Streaming videos draw top talents

By Han Bingbin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-04-09 08:23:56

Streaming videos draw top talents

Master's Micro Film project, hosted by Chinese streaming website Youku, features Chinese hit filmmakers' productions tailor-made for online audiences, such as No No Sleep by Tsai Ming-liang and Insomniac Diary (above) by Huang Jianxin. Photo provided to China Daily

A difference from theatergoers is that these viewers may not watch the entire film, Huang says.

An advantage is the Internet's "impoliteness" makes audiences' likes and dislikes clear and easier to evaluate.

Yim says it reminds him of Hong Kong cinema's olden-time tradition of midnight screenings, where audiences were more casual and straightforward. They revealed their thoughts through laughing, crying or cursing. Many directors then took this opportunity to assess the audiences' reactions and re-edit films accordingly.

A growing craving for insights into young audiences' tastes inspired Huang's team to arrange five rounds of test screenings for the feature-length movie he produced, The Taking of the Tiger Mountain. All targeted viewers born after 1980.

Hong Kong director Tsui Hark re-edited the revolutionary epic five times.

His efforts paid off-the movie took more than 880 million yuan ($142 million) at the box office. It became the fifth-highest grossing film in Chinese history. It was his first revolution-themed film set on the mainland.

"When we make films in the future, we may also try editing a short version, test run it online and see if the direction is right," Huang says.

More mature business operations will make micro films more sustainable, China Film Archive's researcher and film critic Zuo Heng says.

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