Cre­ativ­ity keeps copy­cats at bay

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK | ROUNDTABLE - By SO­PHIE HE in Hong Kong so­phiehe@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Film com­pa­nies must in­vest in their cre­ativ­ity and tell great sto­ries through their films in or­der to com­bat in­tel­lec tual proper ty (IP) thef t and pla­gia­rism, ac­cord­ing to Filmko En­ter­tain­ment Ltd Vice-Pres­i­dent Li Lei.

While the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has in­tro­duced many poli­cies to pro­tect IP in the f i l m i n d u s t r y, c o m p a n i e s should also en­hance their copyright aware­ness at the be­gin­ning of ev­ery project, Li told China Daily on the side­lines of a China Daily Asia Lead­er­ship Roundtable on Fri­day.

“But the best way (to pro­tect IP) should be even af­ter other peo­ple have watched my film, it will be im­pos­si­ble for them to pla­gia­rize the ideas … the creative ideas, the great sto­ries I have and the fan­tas­tic ways of pre­sent­ing the sto­ries — (these) are the best ways to pro­tect my IP,” Li said, adding that the law is ad­e­quate in clamping down on sim­ple piracy cases.

He said Chi­nese film in­vest­ment and pro­duc­tion com­pany Filmko has pro­duced many well-known films ,in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Mon­key King se­ries. It will con­tinue to de­velop movie fran­chises, with The Eight Im­mor­tals Cross­ing the Sea se­ries to be re­leased soon.

“Filmko has the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence to de­velop these kinds of magic films into a film se­ries, and also from ex­pe­ri­ence, it knows that peo­ple in China will want to watch these kinds of films,” he said.

Li said in­vest­ing to pro­duce films is a diffic ult process, and movies of­ten lose money in­stead of turn­ing a profit.

“So what we can do is when we have made our mind to de­velop an IP, we will do our best and pay great at­ten­tion to ev­ery de­tail,” he said.

While the com­pany strives to make the best film it can by sourc­ing the ideal script, di­rec tor, cam­era­man, stylist, makeup artist and ac­tors, vari­ables out of its con­trol are the mar­ket and the con­sumer.

Aside from pro­duc­ing films, Li said Filmko will also con­tinue to de­velop mer­chan­dise prod­ucts in fu­ture.

“C u r r e n t l y, m o s t o f t h e pe­riph­eral prod­ucts on the Chi­nese main­land are sold at the cine­mas — they are meant for en­cour­ag­ing more con­sumers to watch the movie. Filmko is also do­ing that but, mean­while, we have been co­op­er­at­ing with com­pa­nies like Chow Tai Fook to pro­duce high-end film pe­riph­eral prod­ucts,” he said.

De­spite some an­a­lysts pre­dict­ing that the growth of the Chi­nese film in­dus­try has al­ready peaked, Li said he re­mains optimistic about its fu­ture.

“The film in­dus­try and the mar­ket in the US are ma­ture and sta­ble, while in China they are still young … and I be­lieve there is still huge room for the in­dus­try and the box of­fice to grow in China,” he said.

With to­tal box of­fice earn­ings reach­ing $10 bil­lion this year so far in the US, China’s to­tal of $6 bil­lion in the same pe­riod means Li is con­vinced that the Chi­nese box of­fice will soon sur­pass that of the US.

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