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EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY
Part 4 of 4

(When Will the "Yellow Ceiling" be Raised)

Film Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

What role(s) will Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan
be playing to help the Chinese Cinema attain
prominence and influence within Hollywood and the
international film scene - along with its audiences.

 

SNOW FLOWER'S INITIAL SALES

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" grossed nearly $5 million in its first 10 days of release, according to China-based research group EntGroup. It has been estimated that that the film cost about $6 million while having product placement from from companies such as Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Yves Saint Laurent.

According to Box Office Mojo (latest update of September 2011), the domestic sales is $1,325,543 (made possible by Rupert Murdoch’s personal request for Fox Searchlight to distribute the film in North America) and international markets brought in $1,627,801 – in addition to the above listed figures in China. Their approval breakdowns went as follows: A = 48%, B = 12%, C = 8%, D = 12% and F = 20%.

THERE ARE HIGH STAKE FOR CHINA to successfully enter the global film market while not becoming another Bollywood that is healthy on its home continent but non-existent abroad or be viewed as mainly as a propaganda mechanism. The Chinese government and private companies are pouring significant resources into the film industry to meet officials’ eagerness to boost their country's cultural exports to match the already booming business in factory goods. As a result, who will be the producers with steely business minds with the soul of an artist that will displayed an understanding rigor and sophisticated artistic sensibilities associated with unfailing support while allowing the filmmaker to do their job that solicited trust and admiration like the late John Calley? Who and where will Chinese Cinemas’ visionaries who have at their roots the passion to produce bold, filmmaker-driven picture with a singular vision that will entertain audiences throughout the world?

PRODUCERS & CREW

In China – the film was presented by Shanghai Film Group Shanghai / Film Studio (CN), IDG China Creative Media (CN), Huayi Brothers Media Group (CN), Huayi Union Culture Media Investment (CN), Sky Land Entertainment (CN) - a fully-funded, vertically-integrated film and multimedia production, distribution and financing company, which was jointly owned and controlled by SAIF Partners and IDG China Media, and owned by Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media - and Trends Magazines (CN). The project was produced by BigFeet Productions (US) and co-produced by IDG China Creative Media Limited (a China-focused investment arm of Boston-headquartered International Data Group - IDG). The executive producers were Ren Zhonglun (Shanghai Film Group President), Hugo Shong, Wang Zhongjun, Yuan Haibo, Andrew Yan, Liu Jiang. The producers are Wang Tianyun, Wendi Deng Murdoch, Florence Low Sloan and Wang Zhong - co-producers are Jessinta Liu and Andrew Loo. The production and cosstume designer is Man Lim Chung and the editor is Dierdre Slevin.

WILL WENDI MURDOCH/FLORENCE SLOAN be Chinese Cinama's visionaries/leaders following the tradition of "The Archers' (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) and their “Manifesto” brought great prominence to British Cinema by being guided by one’s judgment within successful financial guidelines to make clear that any film’s theme/purpose has the highest priority. Will Wendi Murdoch/Florence Sloan's Big Feet Productions aspires to follow Ismail Merchant/James Ivory's long tradition of highly acclaimed films that are praised for bringing out career-best performances from actors and elegant visuals communicating intelligent themes (even without words) that established their reputation of making of English-language films in Asia/India/China aimed at the international market with upscale literary cinema experiences that are prestigious and beautiful.

WENDI MURDOCH AND FLORENCE SLOAN ARE UNIQUELY POSITIONED (along with a selected few others such as Thomas Tull’s Legendary East/Paul Y. Engineering Group/Huayi Brothers, Rob Minkoff, Mike Medavoy, Peter Chenin, etc.) because they represent both sides of the Pacific Ocean with direct access to factors that often derailed most efforts. Wendi’s background of being born/raised in Mainland China, educated at Cal State Northridge/Yale, employed at Hong Kong’s Star TV and married Rupert Murdoch – CEO of News Corp. provides many advantages. Malaysian Chinese Florence Sloan is married to former MGM Chairman/Chief Executive Harry Sloan has personally witnessed how the film industry works. In Snow Flower – they’ve utilized Lisa See (acclaimed American Asian writer) and Wayne Wang (Chinese American director) to fulfill their mission and purpose. They have the ears and support of well-connected friends (i.e. Hugh Jackman, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg/Priscilla Chan, Goggle’s Sergey Brin/Larry Page, Arianna Huffington, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ivanka Trump, Nicole Kidman, Rita Wilson/Tom Hanks, Wonder Woman’s Lynda Carter), financing (through their own financial resources, along with numerous other available options in China) and distribution (pitfall of many recent films such as Aaron Kwok-starrer $9.8M “Empire of Silver” financed by business tycoon Terry Guo/???, Zhang Yimou’s $100 million dollar project - “The Flowers of War,” Feng Xiaogang's "Aftershock," Dayyan Eng’s “Inseparable” starring Kevin Spacey/Daniel Wu, John Cusak/Gong Li/Ken Watanabe’s “Shanghai,” Sherwood Hu’s “Amazing” and others). Hopefully Wendi Murdoch/Florence Sloan’s future films will provide many reasons why they exist while providing opportunities for audiences to connect with stories that are seemingly distant very moving that might be flowed- but never bad ones, never shabby or unworthy ones.

