Filmart 2012: Filmmakers Target Asia at Script Stage

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Hollywood studios are increasingly looking to Asia for new stories.


HONG KONG - ‘Screenwriting for the Global Market: The Growth of Asian Themes in Today's Box-Office Hits’ packed in a full-house at the Stage venue in the main hall at Filmart on Tuesday morning.

“Studio executives are definitely turning toward Asia, and China in particular,” said producer Tracey Trench (The Pink Panther, Ever After).

“There are only so many stories to tell and Hollywood studios are always looking for new and interesting ways to tell them. China, being relatively unfamiliar, is still interesting,” said Glenn Berger, writer/producer at DreamWorks Animation. “Then there are films like Kung Fu Panda [which Berger co-wrote], that could only be set in China.”

Addressing a question about how Asian filmmakers should approach making movies in English for global audiences, the panelists pointed out that it was only a matter of time before the U.S. was no longer the dominant worldwide market, and barriers to non English-language productions will be lower.

Kung Fu Panda was incredibly well received in China. Then there was a second reaction from China, which was 'why couldn't we have made this film, why did it take Westerners to do this?` Which was both interesting and satisfying in many ways,” said Berger.

On the issue of raising the quality of storytelling in Asian films for the global market, Rita Hsiao (Mulan, Toy Story), screenwriter at Blisstone Inc, described how brutal the feedback process on scripts in Hollywood is, and suggested that a similar system might improve local films in Asia.