Film companies lack money, studios

Published: 25/06/2010 05:00



As the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of Ha Noi nears, private film companies are being urged to shoot historical TV series, even though they lack sufficient funds and studio space.

Activities to celebrate 1000th Thang Long – Hanoi anniversary

To make up for the shortfall, TV broadcasters have doubled payments to film companies for a single episode to VND400 million (US$21,000), far more than the 200 million ($10,500) required to shoot a soap opera episode.

Historical series require considerable investment for costumes and sets, but most directors find the higher payments offered by broadcasters too small compared to real costs.

“Advertisers aren’t interested in historical series, so it’s more difficult to sell available commercial spots than soap opera projects,” said Tran Binh Trong, production director of M&T Pictures.

His studio is working on Ve Dat Thang Long (Returning to Thang Long) project and bargaining with HTV (HCM City Television) to raise the price because it is estimated that each episode costs at least VND1 billion ($52,000).

“For historical filming, most settings, costumes and props are not available,” he said. “And we have to start from scratch.”

Director Le Cung Bac, who is filming Vo Ngua Troi Nam (Galloping in the Southern Realm), said the price of VND400 million had been cut back by one-fifth from the studios’ initial suggestion.

Lack of facilities

Many directors working for film companies said a lack of studio facilities had raised costs.

Filmmakers have to build their own sets, use existing structures used during feudal dynasties or travel to neighbouring countries to rent studios.

The film crew of Thai su Tran Thu Do (The Great Tutor Tran Thu Do – founder of the Tran Dynasty) filmed several scenes inside a temple dedicated to King Minh Mang (1820-41). The film crew allegedly encroached on a sacred sanctuary and scared off tourists.

The film crew of Ly Cong Uan–Duong Den Thang Long Thanh (King Ly Cong Uan–the Road to Thang Long Capital) had to travel to China’s Zhejang Province to rent the costly Hengdian Studio. The differences between historic architecture of Viet Nam and China limited their use of the studio facilities.

“If historical set studios were available, we could save lots of costs and time for filming,” said Tat Binh, who is directing Huyen Su Thien Do (The Legend of Relocating the Capital).

“The studios could be rented by film crews, one after the other, with just some modifications,” he added.

Several plans for ambitious studio complexes have never materialised, including a movie park in District 9’s Historical and Cultural Park proposed by the Government 13 years ago to provide comprehensive services for film crews inside and outside the country.

Source: Vietnam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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