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Hollywood Needs to Do More With China, 'Joy Luck Club' Producer Says

Janet Yang 2010 - H 2013
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Janet Yang (right)

Janet Yang tells Reuters that studios need to be more engaged with the world's second-largest movie market.

Producer Janet Yang, who has long been involved in creating Hollywood-China partnerships, says studios need to be better engaged with the world's second-largest movie market.

Despite co-productions, partnerships like the one formed by DreamWorks Animation and studios incorporating Chinese actors and products into their films, "the studios are not doing that much right now," Yang told Reuters. "They are feeling it out."

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She claims studios are mostly taking "defensive measures" to avoid alienating an important market.

"I've never seen so much talk about things with so few results. But that's going to change," Yang said. "It's two different systems trying to come together, so a lot of dating and few engagements and marriages but probably more on their way."

Yang has spent her career establishing partnerships between Hollywood and China since she advised on Steven Spielberg's 1987 film Empire of the Sun, shot partly in Shanghai. Since then she's produced The Joy Luck Club and Shanghai Calling, among other titles.

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She also helped Disney adapt High School Musical for a Chinese audience.

She thinks studios should think about producing a homegrown film that would appeal to China and other markets.

"How about actually creating something that is appealing for the Chinese and also for the global market? I believe it's possible," Yang told Reuters.