×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ambitious Filmmaker Andy Lo Wants Success in Both Hong Kong and China

Mainland China’s film market might be volatile and unpredictable for many Hong Kong filmmakers, but that does not stop Andy Lo from trying. The long-time scriptwriter and director of “Happiness” says he wants the best of both worlds, and he’s determined to achieve that.

“I do want my films to succeed in both Hong Kong and mainland China, but the harder and more obvious you are, the more likely you will lose,” says Lo. “I think we should separate the two markets: you either make a film that is very Hong Kong, or one that targets mainland local culture.”

Lo began as a scriptwriter for “Gorgeous” (1999), which starred Jackie Chan. He went on to co-write many titles including quirky crime drama “Crazy ’N the City” (2005), which won the screenplay prize at Hong Kong’s Golden Bauhinia Awards in 2006; comedy “My Name Is Fame” (2006); and last year’s blockbuster “The Adventurers.”

He made his directorial debut in 2016 with “Happiness,” a drama revolving around a young man who has lost his mother and is abandoned by his father. He develops a heartwarming mother-and-son connection with a lonely woman who displays early signs of dementia. Kara Wai won the actress award for her role at last year’s Hong Kong Film Awards. Lo was also nominated for new director.

The film grossed more than HK$3 million ($383,580) in Hong Kong, which Lo describes as “standard” for a low-budget film. But it only took 962,000 yuan ($152,621) with a limited release in mainland China, despite earning the praise of audiences.

The mainland market is a gamble as a film’s success depends a lot on the distribution, says Lo. He says nowadays films go straight to web releases after theatrical release, and if a film has a small budget and does not have a big cast, it might not even get theatrical release. And if this happens before the film is even released in Hong Kong, the box office potential will be dented, which is what happened to “Happiness,” Lo says.

But Lo is not giving up. Compared to other young filmmakers in Hong Kong who are mostly graduates of art or film schools, he is an industry veteran. “College graduates might have wild imagination but my strength is my background as a scriptwriter, and investors are more likely to believe in a project helmed by someone who can produce a good script,” Lo says.

Lo is working on a new drama revolving around secrets among siblings, to be produced by actor-producer Gordon Lam. He calls the film, tentatively titled “Family Pathway,” the second instalment of his “family trilogy” after “Happiness.” It will start filming in the second half of 2018. He is also working on sci-fi project with which he wants to target the mainland.

“If I make a film in Hong Kong, I want the whole film to retain this ‘Hongkongness.’ But I’m also willing to go to China and make a mainland film with mainland cast. You cannot please everyone. But if a film is good, people are still willing to see it.”

More Biz

  • Amazon

    Amazon Blows Past Q1 Earnings Estimates With Record Profit of $3.6 Billion

    Amazon.com handily beat Wall Street estimates for profit for the first quarter of 2019 — reporting $3.6 billion net income, an all-time quarterly record for the ecommerce behemoth. Sales increased 17% to $59.7 billion in Q1, with net profit more than doubling in the first quarter to deliver earnings of $7.09 per diluted share. Analyst [...]

  • CBS Viacom

    CBS and Viacom Move Closer to Merger Talks

    The CBS Corp. board of directors is moving closer to initiating acquisition discussions with Viacom, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The move has been expected for months, although there may still be obstacles on the road to a reunion for the two sides of the Redstone media empire. Price could still be [...]

  • Ken Basin Liz Miller

    Paramount TV Ups Ken Basin to Head Business Affairs, Hires Liz Miller as Production SVP

    Paramount Television announced that Ken Basin has been elevated to head of business affairs for the division, and Liz Miller has been hired as senior vice president of production. David Goldman, the previous head of business affairs, has left the company to pursue other opportunities. Basin will report to Nicole Clemens, the president of Paramount [...]

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

  • Santa Fe Studios Netflix

    Santa Fe Studios Competes With Other New Mexico Stages for Streaming Business

    Albuquerque Studios entered the spotlight last October when it was purchased by Netflix. While the complex is clearly the jewel in the crown of New Mexico’s production infrastructure, with eight soundstages totaling 132,000 square feet, 100,000 square feet of production offices, a large backlot and support space, it’s not the only modern studio facility in [...]

  • Universal Music Hires JJ Corsini and

    JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian Join Universal Music in Global Artist Development Roles

    Universal Music Group today announced that JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian (pictured above, right and left, respectively) each have been named Senior Vice President, Artist Development, effective Wed., May 1. They join from Apple Music, where they served as key members of the company’s Global Artist Relations team since the launch of the streaming service. [...]

  • Kevin Mayer Disney chief strategy officer

    Disney to Put Emphasis on Asia Growth, Direct to Consumer

    The newly expanded Walt Disney is to place particular emphasis on Asia as it rationalizes its recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox and as it prepares to expand its direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses. “Asia Pacific is one of the growth drivers [of the new Disney]. Asia is super important to us,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content