Monday, April 9, 2007

Best of Golden Rock - April 2nd to April 8th

The following is a compilation of the most notable news covered by The Golden Rock from April 2nd to April 8th:

- When you have a soon-to-be-defunct TV tower and a huge Hollywood blockbuster to promote, what do you do? Nagoya has found the answer.

- You can quench your thirst with teasers today - one for Eye in the Sky, and the other for Feng Xiaogang's latest The Assembly.

- Turning our attention over to South Korea, it seems like after the screen quota for Korean films was removed, the evil giant U.S. conglomerate has decided to also rape its TV industry as well by taking away the cap Korea has on foreign ownership in a broadcaster, among other things. Free trade, my ass.

- Ming Pao has an editorial about the status of screenwriters - one of the most overlooked jobs in Hong Kong cinema. Excerpt are as follows:


There have been many market research regarding Hong Kong films in recent years, and audiences points that box office gross are low because the scripts are no good. Local scriptwriters not being treated well is one of the reasons are scripts are bad. To improve the quality of scripts, cultivating new talents is not the only solution.


Screenwriters are weaklings in the film industry, despite their important creative role. But their wages are often lower than the cinematographer, production designers, and even production crew. If they don't take on other careers concurrently, they wouldn't be able to survive.


Just raising screenwriters' fees isn't enough. The government should improve the protection of script copyrights, allowing screenwriters to get fair reward.


To a screenwriter, the screenwriters' fees isn't the most important thing, but rather how the script can get basic protection after its creation. Ensuring that ideas aren't stolen can protect copyrights and allow for a healthy bonus system. Even if the fee is zero, it would attract many more people to participate (in screenwriting).


How can people create under an unfair system?


A good script isn't bought simply with money. A good creative environment is really the most important thing.

Original Chinese text is here.

- We have three posters/promo materials from Twitch. First, we have the poster for Feng Xiaogang's The Assembly, which looks.....kinda cheap. Then we have the sales flyer for the Benny Chan-helmed Nicholas Tse-starrer Invisible Target, which looks extremely cool. Lastly, we have Joe Ma (Is this "Love Undercover" Joe Ma Wai-ho?) and his Japaense/Hong Kong co-production of Sasori.

- Speaking of pictures, we also have a picture of Taiwanese pop star Rainie Yang apologizing again for remarks she made about the Sino-Japanese war on a Taiwan TV show, which angered those pesky Chinese netizens. Of course, then she takes it too far and starts reading the history book that was given to her at the press conference. Er.....

- China is seeing its first series about homosexuals, good for them! But it might not make it past the censors, although it will broadcast online. I honestly don't know who would expect them to get past the mainland censors when even Hong Kong people couldn't accept public broadcaster RTHK's 30-minute documentary on homosexuals. Good try, though.

- I also mentioned a few days ago the Andy Lau fan madness saga. Anyone that wants a fairly comprehensive wrap-up and a look at the next step for the mentally unstable Yang family shouldn't hesitate to look at the always informative EastSouthWestNorth blog. Yikes.

- New on the list of "not very good producers" is RTHK, who refused to allow Yan Yan Mak's film "August Story" to screen at the Hong Kong International Film Festival because Mak put together the 62-minute "long version" from a 22-minute short film that RTHK commissioned her to do. At first, RTHK refused the existence of the film because Mak never received official permission to make it, then they said she can show only the 22-minute version along with 2 other films in the series of short films, and now the film festival people just flat out decided to pull it because RTHK won't budge. With RTHK in hot waters lately, I'm not so sure if they should be making any more enemies these days.

- Japanese television strikes again, and this time it's in TBS's hands. A variety show sent its crew out to Akihabara to interview passerbys, hoping to catch a couple of otakus to answer some questions about current events. Now it's been exposed that one of those guys were actually contacted in advance to have him just happen to be there so he can get interviewed. Honestly, how quickly can Japanese television's reputation fall before it's in the shitter?

Asia's least-favorite demented fan family returns to Hong Kong under the guise of taking the father's body back home, only to go as far as showing up at Andy Lau's neighborhood and knocking on doors.

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