G Rewritin drama

Tieswant Authori on­script to­fo­cus­power stu­dios not­star qual­ity,

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Liu Caiyu

The au­thor­i­ties are lead­ing an un­prece­dented over­haul of China’s drama sec­tor, an in­dus­try that has been dam­aged by an over-fo­cus on star­dom and a chronic ne­glect of script qual­ity.

“The in­dus­try is de­formed. Scripts make great con­ces­sions to stars and di­rec­tors in the pur­suit of big au­di­ences. The guid­ance is China’s first com­pre­hen­sive move to sort out the in­dus­try,” Zhang Peng, a film re­searcher at the Na­tional Re­search Cen­ter of Cul­tural In­dus­tries in Nan­jing Univer­sity, told the Global Times.

A circular jointly is­sued by five cen­tral gov­ern­ment de­part­ments on Septem­ber 4 out­lined rec­om­men­da­tions for the drama in­dus­try, cov­er­ing scripts, in­dus­trial struc­ture, par­tic­i­pants, stream­ing and a fu­ture de­vel­op­ment goal.

Scripts first

The circular said media in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions should in­tro­duce cost al­lo­ca­tion guide­lines to help per­suade com­pa­nies to place less em­pha­sis on top ac­tors.

Broad­cast­ing plat­forms should not re­gard fa­mous stars as the sole cri­te­rion when pur­chas­ing dra­mas, the circular reads.

The phe­nom­e­non is a re­sult of lit­tle ef­fort be­ing put into script qual­ity, Zhang said.

“The script in most en­ter­tain­ment works usu­ally is given less at­ten­tion and fund-sup­port than it should have, be­cause most of the spot­light and money is given to stars, who are seen as the main fac­tor af­fect­ing au­di­ence rat­ings,” Zhang ar­gued.

China’s scriptwrit­ers usu­ally only get about 10 per­cent of a film pay­checks, while star­ring per­form­ers get up to half, Zhang said, De­spite this, movies with bet­terqual­ity sto­ries have shown they can win box-of­fice glory. Ac­tion block­buster Wolf War­rior 2 was a mon­u­men­tal suc­cess in China, with its story of a Chi­nese sol­dier sav­ing the day in a war-torn African na­tion rak­ing in 5.6 bil­lion yuan($854 mil­lion) as of Wed­nes­day, the Bei­jing Re­view re­ported. It was also the first ever non-Hol­ly­wood movie to break into the global list of the 100 high­est-earn­ing films of all-time. “The film de­picts per­sonal sto­ries and emo­tions in the con­text of the na­tion. Its suc­cess is not a sur­prise as it dif­fers from China’s typ­i­cal, di­dac­tic main­stream movies,” Zhang said. Most Chi­nese film and drama se­ries which tackle big top­ics such as war, the revo­lu­tion and his­tory fail to con­nect with view­ers, es­pe­cially those of the younger gen­er­a­tion, Zhang told the Global Times. Good­bye Mr. Loser, which made a na­tional splash by earn­ing 1.4 bil­lion yuan, was able to res­onate with view­ers not by us­ing big names, but its beau­ti­ful script which tells nor­mal peo­ple’s sto­ries, he added. The circular says that in­vest­ment and pay­ment need to re­flect creative val­ues. The in­dus­try is asked to put for­ward sug­ges­tions on how to dis­trib­ute earn­ings more eq­ui­tably. China has a glut of dra­matic works, but a short­age of films and shows that ac­tu­ally sat­isfy view­ers, Ren Ran, a film in­dus­try com­men­ta­tor, wrote in the Guang­ming Daily. “In­dus­trial pros­per­ity can­not sim-

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