Chinese filmmakers get a peep into Hollywood filmmaking

20th Century Fox and China Film Bureau organized the China Filmmaker Summit in Los Angeles in which Chinese filmmakers discovered the filmmaking process in Hollywood. 
Ti Gong

Chinese directors pose with renowned American filmmaker James Cameron (sixth from left) in Los Angeles.

Seven Chinese directors took part in the China Filmmaker Summit recently in Los Angeles, an exchange program jointly organized by 20th Century Fox and China Film Bureau subordinate to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

The Chinese filmmakers included "Wolf Warrior" director Wu Jing, "Cold War" director Luk Kim-ching, "Once Upon A Time" director Zhao Xiaoding, "Love O2O" director Zhao Tianyu, "The One" director Lu Zhengyu, "Legend of the Naga Pearls" director Yang Lei and "Someone to Talk to" director Liu Yulin.

The exchange program's diverse and multi-dimensional contents impressed the Chinese directors, which included a tour of Fox studio and Lightstorm, a visit to "Avatar 2" and "Ad Astra" set, Technicolor and VR/AR demonstration, as well as talks with Fox executives and well-established US filmmakers such as James Cameron, James Mangold, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Wes Ball.

They were introduced to the Hollywood work flow, discussed film franchises and how visual effects can form innovative partnerships.

Mangold said it was his duty to reach out to his audiences than just to wow people.

"The movies I remember are not because of their technology," he said. "They make people laugh, cry and think about their own life. This is the duty of filmmakers."

American producer Jon Landau gave the Chinese filmmakers a studio tour of Lightstorm, including the prop library and the stage "volume." He explained the stories behind each prop and the cutting-edge technology that went into the making of "Avatar." He also showed several clips about the Avatar theme park in Disney World Orlando, behind-the-scene clips and cut clips of "Avatar" to the Chinese directors.

Cameron invited the Chinese delegation to "Avatar 2" set where he was directing a gunfight scene. He held a virtual camera in his hand to capture the actors' performances, and Navy figures could be seen in the monitors in real time.

The discussion covered the most compelling trends in visual effects. Dystopian sci-fi action thriller "Maze Runner" director Wes Ball shared his story of his directorial debut with Fox and showed them the making of "Maze Runner" franchise.

The Chinese filmmakers said the summit expanded their vision of the industry, and the experience and acumen of these Hollywood professionals offered valuable insight beyond their expertise. They could feel the professionalism of 20th Century Fox in producing excellent cross-culture films.

Chinese director Yang Lei said he was deeply impressed by the discussions in which the directors focused on the characters and their emotions.

"This is the very soul of the colossal and complex movie industry," he said. "Technological solutions are becoming crucial to movie production. For industrialized movies, process management is especially important. Traditional process will be reshuffled."

Ti Gong

Chinese actor-director Wu Jing ("Wolf Warriors") with the prop of “The Terminator”

Ti Gong

Director Yang Lei examines an Avatar model.

Ti Gong

A Chinese filmmaker tries a VR gadget.

Special Reports