Hollywood exploring market with China's chart-topping metrics

Updated 2018-04-12 15:40:01 Xinhua

Gavin Scott, writer of the Emmy-Award winning "Mists of Avalon" and veteran Hollywood screenwriter who has penned scripts for the likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, is keen on stepping into the breach.

He has traveled recently to China where he negotiated with two Chinese production companies to write Chinese feature films for the Chinese and international market. No stranger to mentoring other writers, Scott finds the prospect of collaborating with the Chinese an exciting one.

"I think it's a great opportunity for writers from two great cultures to come together and collaborate to create the entertainment of the future," he told Xinhua in an interview.

When asked about the challenges of creating "writer-for-hire" commercial cross-cultural fare, he was undaunted: "Both China and Hollywood have great cultural riches to draw on and if writers can find a way to combine them, the whole world will benefit."

For Chinese filmmakers intent on learning Hollywood's winning script formulas who prefer a more high tech approach, they could also get a jump on the competition with a little help from cutting-edge AI.

"We've cracked the code on human interaction and storytelling," said Stephen Greenfield, one of a team of AI software programmers and psychologists who have managed to create an astonishingly robust and nuanced AI program that can provide detailed suggestions for realistic storylines and plot points.

"As fellow artists, our goal is to help writers improve and evolve their stories."

Their breakthrough program, The Storytelling Cipher, apparently works so well that the U.S. law enforcement agencies have been using it to model and predict behavior of terrorist groups around the world.

But Hollywood's future in the China market is likely to hold challenges as well.

The LA Times reported that Jeff Towson, professor of investment at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management, said Hollywood's success in China is going to increasingly come under assault by rising Chinese competitors.

"Foreign companies (like Hollywood studios) do well at the top of the market, typically because they start out having superior quality, technology or brand recognition," he said.

"But over time, the Chinese competitors grow and steadily improve their quality. They reinvest, make acquisitions and begin to attack the top of the market," he predicted.

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