American screenwriter hosts online master class

Xu Wei
Award-winning American screenwriter and veteran producer James Schamus presented a master class on Sunday at the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival.
Xu Wei
American screenwriter hosts online master class

Students attend the master class by James Schamus.

Award-winning American screenwriter and veteran producer James Schamus presented an online master class on Sunday at the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival.

Schamus has worked on the production and scriptwriting of many of Chinese-American director Ang Lee’s films. 

He has also recently worked as a script consultant for Chinese filmmaker Wu Ershan’s “Fengshen Trilogy,” which is based on a 16th-century Chinese novel “Fengshen Yanyi” (The Investiture of the Gods). 

Schamus shared his experience of production with a local audience. In his eyes, producers are people who "know nothing about everything," but they bring people with certain expertise to the team. 

He advised young producers not to look upward to powerful figures in the industry, but sideways. 

“It is important to discover talented and trustworthy people and befriend them,” Schamus said. “In fact, focusing on people next to them rather than people above can help young producers succeed.”

Schamus has a long-term friendship with director Lee, who has impressed him with a passion for the exploration of new film technologies.

Currently as a professor of professional practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Schamus is pleased to witness the diversity of students with film dreams. 

Although the novel coronavirus epidemic is posing challenges to film industries worldwide, he is optimistic about the recovery of theaters and the industry because people’s social demand for cinemagoing will not change.

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