Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lucas in Singapore

Sources in Singapore reveals that LucasArts, a company owned by George Lucas, are having problems completing their Star Wars animated TV show. They are currently outsourcing to a number of companies in Asia, including India.

everyone's got money

Foxconn's CEO Kuo announced after a recent award show that he will personally invest $300 million USD into the Chinese film market. That's good news for the Chinese film industry. However, what he doesn't realize is that the film industry don't lack capital. It lacks good ideas, good scripts, good talents. Throwing down $300 million might sound impressive. But that's the budget of Spiderman 3 only. Businessmen who wants to get into the film industry must know that it's not the money that counts, it's the talent, the script. Without a solid foundation and infrastructure, $300 billion won't get you anywhere locally. I can see Kuo walking down a dangerous path. This is going to suck for the Asian filmmakers because once Kuo gets burned, even fewer people will be willing to invest in Asian and Chinese films.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Golden Horse Award

Musical wins Chinese film awards
Goum Ian Iskandar (left)
Goum Ian Iskandar (left) is the youngest Golden Horse recipient
Peter Chan's musical Perhaps Love has picked up four Golden Horse awards at the Chinese-speaking world's cinema equivalent of the Oscars.

Chan was named best director and China's Zhou Xun was named best actress. The film also won best cinematography and best song.

But After This Our Exile caused the biggest surprise by scooping best film.

It also made nine-year-old Goum Ian Iskandar the youngest Golden Horse winner for best supporting actor.

The film was honoured again when Hong Kong actor and singer Aaron Kwok picked up his second consecutive award for best actor for his portrayal of a single and abusive father.

Perhaps Love director Peter Chan
Peter Chan won best director - he has been nominated twice before

"The movie is a huge challenge for me... but I never thought I could win (best actor) again," he said at the ceremony in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

The 43rd award ceremony was dogged by controversy in the run-up to the event.

Two nominated films pulled out of the competition.

Director Tsai Ming Liang, who is Malaysian-born but a Taiwan resident, withdrew his film I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, upset by comments from jury members that it was too self-indulgent and failed to engage audiences.

And The Go Master, a film by Chinese director Tianzhuang Zhuang, was also abruptly pulled with no official explanation given.

Other winners included Hong Kong's Nikki Shie, who won best supporting actress for her role in the film Reflections.

I would have done the same thing Tsai Ming Liang did. The juries in Taiwan are not humble and lack experiences in judging films. First off, there's barely a film industry in Taiwan. Therefore based on what do these Taiwanese judges have for the filmmakers to respect. And the remarks they made were totally inappropriate.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


A group of yahoos in a company doesn't make the company Yahoo.

Deja Vu

No, I'm not going to talk about Denzel's new film. Rather, the news of Google going up to $500 a share, the acquisition of YouTube, and the real estate business are giving me a sense of Deja vu. All these things are so hyped off the charts that it reminds me of the Internet bubble burst. Many have addressed the real estate problem. I met a banker on a plane on the way to LA. We talked about the expensive properties on the west coast. But then a NY Times paper was on board and it talked about the fact that housing is slowing down and people are waiting and speculating the market. This is just the beginning, we thought. Again, this was confirmed a few days ago when the reports came out to show new permit for housing is at its 9 year low. What does this mean? People will no longer be buying new houses. Therefore, construction workers are no longer required. These workers will have to find different jobs or apply for unemployment. Long story short, the economy will suffer from this. Properties will be of less value. A lot of people will be in serious debt from the bank loans. In asia, this is starting to show where people can't pay off their car loan and new cars are being reposed. Even used-car sales are at its all time low.

This could be a good thing for filmmakers wanting to shoot in Asia. Things are already cheap here. It will only get cheaper.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You're not Ari

A few months ago, I met with the manager who represents a number of high profile talents in Asia, particularly the Chinese market. His clients included Jolin Tsai and Stanley Huang, to name a few. The reason for this meeting was because I was planning to make a film in Asia and I needed Chinese talent to be specific. The artists he has are the most bankable now, but bankable in the music business only. They are singers first and actors in spare time. Therefore when we talked about potentially involving his clients in my film, he obviously thought he was Ari Gold.

Perhaps having the top client in the music industry in Asia gives him the bragging rights, but honestly none of the clients are talented or good actors. Nor are they bankable in the film industry. Usually, it makes sense to have the film industry as your priority in a career choice. But in Asia, less in Hong Kong, film takes a back seat. Hollywood films have overwhelm the market here. The real money making entertainment business here is music. So the next time you try to get an Asian talent, see what their main role is, singer or actor. Then you decide if the juice is worth the squeeze.

I am taking my project back to the US.

Director Robert Altman dead at 81

The Player was my favorite movie of Altman's.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Player (1992) is a movie that tells the story of Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), a Hollywoodstudio executive who believes he is being blackmailed by a screenwriter whose script he once rejected. It was directed by Robert Altman using a screenplay by Michael Tolkin based on his own novel. The movie's best known feature is its more than 60 cameo appearances by major Hollywood actors, producers and directors, all playing themselves.

The film, loaded with movie references and Hollywood insider jokes, is a critique of the Hollywood movie business, which treats artists poorly and sacrifices quality for commercial success. It might seem surprising that so many big Hollywood names agreed to play themselves in the film, but Altman himself admits that "it is a very mild satire" and it offended no-one.[1]

Altman had had his troubles with the Hollywood studio system in the '70s after a number of studio films (McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye) lost money or had trouble finding audiences despite the critical praise and cult adulation they received. Altman continued to work outside the studios in the late '70s and throughout the '80s, often doing small-budget projects or filmed plays to keep his hand in. The Player was a comeback to making films in Hollywood, although it was made for Fine Line Features rather than a major studio. It ushered in a new period of filmmaking for Altman, who continued on to an epic adaptation of Raymond Carver's short stories, Short Cuts (1993). Altman won a number of European best-director awards for The Player (the BAFTA, best director at the Cannes Film Festival) and he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe as best director (the film won the Golden Globe for best "comedy or musical"). Tolkin received an Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.

a new old blog

I've been thinking for awhile whether to create this blog or not. I already have a personal blog which I've kept for a little over 3 years. Do I really need to create another one? After a long consideration, you know the answer.

This blog will discuss my experiences, as a filmmaker trained and worked in the US, but is now living in Asia.