Vietnam folk culture a treasure: Hollywood producer

May 28, 2006

Hollywood film producer, Bill Mechanic
Vietnamese legends and folk tales are a source of inspiration for Vietnamese filmmakers, famous Hollywood film producer, Bill Mechanic, has said in a recent meeting with the local movie sector.

The US veteran film producer stressed the treasure of folk culture would give Vietnamese filmmakers great inspiration to create distinctive works.

“However, you must retell what you discovered with state-of-the-art language and point of view,” Mechanic said at the meeting with Vietnamese filmmakers, directors and scriptwriters in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this week.

Mechanic, who was chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Filmed Entertainment from 1994 to 2000, came to share his experience in movie business.

He focused on two topics “How to make a good film” and “How to earn money from movies”.

According to him, to bring out a good work, the filmmaker must turn a familiar event to the audience into a must-see new event.

Asked by a young director how to make a film with only US$200,000, Mechanic said: “If the funding is too low, you should choose a good screenplay that aims to build characters with original personalities and minimize the cost for shooting.”

He said the most important thing is how to make the audience feel you made the film with $1 million, not $200,000.

Mechanic said there was almost no chance for Vietnamese filmmakers to enter Hollywood – the world’s largest movie kingdom.

However, he said 15 years ago South Korean movies were similar to Vietnam’s, but they had made great progress, saying Vietnam could do the same.

While working for the Twentieth Century Fox, Mechanic oversaw production of such hits as “Independence Day” (1996), “Titanic” (1997), “Braveheart” (1995), “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999).

During his seven years at the helm, Twentieth Century Fox gained 72 nominations for Oscar awards.

Prior to that, Mechanic was president of international distribution and worldwide video at Walt Disney Studios.

Reported by Ha Anh – Translated by Thu Thuy

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