Coronavirus – is there a silver lining for Hollywood and China?

Coronavirus – is there a silver lining for Hollywood and China?

How the Coronavirus could push China to cooperate with Hollywood

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The Coronavirus is wreaking havoc in China. Recently China has reported new infections are plummeting. However, due to China’s shifting classifications of diagnosing the virus, the veracity of the decline is in question.

However – there is light at the end of the tunnel.   The article New Coronavirus: How Soon Will A Treatment Be Ready and Will It Work? mentions there is hope for a short-term solution. A drug could be a year off but there is a faster solution: Antibodies.  The article stated “Antibodies are large proteins that bind to viruses and trigger their destruction…. When people are infected with a new virus, it can take two weeks for the body to produce enough antibodies to fight it off. Injecting people with antibodies made by cells growing in a vat can keep viruses in check until a person’s immune response kicks in fully.”

And it gets better. The article stated that “There might be a shortcut. Instead of making antibodies in a vat, a US company called RenBio instead injects the genes coding for them into leg muscles. Antibody production in the body continues for weeks or even months, so these injections could be given to people to prevent infections as well as treat those who are already infected.”


Due to the Coronavirus – China’s economy and specifically the entertainment industry has come to a grinding halt. The human cost is tragic and this article doesn’t make light of that.  But despite the doom and gloom – there is reason for hope not just for a medical solution but perhaps even greater China-Hollywood cooperation. 

To begin with – China and Hollywood have different mindsets when it comes to screenplays.  The article Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say highlights this difference.

china lacking good scripts

Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO Jerry Ye said “The thing with China right now is that there’s a huge lack of creative power… so we spend a huge amount of time finding a good script. I now require all my producers to spend 60% of their energy on the script,” He later said, “This is something that’s hard to understand for foreign filmmakers because, in many countries, there are loads of great scripts and stories sitting around, but no capital or market to support them. It’s the opposite in China.” Translation – there is a huge opportunity for Western writers in Chinese entertainment.  Mr. Ye mentioned Huayi often hires foreign writers to “build the bones of a screenplay before bringing in Chinese screenwriters to then fill it out with flesh and blood.”

In the article China Taps Hollywood Writers to Create Better Films for Chinese Market, AMG Films, a joint U.S.-China production company’s CEO/producer, Alan Noel Vega had this to say: “There is no question that China holds a bright future for the global film industry. But Hollywood has had 100 years to perfect its writing and film techniques, so the best way for China to rise to the top is to tap into Hollywood’s talent now and learn from them what makes their films so successful.”


Chinese producers will need their movies to cross borders. Current projects will be hard-pressed to come together.  This was highlighted in the article Coronavirus May Hurt China’s Long-Term Entertainment Industry Goals. It said: “Yet, bad as the virus impact is for the movie releasing sectors, there could be longer-term consequences for China’s film production and eventually for its emerging rights sales businesses.”

Losses will be heavy in China due to China’s inexperience in film insurance and completion guarantees. Li Chi-an, an independent producer and screenwriter was quoted saying “Producers don’t have a bond company to cover this, that’s why the stock prices for these companies are just going down every day,” 

He went on to offer some hope though. He said “For development of a TV series this situation is actually not that bad, We work on a shared document and write an episode as a team of six. We discuss and we edit it. Of course, it’s better to have the meetings and discussions in person, but it’s also doable viable conference call.”


We will soon be launching a new website called The China List. This is a screenplay database that will enable writers to connect with producers and talent reps in Hollywood and China.

From now until March 15, 2020, we will be offering writers a free six-month membership during our pre-launch phase. 

Writers OUTSIDE of China can sign up here 中国以外的编剧

Writers INSIDE of China can sign up here 中国编剧的推广

Coronavirus and how its shaping China-Hollywood collaboration

Producers and talent reps can also get in on the act and enjoy free membership. If you’d like to apply for a free membership – sign up with the links below.

Producers OUTSIDE China can apply for a free membership here  外国制片人申请免费会员资格   

在中国的制片人申请免费会员资格   Producers INSIDE China, can apply for a free membership here