Tuesday, May 1, 2007

SOMETHING THAT YOU DON KNOW...

Looking at Shin Min Daily's Lin Anna's media report.

Felt that, some matters "keeping silent" to us in the movie industry has no significance. Therefore, I brave the insults and tell every one of the hardship, hoping supporters of mine will understand me better, perhaps then you will know how important this is to me.

Having been given the mistreatment at the Hong Kong Academy Awards, I began to have the same feelings as that of FM100.3's listeners, forget it, I am a nobody, I am only a young inspiring director, just accept the insults quietly and forget it. Until next time when I'm famous will I seek revenge.

Today, I if such have done that, would you, as a Singaporean, seeing the way Jack Neo handled that insult at that time, with pride or disgust? If I had chosen to swallow the insult, what good would it have done for us Singaporeans? Having treated unfairly, irregardless of whether intentionally or unintentionally, such mistreatment is definitely not how an organizer for such major FILM FEST event would have failed in. Neither is this anything to do with my status of being a superstar or and upcoming film director. I'm pursuing this issue certainly not just because I'm a superstar (and I'm not sure where those listeners get the idea that I perceive myself as a superstar). I'm pursuing for a very simple reason. I am officially accepted and invited to attend as a participant & guest. As good social etiquette, the host must ensure that their guests are well looked after and receive due respect.

With regards to this incident, I chose to expose it, hoping that more people will pay more attention to our local movie industry and avoid unhappy occurrences. Whilst I may accept some people digging at other people's misfortunes, I cannot accept that those audience or listeners assume that I think I'm a big shot. For audiences who disdain my movies, I only can say I'm sorry. The movies I make, caters to mass appeal. For audiences who are not part of the mass appeal, I will continue to work harder, and hope you will appreciate my diligence.
For those of you out there who keep saying my movies cannot ever get beyond Singapore, pls allow me to comment below.

In 9 years, I have made 10 movies, both of which are the "I Not Stupid" series. And in fact, the "I Not Stupid" series has a very good box office in Hong Kong (this was evaluated by the Hong Kong film board), which grossed more than SGD 1 million SGD 700,000. The sales of VCDs were even better (as advised by the local sales agent). Perhaps unaware to many, Hong Kong audiences of "I Not Stupid 1 & 2" have left many favorable comments in online forums (those interested can visit www.baidu.com to see those feedback). These feedback had not received any reports from mainstream media, therefore the majority of the audiences have not read, and therefore misunderstands that my works only kept within the Singapore market.

I am not one who kicks up fusses, however, after such an unhappy incidents, if I had not kicked up a fuss, I would probably be on the losing end.

In Malaysia, "I Not Stupid 2" grossed over 1 million in box offices (I suppose not many are aware). In Taiwan, the "I Not Stupid" series movies are doing very well on their local TV cannels as well as cable TV. It's one of the frequent broadcast programme (as advised by their supervisors). And because of my other movie "The Best Bet" which has Hokkien speech lines as well as the gambling story-line, it has attracted a lot of audience attention and therefore has shot Mark Lee to fame in Taiwan and also invited to participate in another movie which has satellite tv Star TV's investment. (This is acts according to local television station manager's response).

Many Chinese audiences including youngsters and local school teachers, principals and even educationalists, had watched "I Not Stupid". And their response was far better than anticipated. Following as prictures of Chinese students in an open forum after watching "I Not Stupid 2".

There are also many Chinese downloading my movies from the Internet and emailing to ask me, why such a touching movie was not screened in their local cinemas. Actually ,"I Not Stupid 1" had successfully screening in the China local cinemas, However they had changed the title to 憨仔鬼精灵(hanzai gui jing ling) the entire movie was dubbed in their local language and accent, with a lot of mistranslation in between. It was quite puzzling to me when I watched it as the dubbing was very awkward and mis-matched. As there was not any proper marketing and advertising campaign to support the movie. And therefore, the movie was forced to end after few days released. That was our first venture in China market---death sentence, and affected our negotiation of "I Not Stupid 2" screening in China so badly…

The China film distributor has so many movies from all over the world; no one would bother about the success or failure of a movie after released. But I knew where is our failure. No superstar ,no influential backer nor strong financial backing for marketing. All we had was just good and touching story with children, and this is obviously not the selling point for this movie !

