“Correctly selecting from everybody’s input is crucial”
Industry Report: Europe and the Rest of the World
Hans de Weers • Producer, FATT Productions
Bridging the Dragon chatted to Oscar-winning producer Hans de Weers, from the Netherlands’ FATT Productions
Bridging the Dragon met up with Oscar-winning producer Hans de Weers, from the Netherlands’ Eyeworks Film & TV Drama, at its 6th Sino-European Project Lab. De Weers’ project, a Dutch-Chinese thriller, was selected for the Project Lab.
Have you worked with China before?
Hans de Weers: I haven’t worked with China before. However, I have produced a Netflix TV series called Tokyo Trial, together with Japan. I think there are similarities between working with Japan and working with China. They are both outspoken Asian cultures. Actually, interestingly I think working with China could be even slightly easier, because the Chinese market is enormous. There are more opportunities in the market and it is somehow more flexible.
What are the most interesting things you have learned about the Chinese market at the Sino-European Project Lab which you would like to share with our European counterparts?
I think you need to spend a lot of quality time in the preparation of your projects and make sure that everybody is on the same page in the end. You may need to deal with some “censorship” issues, but knowing the issues upfront and together with your Chinese partner, ultimately I think you will be able to make it work. I also believe that there will be a great energy coming from the Chinese crew once you’re shooting there.
What do you think about European-Chinese collaborations in the future?
I hope there will be more co-productions in the future. China is a very interesting and very fast developing country. On one hand there are still a lot of traditions, but on the other hand there are a lot of futuristic developments. I hope that we will learn to appreciate each other’s cultures and make the world “smaller” and our relationships “closer” through that. Working together on films could be a catalyst to achieve that.
What would be the biggest challenges, in your opinion?
We are developing a Dutch-Chinese drama thriller. I think the biggest challenge for our project will be to make a film together with a Chinese partner which will be successful in both markets. So we need to get everybody in the development phase and production phase to understand and believe in the project. Therefore, correctly selecting from everybody’s input will be crucial.
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