08 Jan 024: Writers, How to Protect Your IP in China
China based screenwriter Joey Wang discusses protecting your IP in China and the challenge of dealing with budget manipulating producers.
This is Caryn McCann, the host of the China Hollywood Greenlight podcast – a podcast about creating & distributing content for both Hollywood and China.
If you like the show, please go to iTunes, subscribe and leave a rating so other people can find this podcast. The more we work together – the more opportunities will be out there for everyone.
Any links mentioned in the podcast can be found in the show notes at chinahollywoodgreenlight.com / podcast and look for this episode which is # 24
Before I introduce today’s guest – I’d like to start out with a motivation quote to encourage our listeners to continue on their path to achieving their own green light. And today’s quote is from… Alice Walker
And she said: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” —
A quick update on what I’m working on. (below)
UPDATE ON WHAT I’M WORKING ON
- THE CHINA LIST: I am working on my membership website – The China List. The China List is a website that builds a bridge between Hollywood and China to foster collaboration in Film, TV, and internet content. In the first stage this site will connect screenwriters with producers and agents. For a limited time, I’m offering free membership to screenwriters. Producers and talent agents can enjoy free membership. I’m planning on launching it in the first quarter. Go to my website The China Hollywood Greenlight to sign up.
- TV PILOT: I connected with the director of development for a major TV network via a podcast. Podcasts are a great way to connect with experts in the industry and in this case it led to a pitch meeting. In the past I focused on film but just reaching out to one TV executive led to a pitch meeting. So I will be focusing more of my efforts towards TV in the future.
- THE AFM – I still am working on getting my IP out to various distributors and producers I met at the AFM so will send out more of my IP this week.
3 KEY POINTS
- ADAPT TO THE MARKET: Joey mentioned the vast difference in comedy writing in the west versus China. It’s a challenge as someone with a western background write humor for the Chinese audience. This could be limiting but it also could be an opportunity. If you’re a comedy writer and want to sell IP to China – I would suggest partnering with a Chinese writer. See my website TheChinaHollywoodGreenlight.com for my free e-book – How to find a Chinese writing partner. on my website on how to find a Chinese writing partner.
- WRITERS GOTTA SELL. Joey mentioned that 90% of his work is sales. He has to hustle to create his own opportunities. This is more intense in China since as Joey mentioned, there are a lot of agencies. Joey also said there’s almost no agencies for below the line talent. This is a gap in the market and if by chance you are a writer and editor or have some extra skill besides writing – who knows – this could be an area that needs someone to get the ball rolling and start a conversation about this gap in the market. Perhaps the PGA’s China Task Force or the major American talent agencies already in China can look into some kind of a dialogue to address this need.
- RAISE THE BAR; Joey’s comments that it seemed too easy for someone in China to become a producer and that some producers even during film school get coached (by their peers, not their instructors) on how to manipulate a budget. As Joey mentioned – it all starts with education. I recall back in 2015 General Manger and Chief Representative for China Motion Picture Association – William Feng – was interviewed in the LA times about A China-Hollywood producer’s exchange training program. Let’s have another exchange program and share best practices so that we can work more together more effectively.
AN OPTION TO LEARNING CHINESE: Joey suggested it would be easier to work as a screenwriter in China if you can speak Chinese. If you have the opportunity great – or even if you speak a few sentences – the willingness to try goes a long way.
I have heard of Chinese studios looking to make their films more marketable to a western audience so are pairing up their writers with a western writer could be another avenue. You might try reaching out on social media to get your name out there is this interest you.
Facebook has several groups you can join such as:
- China Filmmakers collective
- The China Hollywood Society
- China Indie Film
- Chinese in Entertainment
- International Film Producer’s Network
WRITERS – PROTECT YOUR IP: If you plan to sell your IP in China – you must register it with the Intellectual Property Rights Board. They have a bi-lingual website http://www.ccopyright.com.cn – on the website it’s called Copyright Protection Center of China (CPCC). 中国版权保护中心 Zhōngguó bǎnquán bǎohù zhōngxīn
SHOW RESPECT: Joey mentioned the Chinese hate it when foreigners come and act like they know better. You need to be humble and show respect.
Well that’s the show. Thank you for listening. To show your support – go to iTunes, subscribe and leave a rating so other people can find this podcast.
China Hollywood Greenlight Podcast – Episode 24
Joey Wang, Bilingual Screenwriter
Host: Caryn McCann
GUEST: Joey Wang, Screenwriter
Copyright Protection Center of China (CPCC). 中国版权保护中心
Copyright Registration Department
Director: LI Mingying
Deputy Director: ZHANG Hui
Consulting Tel (Tianqiao):010-68003887-7261/7788/7259/7260/5080
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