Interview: Patience, compromise keys to success in ChineseU.S. coproductions

By Phoebe Ho
TORONTO, Sept. 12 — A successful Chinese-U.S. film co-production should involve preparation, communication and realistic expectations, according to industry insiders at a major film festival here.
Such co-productions have emerged more in the global film market. While a handful of these films have seen success, others suffered miserably, not only at the box office, but in their partnerships.
“Sometimes with a film, it’s a matter of timing. The audience may just have different expectations or want different things at a certain moment,” 38th Toronto International Film Festival telling you all the truth,” she said.
The other issue, according to Bailey, is to acknowledge the cultural differences and find a way to work through them.
“There are genuine and legitimate differences in business practices, in culture, certainly in language, and those things need to be bridged and we shouldn’t be afraid of it,” he said.
Lemore Syvan, producer of kung-fu film “Man of Tai Chi,” which is the directorial debut of Matrix star Keanu Reeves, explained how she navigated the two sides.
“I felt very much the whole time that I’m a guest and I should act accordingly and try to teach as much as I can the Western ways,” she said. “Some I succeeded, and some they said, ‘no, this is how we do it.’ And I got used to how they do it, and they learned from us how we do it. So, in that way it was a really great exchange and it showed up on the screen.”
Reeves, who’s worked on many large Hollywood productions, said he didn’t even notice the cultural difference on set.
“We all have the same tools you know. A camera, cinematographer, costumes, production design, artists, actors, so there’s something that’s very familiar and the same,” said Reeves on the red carpet for the premiere of his film at TIFF on Tuesday. “I was more surprised by how much the same it was than different.”
Syvan said her production learned to combine their differences and build a new way that takes advantage of the best of both worlds.
“We created our own way to kind of combine them both. So it was like that, it was like step-by-step you know,” she said. “The way they build sets in China is much better than the way they build sets here.”
The Asian Film Summit is part of TIFF, whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. The festival, which features 366 feature length and short films this year will run till Sept. 15.[db:内容2]