CHINESE CINEMA WILL BE AN INFLUENTIAL PLAYER IN HOLLYWOOD and on the international scene making “global films” – the strategic question(s) will be what role will China’s Culture of Ministry, producers like Florence Sloan/Wendi Murdoch, etc. will play. Acknowledging that “every picture tells a story, it will be fascinating if Chinese Cinema will create films that has amazing reasons to exist and to have audiences connect with something that seems so distant very moving. Will Wendi Murdoch’s words "We hope to inspire other people to make Chinese films for everyone" be written in every Hollywood/international film executives’ proverbial “Secret Fan.”

PRODUCING TEAM

WENDI MURDOCH is co-CEO of Big Feet Productions, a film production company launched in 2008. Prior to forming her production company, Murdoch provided strategic counsel to Myspace China, the groundbreaking social networking site. Earlier, she was a Vice President at News Corporation’s Asian satellite television operation, STAR. A native of China, Murdoch is fluent in Mandarin and English. She holds a MBA from Yale University’s School of Management and a B.A. degree in Economics from California State University at Northridge in Los Angeles. She currently serves on the boards of the Yale School of Management; the Fund for Public Schools in New York City; Artsy, a digital start-up company focusing on the fine art market; AdChina and Myspace China. She is married to Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation. The couple has two children.
LINKS
Film
"Press Converence
Cast Interview and Clips
Fox Searchlight Interviews
Film Trailer
Film Score and Pics
Li Bingbing
Interview on "The View"

Charlie Rose Interview (
Vogue Italia Interview
"Red Carpet" Interview
Forbidden Kingdom Clip
Addidas Commercial
Gianna Jun
Shanghai Film Festival Interview
Giordano Commercial
Gianna Jun
Lisa See
"One on One" Interview
Author Magazne Interview
Betty Nguyen Interview
Fanny Kiefer Interview 1
Fanny Kiefer Interview 2
Grandfather's History
Background Resources
"Hollywood's "Yellow Ceiling"
Hollywood Celebrates China's Talent
AAA Celebratins Trailer
Daniel Wu on Diversity
Being Chinese & American (Peter Shiao)
Hollywood & China Together
US-China Partnership Keys

FLORENCE SLOAN is co-creator, producer, and CEO of Big Feet Productions. Prior to creating the production company, Sloan was a writer and author of children’s books in London. She was born in Malaysia and spent much of her early years in London, England. She studied at the City University London where she obtained her B.A. in Law while graduating with honors. A philanthropist at heart, she sits on the board of many charities, including The Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, Facing History and Ourselves, and American Ballet Theater. She is married to Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO of Global Eagle Acquisitions. They live in Los Angeles with their four children.