In China, movies with children are mainly shown to schools as educational films. Therefore, it's difficult to convince china film distributor that such films have commercial value. But for people who have watched this movie, would agree that this movie is more suited for parents and educationalists than children.so , a film Without a superstar, the only way is to depend on the audiences' “word of mouth ”, their own local movie named crazy stone 疯狂的石头 is one such movie. if we do a proper marketing plan to attract the first group of audience into the cinema, word of mouth probably is our only way to win this game.

when I attend Shanghai and the Golden Rooster Awards screening, many audiences walked out of the cinema crying (same response as that of Singapore & Malaysia)after the show. My friends in China had witnessed that scene and couldn’t believe that a show featuring children could have such a touching effect on the audiences. A few teachers also gave me their feedback on the show.

The Singapore movie is a new brand, "I Not Stupid 1 & 2" are the only two movies that had infiltrated the Hong Kong market commercially with good reviews. The movie company had not publicized such achievement on the mainstream media, and as a result not many people are aware of this achievement.

A new product that wants to break into the China market would usually require a lot of advertising. And these expenses are always very astonishing. Zhang Yimou's movies also required several million SGD on promotional campaign . Moreover, "I Not Stupid" is a new brand, and to make it in China, would require at least SGD 300,000 - SGD 500,000 in advertising &promotional expenses.

This is not the small amount of money…

So…

What is next …?

(THIS ARTICLE WAS TRANSLATED BY CAROL... PLEASE GIVE HER A BIG HAND FOR SPENDING TIME DOING THIS !!!)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Liang dao yan,

Dont worry about what people say.There are still many people who thinks that all your movies are priceless pieces of hardwork. Even my grandma enjoys it. JIAYOU.. :D

-hazardous- said...

*A BIG HAND*

Geetahwoo said...

good translation. pro lahhh!

jiayou jack neo! your movies are really creative and good. please don't be discouraged. your fans are behind you! =)

Lianhua said...

Why must translate?

Btw, my family and I have never missed any of your movies ya noe? We just have to watch it. Can't explain why. And we always anticipate what you'll come up with next.

You have made lotsa marks, you definitely have made a difference in many people's lives, and you'll continue to do so.

Lianhua said...

Hmm...commercial and personal values can sometimes be conflicting...

fi0na said...

Hahax jyjy ur movie dam nice i lyke all of them ^^ ii want watch more of your movies ! JIAYOUS! =D

Princess Carol said...

thanks...

Ah min said...

Seriously, i cant help but ask carol something. Did ur chinese standard increase by such a great extent?? Kudos to u for translating such a long chinese article which u have difficulty reading. Haha.

But i still prefer the chinese version. More emotions and feelings. Somethings just cant be expressed using english words. So director, pls continue writing in chinese. In the meantime, u can improve our chinese standard arh..

P/S Carol: Shud use regardless instead of irregardless. 2 negative things becomes positive. I rem my teacher used to scold me for using that. So now, i can still rem vividly. Yeap, don make the same mistakes as me.. Haha

Ah min said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Princess Carol said...

To Ah Min. Thks for the advice. I'm not a pro, just happen to lend a helping hand in translation. But appreciate your pointers.
My Chinese standard is not as good as many, but I'm learning new stuff everyday from friends and colleagues etc.

Anonymous said...

Liang dao,

I seriously think that ur movie has a selling point but like what u said,got no backing and not much commercial value. But at least u noe where ur mistake lies so pick up from there.
And lastly JIA YOU, the whole of sg and me will SUPPORT U! make sg proud

New Sun said...

Jack, you are the best made-in-Singapore movie director. Please continue your good work. One day you can be our Li Ang.

jt05 said...

I appreciate your honesty and bravery in expressing honest thoughts about life in Singapore through your movies. While life in Singapore is good no doubt, but we still need to reflect and evaluate our society. =) Please continue doing your good work!

bluesman said...

thanks carol, your translation helps, me bad,...never study chinese hard enuf in school...can talk cannot read (well)...

Jack, you are big, very big inside! And all I can think is, giants have humble beginnings... they will come back to back to you "begging"... seen b4 such things!!!

Besides, your movies all have substance unlike many of those Chinese/HK movies... spend so much budget still make people sleep...

I believe your movies touched many of our hearts!