039: Lights, camera, discrimination!

Luo Tong

039: Lights, camera, discrimination!

Documentary filmmaker Luo Tong discusses why the film industry needs more women on film sets, what to do when your investor and director don’t see eye to eye and how to benefit from job rejections.

THREE KEY POINTS

WHEN YOU DON’T GET THE JOB IN THE FILM INDUSTRY: 

Dream Job

Of course you will do research to get jobs and do lots of pitches. Nevertheless, you didn’t get the job.  Certainly it’s disappointing but as Luo Tong pointed out – in the end it works out. How? She uses that experience to work on another project and she usually gets a better deal on the next job. 

WHEN INVESTORS AND DIRECTORS HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS

What do you do if your client / investor and your director have different ideas?  To Illustrate, Luo Tong says she has gotten very skillful at handling comments / criticism from the client. However when relaying it to the director she makes sure there is a positive outcome for both sides. Evidently, this is a skill all producers need – wrangling creative people.

WOMEN UNDERREPRESENTED IN FILM: Why the film industry needs more women

We can see the film industry news ore women. Matthew brought up how women are underrepresented in key production roles (director, producer, DP, editor etc.).  Both Luo Tong and Matthew reiterated it’s a positive experience to have more female team members. In particular, they mentioned that their female editing staff can find that story (in a documentary for example) better than their male counterparts. 

THREE TAKEAWAYS

SEXISM ON SET: Why the film industry needs more women

community

With this in mind, Luo Tong told repeated a story she heard that in the past, on China film crews, female crew were not allowed to sit on apple boxes on set. Why? Supposedly it would have a bad influence on the film.  Obviously, that’s an old tradition and hopefully an outdated one. Is this just China? To enumerate, Matthew pointed out that sometimes a film crew will assume the female director or female DP is just a PA there to get coffee. This mindset of refusing to recognize women for their contribution – hurts the film industry – and every industry I might add. The film industry needs more women.

CHINESE STUDIOS WANT WESTERN DISTRIBUTION: 

globe

Chinese studios find it difficult for their films to find an international audience. The problem usually isn’t the production values which have improved greatly in the last few years. The challenge is in the script. How do you make your story appeal to a wider audience?  See my blog post How Chinese Films Can Attract An American Audience.

Other blogs include: 7 Ways to Bulletproof Your Script For China and How to Make a Chinese Hit

TAP INTO THE CHINA MARKET: 

This term might unintentionally sound like a money grab. Namely if you think China is a fountain of money to tap into – that’s the wrong attitude.  Matthew pointed out China is more than just Wushu movies. Look at the China market as a culture, a community, a talent pool you can benefit from being a part of.  Above all, think of it as a collaboration not a money grab. 

China Hollywood Greenlight Podcast – Episode 039

Documentary Executive Producer, Luo Tong 罗彤

Show Notes

Host: Caryn McCann

Website:  The China List – where Hollywood and China meet https://chnlist.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheChinaList

Twitter: @chnlist     https://twitter.com/chnlist

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/caryn-mccann-5718058/

Blogs mentions:

How Chinese Films can Attract an American audience

7 Way to Bulletproof Your Script for China

How to Make a Chinese Hit

Guest: Luo Tong 罗彤, Executive Producer

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Matthew Baren 马熊
Creative Director 创意总监 

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