Co-production Makes Movie Dream Greater
Co-production Makes Movie Dream Greater - Taipei Film Commission
Article/ Director Jennifer Jao, Taipei Film Commission
“Haven’t you already brought the audience The Last Temptation of Christ? Why would you make Silence, a film of similar subject? Is there still something to be said?” I came up with three consecutive questions for director Martin Scorsese on our first meeting during Cannes Festival back in 2014. It was on a yacht.
During each of my first meeting with directors or producers who come to film in Taiwan, I always ask them the same questions: What is your dream? What do you wish to achieve through the film? My motivation is based on the goal of Taipei Film Commission, because we regard ourselves as more than just “a team that provides assistance to film crews;” instead, we aspire to help filmmakers realize their “dreams,” which can be a quite challenging task but also the most rewarding part of our job.
For instance, back in the winter of 2011, we took director Ang Lee to Taipei Zoo to “interview” all the 7 little and giant tigers they had, because Ang was looking for one with the “imposing look of a king” to illustrate the “balancing and equal power” in a man-animal conflict. In 2012, director Luc Besson pictured Taipei as a city of both “modern technology and mysterious legends” to echo his fable-like vision for the world. Compared to the two, what Silence required seemed rather simple: settling crosses on the beach, building a 17th-century Portuguese church in the studio, and searching for a dark mountain landscape in the morning fog as the background to express the protagonist’s sadness.
Since the establishment of Taipei Film Commission in 2007, we have assisted in 558 international productions of different scales, including 175 co-production films. Is it a tough task? Of course, I believe all our friends from film commissions around the world would agree so, yet the process is full of fun especially when we are faced with unpredictable themes and dreams. Thanks to co-productions, we dream greater dreams, and the journey of our life has become more fulfilling. Isn’t it true?