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Participatory Involvement and Focus Groups with Emerging Creative Talents

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Part of the International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology book series (ISCEMT)

Abstract

This chapter explores the young local emerging creative talents, their artistic aspirations and obstacles encountered in their attempt to achieve their creative vision. These are active and collaborative audiences who aspire to become professional filmmakers and creative participants working on linear or non-linear film narratives (and derived IP such as books, graphic novels, music, or videogames). In regard to Peterson’s model they relate to both labour and market: the boundaries between producers and viewers of content have been particularly blurred for this section of the audience, as they actively create and consume films (as evidenced in Chaps. 2, 7, and 8).

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Notes

  1. 1.

    These young professionals were representative in age, gender. Socio-economic and educational background with the rest of the population observed.

  2. 2.

    The young professionals selected on the production set of The Last Race are representative of this young urban millennials creative elite which is the core of the study of this chapter. In terms of the feasibility of the study, I also needed privileged access to these young professionals and the shooting of the movie was a wonderful opportunity to identify them, to build rapport with them, and to get deeper insights from them.

  3. 3.

    Some of the professionals identified on set were studying or had already studied at these institutions as well.

  4. 4.

    While this reduced qualitative sample does not pretend to be representative or extrapolatable for the Chinese population, I decided to include respondents from Hong Kong SAR, like I had done for the quantitative survey in Chap. 8, to contrast the findings.

  5. 5.

    While most respondents were from the 1990s wave, a few were from the 1980s wave: When I changed their age, I have ensured that I kept these respondents within their respective age bracket.

  6. 6.

    Also see Chaps. 2 and 3.

  7. 7.

    It should be noted that the emerging talents were not selected on the basis of their command of the English language; many just happened to speak English with varying degrees of proficiency. This is generally correlated with their aspirations to work on foreign productions or co-productions to polish their skills as much as for the attraction of a better salary. It is also correlated to their dreams to appeal not solely to the Chinese market but to share their work internationally.

  8. 8.

    Both Maoxi and Mr. Shin’s view of drama was rather melodramatic and they liked sometimes for the actors to exaggerate their feelings. While this could work for a TVB or some of the Chinese audience, it would have a hard time appealing to an international audience or a sophisticated Chinese audience.

  9. 9.

    Standard TV productions in China are very different from theatrical productions. TV and theatrical productions serve different purposes and are targeted to different audiences. A TV production aims largely to sell advertising in between its episodes and many ad breaks. It also comes to its audience free of charge. A theatrical film aims at an audience who made the investment to purchase a ticket. While TV audiences are captive and accustomed to the show, in terms of viewing context, the show is displayed on a rather small screen (whether it is a TV set, a laptop or a mobile phone) and they don’t necessarily expect the same level of quality as a film released theatrically. Theatrically released films are projected on a big screen, any mistake is immediately spotted. The creative aesthetics of theatrically released films are significantly different from TV films as wide shots are used more often while TV makes an extensive use of close up shots.

  10. 10.

    Wolf Totem is to this day one of the rare co-productions to have worked commercially well both in China and the so-called ‘West’, Europe in this case.

  11. 11.

    This phenomenon was described as a ‘distribution bottleneck’ (Montgomery 2010, 47–48; Hartley et al. 2015).

  12. 12.

    In Confucian Teachings, the Chinese were ‘very much concerned with the perfection of the self as well as of those in their immediate environment’ such as family members (Chu 1978, 242). ‘Personal Loyalty’ was traditionally nurtured as well as the ‘de-emphasis on individualism’ (Chu 1978, 239). This traditional set of values can be seen as conflicting with the new way of life propagated by foreign films and new technology that promote individualistic ideas. We can observe that individuals who have been raised as only children tend to be more socially independent.

  13. 13.

    Communication with Prof. Stanley Rosen on February 21, 2018.

  14. 14.

    Madworld received several nominations and awards including Best New Director for Wong Chun at the Hong Kong Film Awards 2017 and at Golden Horse Film Festival 2016.

  15. 15.

    Conversation with Vicky Wong at a ‘Fresh Wave’ event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) at the American Film Market (AFM), Los Angeles, November 2017.

  16. 16.

    Ayam is planning to deploy his time and resources to raise finance for his project in its second phase when he will have to record music with London Symphonic Orchestra and find partnership with Industrial Light and Magic for his animation. He is then looking to use Kickstarter to raise finance and emotional engagement from building a pre-audience for certain elements of his multi-media project and he may use Indiegogo, Tubestart, Rockethub, Seed&spark, or Patreon for other features – Patreon most probably for music.

  17. 17.

    Data collected at the Macau Film Production Investment Trade Fair on 25 and 26 July 2017.

  18. 18.

    For instance this was the case of Chris Doyle’s trilogy of the three Ps with the central part on students and the umbrella movement.

  19. 19.

    Paragraph 5(c) of the Apple Ebook Agency/Commissionaire Distribution Agreement.

  20. 20.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/722057066/hong-kong-trilogy-preschooled-preoccupied-preposte

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Poujol, P. (2019). Participatory Involvement and Focus Groups with Emerging Creative Talents. In: Online Film Production in China Using Blockchain and Smart Contracts. International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02468-0_9

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