Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hollywood's New Catering Service

 "I can tell you that I turned down two Chinese publishing deals because they wanted to censor the book. The first time they said, 'Let's change the name of China to some fictional country'. And it was a very Chinese Communist argument, a sort of, 'Look, everyone knows it's going to be China; you're not hiding anything. All we want you to do is just change the name'. And I said, 'No, China's China, I'm sorry.' Then the second time they said to me, 'You can keep the China name, but we want to take those chapters out of the book and put them online.' I said, 'No, I'm sorry. I know there's a billion of you and if you all gave me a dollar that would be awesome, but China's China and I have to be true to my book."
                                                                     - Max Brooks when first approached
                                                                       by the studios to make changes
                                                                       to the novelization of World War Z 

Hello Boys & Girls.
PLANET GRIFFIN is back on the air.
As moviegoers begin to crowd into multiplexes for the start of the summer season; anxious to catch a glimpse of the latest CGI loaded blockbuster (or at least the local bootlegger recording it for them), Joe Q. Multiplex may not be aware of the subtle shift Hollywood is undertaking. Beneath the veneer of Hollywood gloss, lies a new power base in the world of entertainment: Chinese Hollywood.

China is the second largest film industry in the world, and, thanks to Hollywood deal-making, it may well be the single largest film consortium by the end of the decade.
 Highly authoritarian and well known for it's propaganda and heavy censorship campaigns, China seems to be influencing Hollywood to do the same with their own films... Especially if Hollywood plans to open any of their films in Chinese Territories.
(Iron Man 3? Who remembers Dr. Wu? If you watch the American cut of the film, probably not much. The longer Chinese cut? Dr. Wu is a substantial character in the film; along with the heavily themed chinese elements and a much longer cut of the film. Bootleggers take note)

Disney saw the writing on the wall in advance, already
 utilizing Iron Man 3 as it's first (successful) test subject... By filming enough Chinese themed elements into the film and catering the Chinese Government for territorial release, Disney can claim the superhero franchise as a 'Co-Production', thereby pocketing 43% of the overall gross instead of the usual 25%. In these unenlightened times, it makes sense that Hollywood's inflated budgets for these films are actually going into filming more Chinese themed material (to the Chinese Governments standards, of course), creating longer cuts of the same film in question, and releasing two very different versions of the same movie to cater to 2 very different audiences!
AND WHY NOT?! China allows 34 foreign films annually into their territories--- but those 34 films also have access to 1.3 BILLION moviegoers, averaging out at about 60% of their Box Office (2012 alone was 1.7 Billion) Iron Man 3 secures it's name among Top Ten Grossing Films Of All Time, topping over a billion.

The old adage of 'You can't please everybody with the same thing' seems to remain quite intact. As depicted by the opening quote, here's another example of how to 'go along to get along', reported from the British World News Service-

Bad enough that WORLD WAR Z:The Movie shook off many of the literary trappings that author MAX BROOKS made famous with the book, but the simple changes suggested by the Chinese government made the adaptation process all the more transparent. In the novel, Patient Zero was noted to be a small Chinese boy who was bitten by something underwater. . In the film, Patient Zero originates from Taiwan, creating the worldwide horde.
 The significance of this fact is that Taiwan, being a historic enemy of China, makes the very thought of the possible end of the world originating from China almost unthinkable. It seems Paramount Studios agreed. With many other films currently slated to go this same route (including a certain Star Spanlged Hero & Friends) within the next 2 years, it's quite safe to say that Hollywood's New Catering Service is well underway!

Of course, it's not all one sided... Right..? I mean, every country or colony loves to view itself as a champion to its people or worldview--- especially the United States; home of the Superhero Mythology/Supervillain Mentality. It's a matter of catering to the pleasure of others at the cost of originality, honesty, or even personal creative liberty, because money is still the great persuader... Right..?
 Propaganda is a key component of marketing; worth billions of advertising dollars worldwide... So whether it's 'made in America', 'made in China', or 'made in Taiwan', we should all enjoy the end product and know that it was made with pure pride, no matter by whose standards... Right..?

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