SIFFORUM | the Future of Chinese Sci-Fi Films: Mature Types, Depending on Technology, And Cultural C
On the afternoon of June 17, the "Cinema·Technology·Future - Sci-Fi Film Beyond Reality and Imagination" Forum, sponsored by SIFForum, co-sponsored by YOOZOO, with data support from Maoyan Institute and Maoyan Entertainment, was held as scheduled.
Director, screenwriter and producer Roland Emmerich (works INDEPENDENCE DAY, GODZILLA), director and creative director Paul J. Franklin (works INTERSTELLAR), dean of Maoyan Institute and chief scientist Peng Liu, director of SHANGHAI FORTRESS Huatao Teng, director and screenwriter Xiaobei Zhang attended the forum. Jiufan Chen, Sci-fi writer and founder of Chuanmao Culture, was invited to serve as the host. Together with the guests, they started an in-depth dialogue on the current development of Chinese sci-fi films and difficulties to be broken through by Chinese sci-fi films in the future.
The current Chinese sci-fi films
In the initial stage, to be formed
According to data from the Maoyan Institute, on the whole, the current consumption related to sci-fi films in the Chinese market has shown a gradual growth trend both in terms of quantity and box office. In 2018, the overall box office of sci-fi films has exceeded 20%, and the number of sci-fi films has increased to about 30 per year.
Peng Liu, dean of the Maoyan Institute and chief scientist, said that the year of 2019 was a key node of Chinese sci-fi films. Driven by THE WANDERING EARTH, the box office of films with the label of Chinese sci-fi films in 2019 will surpass the box office of Hollywood films in China for the first time. It is estimated that the box office of domestic sci-fi films will account for 61.6%.
Peng Liu, dean of the Maoyan Institute and chief scientist, pointed out that the success of THE WANDERING EARTH in the production and emotional expression not only meant the domestic sci-fi films make their own breakthrough, but also bring the Chinese films themselves to a production stage with high quality and high level. "China is not short of film audience now. There is an increasing tendency that the audience only pays for outstanding works." Peng Liu said.
Huatao Teng, director of SHANGHAI FORTRESS, also believed that as the box office of the Chinese film market continued to rise, low-cost comedy and low-cost romance films could not meet the needs of the audience any more while mentioning the motivation to participate in sci-fi film creation. No matter it's a sci-fi film or this large-scale industrial film, the audience is always looking forward to films with higher production level and high quality.
However, Peng Liu, dean of the Maoyan Institute and chief scientist, said that Chinese sci-fi films were still in the early start-up stage. From the perspective of audience cognition, Chinese sci-fi films still have problems of monotonous themes, uneven production levels, and the circle audience requiring further development. "At this stage, the cultivation of young audience has not been completed. To further increase the box office in the future, it is feasible to explore how to affect young audience or sunken female audience." Peng Liu said.
Future Chinese sci-fi films
Vision globalization, narration localization
In the discussion of the future of Chinese sci-fi films, the topic focuses on the technical application of sci-fi films and the creation of sci-fi films.
Huatao Teng, director of SHANGHAI FORTRESS, said that the overall strength of China's mainland still has much room for improvement in the technical practice of sci-fi films, especially on the special effects level. However, the most important thing is the establishment of a set of industrial systems, instead of the technology itself. It is required to promote the system to mature in the development of local sci-fi films. He mentioned that in the production process of SHANGHAI FORTRESS, although he cooperated with overseas, he likes better to cultivate local teams and establish local system. "I hope that I can incubate and drive a batch of Chinese local technology companies with this opportunity." Huatao Teng said.
Both of Roland Emmerich, director, screenwriter and producer, and Paul J. Franklin, director and creative director, emphasized it was necessary to take the rationality into consideration in technology application, while mentioning technology application.
Roland Emmerich suggested that no matter how the special effects technology evolved, sci-fi films must always pursue a sense of reality in visual presentation. He said that although digital technology and other new technologies were becoming mainstream, the practice of miniature models was still advantageous in terms of sense of reality for the lens presentation.
Director and screenwriter Xiaobei Zhang further said that it was indeed necessary that Chinese sci-fi films shall pursue globalization and modernization in terms of vision, but the specific production was only about professional cooperation. For the future of Chinese sci-fi films, the real challenge is to find a prototype story in the context of Chinese culture, find a narrative structure suitable for Chinese sci-fi films, and establish a cultural confidence that belongs to China.
Xiaobei Zhang believed that a stable market may gradually form after more and more works were presented and more exchanges with audience were made and the feedback was obtained. "The sci-fi films can really be localized in China only after it reaches that stage." Xiaobei Zhang said.
As an important part of the Shanghai International Film Festival, the SIFFORUM will be held from June 16th to 22st, with 10 forums and 5 "Film Class" activities. The 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival will take the theme of tribute for 70th anniversary and of promoting China to transit from a big film country to a film power, go deep into all aspects of the film industry, focus on topics such as film industrialization, industrial chain, sci-fi films, film education, mainstream film innovation and other topics for wisdom collision. In the meanwhile, it also takes the deep and proper implementation of "the Belt and Road" film exchange and the presentation of film art as major directions, fully demonstrates the vitality of Chinese films, fully implements the platform mission, and helps Chinese films to march toward a better future.