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Interview with 1st grade HK film producer Nansun Shi
Media Asia Group 1/1 - Page 4
Author(s) : Arnaud Lanuque
David Vivier
Thomas Podvin
Date : 15/10/2003
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
John Sham Kein
Tsui Hark
Movies :
Infernal Affairs
Companies :
Film Workshop
< Previous
Page 3 : On Film Workshop
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Page 5 : Being producer in HK

HKCinemagic : You left the Film Workshop for the Media Asia group. When was that and what was your goal in doing so?
N S : The term of the engagement computer land, it's a very old friend of mine, I've known him for over 20 years, and then he called me and said : “Look, I've bought this film company, I'm one of the single largest shareholder, and what to do? ” He said “Can you come and help me?” So because I love films, and I think Peter Lam has very strong abilities and he's big in recreation business so he's very well connected in Hong Kong . He's always been a friend to the stars, all over the world. So he has a lot of qualities which would help make a film company successful. And because I need that kind of support to make a good film company. Otherwise there are very good filmmakers, and writers and distribution, but I think in Media Asia I could collect all of these good points. So I thought it was a good chance of giving the Hong Kong film industry a strong film company which it needs so I joined Media Asia. I helped to restructure the company and get some people and organize it all and then in the mean time I am still a senior advisor for the group. When everything went into place, I thought it was time then to let the people really show what their ability were. So I resigned from the day to day running of the company but I still work for them as a senior advisor.

Film Workshop Computer Room
HKCinemagic : Did you work for both companies at the same time?
N S : Yes, with the understanding of Media Asia. I've always done that quite a bit because people understand, they know me very well. There are no conflicts of interest because Film Workshop is a media production company, and Media Asia is a distribution, production and financing company.
HKCinemagic : Was it easy to work without Tsui Hark?
N S : Oh no problem, I've always worked outside for a lot of companies.
HKCinemagic : Infernal Affairs was a huge success in HK last year. It's due to be released in France soon. The first name that appears in the film credit is yours! What was your involvement in it?
N S : On Infernal Affairs, that's the company structure goal. I'm no longer really more into the daily running of the production. The director and the script writers came over with the project. Our head of production is John Sham who has the same credit you know, executive producer. It‘s really like the American system, there's somebody in the company who is in charge of the project, so overall we contribute when needed, I think we've all learned in so many years of experience that we should not volunteer services unless it's required. If there's a problem we should all always be on the lookout to see if there's a problem. If there's a problem, we should intercept it, if there's no problem, we should leave the filmmakers alone and we found the most sensible way of doing things. Of course Peter's big contribution is getting the stars for the film. The writers did a great script, the director did great work, the DP, the music, and the film is a team work. I think that if anything is my contribution overall is seeing that everything is working and in particular when we see the film, it is really looking very good, to plan it so that the distribution would support this quality film and to make all the distribution arrangements. If you have a good product, it must be released properly and to get the most financial gain for it. In a way, films first purpose is, if you sell the film at a very good price, then the distributor is not just the money, (but the money helps of course), but also that they would give it a due attention.
HKCinemagic : And how would you explain its success?
N S : His success, I think, was a combination, a combination of factors, first it's a really cool film. I mean that you cannot forget it, a really really cool film, and … it's been a long time since they did a film like this. The marketing was very professional. First thing, marketing does attract a public who want to see it, but once they went to see it, it really delivered much more than they expected. So the word of mouth travelled very quickly, and then we were able to stay in a whole momentum of the film.
HKCinemagic : OK, you recently resigned from the job in Media Asia as you say, and you came back to Film Workshop. What was you main motivation in doing so?
N S : I think my job was done in Media Asia, I mean it was completed the task I had to do was completed. You're not going to gamble, you must know when to get up from the table, and I think the whole structure was in place, the staff was working really well. Peter was very involved in all, and is still very involved in all the operations which is a very good thing for all, so I think it's time for me to move on.
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