Banking on help from Hollywood

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-06-02 07:40:32

Banking on help from Hollywood

The upcoming 3-D animation film Rock Dog will feature a Tibetan mastiff pup pursuing his musical dream.

To make the movie, the producers first flew to the United States to recruit Hollywood talent, which would make the movie the first fully Chinese-financed animation film to be outsourced to an American crew.

Explaining why he went to Hollywood, Zheng tells China Daily: "Hollywood has talent from across the world. With their genius, they can turn an idea into a universal story."

After hiring the crew, Zheng frequently flew to the US for meetings with the Hollywood team, most of whom once worked in Disney or Pixar's programs.

"It was the most challenging and difficult thing I'd done," he says of the meetings.

"The rules of the game in China and the US are radically different," he says, explaining that while most of China's showbiz players rely on personal relationships to get work done, in Hollywood everything is done through contracts.

So, with no precedents to follow, Zheng says they initially "wasted" a lot of time and money on finding the right people.

Besides, the first American scriptwriter, whom Zheng declined to identify, was difficult to work with.

"He (the scriptwriter) couldn't understand why the protagonist had to be a Tibetan mastiff, which for me represented certain values. He wanted to know why it could not be any dog," Zheng says.

The clashes extended to other areas as well. In a tale with Asian values, the good guy repays evil with goodness despite being betrayed or harmed. That concept left the American scriptwriter bewildered and finally led to the termination of the contract.

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular