars, was born, and then it was introduced into the domestic market. The fantastic setting and exquisite content ignited the enthusiasm of the audience, and also stimulated a group of theater leaders. The number of 3D screens in China is increasing rapidly.

Michelle Yeoh is also stained with the light of "Metaverse"

“Avatar” still photo source: Douban

Subsequently, “The Fantastic Drifting of Pi” and “Gravity” continued the popularity of 3D movies. After that, 3D seemed to be the standard technology for big-budget movies. But unless the value for money, the audience will not be willing to buy more expensive 3D movie tickets. For example, last year some theaters only offered a 3D version of “Dune”, which caused dissatisfaction among many audiences.

In Zhu Yuqing’s view, if the content production of the film creation team does not meet the standards, putting shoddy films on the market is actually “offending” the audience to some extent. “When the audience sees the movie so bad, they may not want to go to the theater.”

Perhaps the reason why the value of the Metaverse to movies is widely discussed is inseparable from the current predicament facing the movie market.

Since mid-March, cinemas in many places across the country have been closed. Many domestic films were withdrawn, and box office revenue plummeted. As the epidemic prevention and control situation stabilizes, theaters that have resumed work are facing the embarrassment of “lack of films”.

Taking the just-concluded Dragon Boat Festival as an example, the national box office totaled about 179 million yuan in 3 days. Only three new films, “Secret Love: Orange Life Huainan”, “Treasure Hunting Alliance” and “After I Met You”, were released, which lowered the audience’s expectation of entering the theater. value.

“From the perspective of the box office trend, it shows that the audience still has demand for watching movies, but the content is not so attractive, so they will not go to the follow-up. The current core problem of the film industry is that under the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, the film market lacks Attractive high-quality content.” Zhu Yuqing said.

Returning to the topic of the Metaverse movie discussion caused by “All Cosmos”, Zhu Yuqing believes that technology must be the icing on the cake. “Like “Avatar”, although there have been many 3D movies, but basically no more than it. So I think the Metaverse is the same, it is just a technological innovation, and in the end, if a movie wants to attract people, it has to rely on stories, characters and emotions. .”

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