Creativity keeps copycats at bay
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.