#04 Movie co-production in China


Until the 1990s, Hollywood movies were making the vast majority of their revenue in English-speaking countries. Nowadays, these countries comprise only half the market. The main reason for the change is the appearance of new markets, including the most important one of all: China. What problems do foreign film professionals and their teams face while vying to tap into the Chinese market? How do cultural disparities and regulations fit into the equation? What is the current lay of the land in the Chinese film industry from the perspective of a director or a producer? In this episode, our guests provide their firsthand experience to answer these questions.

一直到90年代,好莱坞电影的绝大部分收入都来自英语国家,现在英语国家只占其收入的一半。 主要原因是新兴市场的出现,其中最重要的是中国。 现在每个人都渴望进入中国市场,但要说明一点,因为中国的法律法规及文化的差异,这件事很容易吗? 如何才能顺利进入中国市场? 在第一集中,我们的客人将就这个问题表达他们的想法。


Dominique Othenin-Girard – director

Dominique’s LinkedIn / Dominique’s IMDB

Tammy Tian – international co-production

Sky Wang – director

Sky’s IMDB

And, as usual, your host, Aladin

Aladin’s LinkedIn / Aladin’s Twitter / Aladin’s Instagram

From this interview, we have found three takeaways:


1) China’s movie market is not mature enough – 中国电影市场尚未成熟

Although the quality of Chinese production has improved over the last few years, there are still some issues that need to be solved:

– Revenue sharing of movies has to be negotiated. It is not automatic like in the United States.

– There are no clear, established rules on the movie set. Therefore, shooting can still be unorganized.

– The lack of a movie-rating system makes it hard for some movies to be shown in theaters.


– 每一部电影的收益分成都需要经商议决定,并不像美国市场一样拥有约定俗成的规则

– 电影场景设置中没有明确的准则,因此拍摄起来可能没有条理

– 缺乏分级制度导致部分电影很难在院线上映

2) Trust is the foundation of international collaboration – 完成一部电影需要极大的勇气和信念

Having trust in your co-workers, whether you are in the office or on set, and their collaborative ability is incredibly important — and with money and investors involved, transparency and communication are equally critical. Also, because working methods are not always the same, you need sometimes to “act as an example to show how it works,” as the director Sky Wang suggests.


3) Forget about co-production? – 也许我们该忘记“联合制片”这件事

As Zhang Yimou’s historic box office flop, The Great Wall, showed, there is no magical formula to make a hit at the box office. A safe way could be for Western technicians and advisers to help Chinese film companies remake Western stories with attributes that would resonate with Chinese moviegoers.



Sky Wang’s film is called Lost in Apocalypse /末世人间道.