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Huang Xiaoming at the forum.[Photo:mtime.com]
Despite the recent trend, film experts and critics have advised Chinese actors to think twice before jumping on the bandwagon and becoming film producers.
The advice was shared at yesterday's Shanghai International Film Festival summit titled "Industry New Current II. New Energy: From Star to Producer."
The talks attracted film veterans to exchange their views on a new phenomenon in the Chinese film industry, that of an increasing number of film stars choosing to be producers.
Hong Kong China director and scriptwriter Manfred Wong said that it was not a bad thing for actors to turn to producing as the reputation and fan base of the star-producers may ensure funds, production, and distribution. "However, it is not an easy road for anyone," he added. "The star should not be profit-driven and short-sighted. He should clearly know what he wants being a producer."
Wong also cited the example of Hong Kong China actor/producer Andy Lau, who over the past decade has invested in a lot of films. Though many of them were not commercially successful, Lau's unyielding efforts to support young film directors and art-house movies have impressed many people.The small budgeted comedy Crazy Stone and the touching drama film A Simple Life confirmed Lau's new identity as a film producer in the minds of the public.
Jonah Greenberg, chief representative of China, CAA, said that in recent years a lot of leading actors in Hollywood had launched their own production houses. "Actors want to be more creatively and deeply involved in a film project apart from just acting in it," he explained.
"But this career route is not a necessary or suitable alternative for every actor. The actors should take their own personality and talent into consideration as the new profession requires expertise, cooperation, perseverance and long-term devotion."
Mainland heartthrob actor Huang Xiaoming is also a producer of the recent film, An Inaccurate Memoir. But the film was not commercially successful when it was released in April at the same time as Titanic 3D. "The film's box office performance doesn't mean much to me," Huang said. "I still have much to learn being a film producer, but my support for China's talented young filmmakers will continue."
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