HK has to do something to lift sagging film business
We all know that — Hong Kong’s movie industry is a shadow of its former self. Hong Kong is not the only filmmaking capital in this region that has gone down skid row. Japan used to produce some of the world’s most highly rated movies in the 60s and 70s. Now, hardly a Japanese film is screened in theaters outside the country.
The popularity of many South Korean movie stars around the region may lead one to think that South Korea is now dominating the regional entertainment market. But, in Hong Kong, at least, movie goers are turned off by the all-too-familiar plots and snail-paced tempo of many South Korean productions, partic ularly TV drama series.
The Chinese mainland has moved “into the spotlight”, according to a recent Hong Kong news report. The mainland’s movie business is certainly large — large enough to have turned an entire county in Zhejiang province into a giant prop favored by producers and directors.
There’s no shortage of mega budget movies produced on the mainland each year. But, not many of them were boxoffice hits in regional markets. Some of them couldn’t even make it in the domestic market despite rave reviews by the army of seemingly likeminded critics.
Many Hong Kong people have lamented the demise of the local film industry which is widely attributed, albeit wrongly, to a lack of funding and shortage of talents. Some recent releases have shown there are home-grown talents who can produce delightful movies on small budgets.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough to win back the favor of movie goers addicted t o Ho l l y w o o d - s ty l e d s p e - cial effects that can only be appreciated on big screens in the special environment of modern theaters. It’s not that they don’ t watch anything else. But they are watching other contents on home televisions, tablets or even mobile phones.
That’s the arena in which Hong Kong can compete only if it can figure out a way to make money.
Hong Kong’s famous Avenue of Stars, located on the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, is a reminder of the city’s glorious past in the world of moviemaking.