For Asia-based exhibitors, AFM could hardly come at a worse time.
Feb. 14 heralded the start of Chinese New Year (Year of the Ram) and throughout the region, all Chinese personnel connected with the printing industry commenced then annual vacation.
Neither love nor money can entice a printer, an artist, a designer, a platemaker or anyone connected with the printing game to give up the two-week break.
This industry shutdown causes severe migraine-strength headaches for Asian film industry exhibitors who have to prepare their material at least two weeks earlier than their U.S. counterparts, and jostle for attention with all the other business houses in Hong Kong who are trying to get their material printed before the vacation, too.
“It’s actually a serious matter,” said Russell Cawthorne of Golden Harvest Films. “We must have everything for AFM finished by Feb 13.”
Cawthorne also said that trying to make sure that the material is finished on time, and done correctly when the people who are preparing the material often have little or no English, “is hair-raising” and “hair-tearing.”
“If there’s a mistake, there’s nothing we can do,” he lamented, “and we can’t pay them to work on it, because they’re just not there.
“If there is anything wrong, I just have to fix it myself.”