REN ZHONGLUN is the president of the Shanghia Film Group, a film, documentary, and animation production company under the Shanghai Entertainment and Media Group. Zhonglun has been the producer, executive producer, and co-producer on numerours television series and films including THE LAST BLADESMAN, AFTERSHOCK, TRUE LEGEND, 14 BLADES, THE FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC, “iPartment,” the television series, RED CLIFF II, FIT LOVER, THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, RED CLIFF, DUIANDE ZHANGSHENG, 24 CITY, FENG HUO, SHANGHAI 1976, LUST, CAUTION, “Stage Sisters,” the television series, STILL LIFE, DRAGON TIGER GATE, THE WHITE COUNTESS, EVERLASTING REGRET, THE WORLD, 2046, and BAMBOO SHOOT. Currently, Zhonglun is in preproduction on the film THE ADVENTURE OF KOKOCHIN, and he just signed a deal with BLACK SWAN producer Mike Medavoy to co-producer an English-language World War II film and miniseries based on the Chinese novel, The Cursed Piano by Bei La.
WANG ZHONGLEI is the president and co-founder of Huayi Brothers, an entertainment company and record label. The company was found in 1994 by Zhonglei and Zhonglei’s brother and current Huayi Brothers CEO, Wang Zhongjun, as a film production company. Since then, the company has grown into a publicly traded corporation and is one of China’s largest entertainment conglomerates. Under his Huayi Brothers banner, Zhonglei has been a producer, executive producer, and co-producer on numerous film such as XI FENG LIE, HOT SUMMER DAYS, THE MESSAGE, TRACING SHADOW, JOHN RABE, YAU LUNG HEI FUNG, THE EQUATION OF LOVE AND DEATH, LU DING JI, ASSEMBLY, THE MATRIMONY, BATTLE OF THE WARRIORS, ONE FOOT OFF THE GROUND, ROBIN B-HOOD, THE BANQUET, MOUNTAIN PATROL, KUNG FU HUSTLE, WARRIORS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE MISSING GUN, DA WAN, I LOVE BEIJING, and SORRY BABY. He was also a supervising producer on the television series, “Da Zhai Men.” Most recently, Zhonglei and his brother have signed a deal with Legendary Pictures forming a joint venture named Legendary East. Huayi Brothers will co-produce the films, starting in 2013 with one or two a year, and they will act as their distributor in China. Warner Bros. is expected to distribute the films throughout the rest of the world, including North America.
JESSINTA LIU (Co-Producer) joined Shaw Brothers Studio as a liaison officer in 1981. She was responsible for the communication of both the internal and external affairs of the company and thus made her first steps into the film industry. In 1982, she was assigned to take on the role of associate producer. Jessinta specialized in the organization and preparation of productions. Her first film production, MAYBE IT’S LOVE, earned her the trust of her superiors and compliments of enthusiasm and professionalism from her fellow filmmakers. In 1984, she left Shaw Brothers Studio and started her career as an independent film producer. Some of her work includes films such as LOVERS IN DREAM, THE BOOK OF ROMANCE AND SWORD, SONG OF EXILE, RED DUST, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, CHINESE BOX, and THE STORM RIDERS. Jessinta is also specialized in foreign productions management in Hong Kong and China. Her work in foreign production management includes films like TO BE HONEST, starring Anthony Hopkins, Marion Hensel’s BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEE, and Peter Greenaway’s PILLOW BOOK. Between 1996 and 2002, Liu joined Golden Harvest and later BOB and Partners as an executive producer and an executive producer/general manager, respectively. Since then, she has set up her own production company, Greenlight Pictures, to provide production services for local and overseas productions.
WANG TIANYUN (Associate Producer) is the head of production of the Shanghai Film Group. Tianyun has been a producer, executive producer, and planner for numerous films and television series such as SHOWTIME, TRUE LEGEND, 14 BLADES, THE FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC, “Wo De Qing Chun Shei Zuo Zhu” the television series, DUIANDE ZHANGZHENG, FENG HUO, “Stage Sister” the television series, PRINCE OF THE HIMALAYAS, and STILL LIFE.
TED PERKINS (Associate Producer) is a former executive at two major studios, including Warner Bros., and his most recent post as Head of International Co-Productions and Acquisitions at Universal Pictures. He has 20 years of experience in international film financing and distribution, business planning, and U.S. theatrical marketing. Perkins also serves as Executive Vice President of Production for IDG China Media as well as Sky Land Film, a new joint-venture media and film investment and distribution company based in Beijing. His work in China included his post as executive in charge of production for the first-ever co-production between a U.S. Studio and Mainland China, PAVILION OF WOMEN, as well as producer of such local films as HUTUNG DAYS, RED RIVER, and TURNING POINT 1977. Perkins, the son of a Foreign Service diplomat, has a B.A. from the University of Virginia with a double major in Literature and Drama and a Master’s Degree from USC in Management.

 

Click HERE To The The Beginning of the Article
For more info on the participants and various aspects, feel free to clink on the links listed below
PRINCIPALS
PRODUCTION
ASPECTS
ARTICLE

Lisa See

 

 

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