Archive for February, 2012
The directorial debut of American movie star Keanu Reeves, “The Man of Tai Chi”, began shooting in Beijing on Tuesday, the New Express Daily reported.
The new director attended a small celebratory event along with the famed Chinese producer, Han Sanping and other members of the cast to mark the start of the production process for “Man of Tai Chi.”
With nearly 200 million yuan worth of investment from Village Roadshow and the China Film Group, “Man of Tai Chi” marks the first time for Reeves to take the helm of a major movie project.
Shooting will last for nearly 6 months in both Beijing and Hong Kong.
Chen Hu, Reeves’ Kung Fu coach, will play the lead in the movie, and Reeves will play the villain.
Hong Kong singer-actress Karen Mok will play the female lead as a police officer.
Chinese kung fu master Yuen Woo-ping will choreograph the movie.
“Man of Tai Chi” is the first time for Reeves to take the helm as director. It is a modern kung fu flick with a Tai Chi twist.
China Film Group, Village Roadshow Asia, Wanda Media and Universal Pictures will co-produce the movie. Universal Pictures will be in charge of its release in North America.
Reeves spoke to select journalists with Side By Side’s director Chris Kenneally, who he met working on a previous film.
Reeves remembers: “Chris and I were working on a film called Henry’s Crime and it was in that process that the digital intermediate was being compared to the photochemical, and we saw the timer and the colorist talking and we thought, this is ‘side by side,’ photochemical and digital. This transition might be happening. We looked at each other and said, ‘Want to make a documentary?’ And we did. We started on this journey.”
Kenneally adds: “The questions were what are we losing if film is no longer around, or what are we gaining or what’s the impact with this coming digital age?”
The film includes interviews with greats such as James Cameron, Martin Scorses, Chris Nolan, Lars von Trier and the Wachowskis.
Of the dozens of impressive interviewees, Reeves says one highlight was meeting the man behind Star Wars. “It was great to have the opportunity specifically for the film to speak with George Lucas, because of his impact on digital cinema. And all aspects, sound and projection, visual effects, cameras, he’s such a pioneer. “
Reeves is currently in pre-production in Beijing for his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi. He says that “because of the circumstances” he’s going digital on that one and that he’s “happy” with that decision. He’ll use the ARRI Alexa Studio.
As a director, he says he’s excited for “the opportunity to tell the story of the film, and to see what the challenges will be and the creativity of it.”
As he prepares to take the director’s chair, did any of those A-list directors give him any valuable tips? He remembers one key one: “Cameron just said, ‘Shoot it!’”
Keanu Reeves, who recently shot his directorial debut Man of Tai Chi in Hong Kong and China, is being touted as a star attraction by two of the region’s upcoming film festivals.
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (21 Mar — 5 Apr) announced that Reeves will take part in its annual Jockey Club Cine Academy Master Class on 18 Mar. He will present Side By Side, a documentary about cinema that he produced, and then take part in a discussion moderated by Hong Kong-based director Yonfan.
Reeves is also being lauded as one of the stars that will burnish the second running of the Beijing International Film Festival the following month (23-28 April).
Earlier Beijing announced that Avatar director James Cameron, who is interviewed by Reeves in Side By Side, will be a red carpet guest and screen his upcoming Titanic 3-D at the festival.
BEIJING – Organizers are gearing up for a record number of exhibitors at Filmart, the Hong Kong Film and Television Market, while Keanu Reeves will give a master class on digital film at the Hong Kong Film Festival, which runs concurrently.
The March 19 to 22 event is likely to attract considerable interest after mainland China, which is strongly linked with the Hong Kong biz, agreed to increase market access for U.S. movies earlier this week. This resolves an outstanding trade dispute, prompting hopes of a boom in Hollywood-China relations.
Filmart will feature some 640 exhibitors from nearly 30 countries at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
The U.S.’ Independent Film and TV Alliance will present a variety of companies in the U.S. pavilion.
For the first time there will be pavilions for exhibitors from Turkey and Mexico, while other pavilions will house Gaul’s Unifrance and Ile de France; Film Export U.K.; South Korea’s Kofic and Kocca; Japan’s promo org Unijapan, the Okinawa Film Office, Hokkaido Contents Distribution and Jetro.
Filmart will also host pavilions for Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Filmart is Asia’s premier film industry event and one of the world’s top three film markets in terms of exhibitor numbers. Together with other events under the expo, we look forward to showcasing the biggest annual entertainment event to the world,” said Hong Kong Trade Development Council assistant executive director Raymond Yip.
There will also be seminars and conferences looking at new media and online distribution, screenwriting for the global market, and others.
Reeves will be guest of honor at the Jockey Club Cine Academy Master Class on March 18, presenting “Side by Side,” a documentary produced by and featuring Reeves interviewing filmmakers including George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron about the development of digital cinema technology.
“A talent of his international stature at the Master Class is a real encouragement to our young people to develop their interest in film and film culture,” said fest exec Roger Garcia.
The event will be moderated by filmmaker and art connoisseur Yonfan, who is involved in digital restoration of his own films.
The events come under the umbrella of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, which will feature nine events covering film, TV, digital entertainment and music.
Also included are the Asian Film Awards, the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum, the Hong Kong Asian Pop Music Festival, the IFPI Hong Kong Sales Music Award, the Incubator for Film & Visual Media in Asia and the Digital Visual Effects Summit.
DAY 7 – 15 February 2012
Side by side on the sofa with Keanu Reeves
A positive atmosphere was charged on Tuesday morning in the lounge Glashütte Original. In the VIP waiting area high-profile media representatives and TV crews look forward to a world star to give him as many questions to make his latest project: Keanu Reeves.
This was however not in his familiar role as an actor, but as a producer of this extraordinary project. Together with the native Canadians also took the director of the film, Christopher Kenneally, on the Glashütte Original sofa.
Keanu Reeves leads in the documentary “Side by Side” talks with known Filmmakers, including David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Lars von Trier and James Cameron. The documentary examines the science of digital development in the field of film art, during this side by side the film tries to give a response to the advantages and disadvantages of digital practice, compared with the analog cinema.
Before walking on the red carpet for the Side by Side world Premiere, Keanu signed the guestbook of Glashütte Original. He wrote the words: “Thanks for your hospitality,” and we said goodbye to the world star at the 24th Floor of the Kollhoff Towers.
Keanu Reeves (C) and director Christopher Kenneally (4thL) and crew attend the “Side By Side” Premiere during day seven of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele on February 15, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.