(Note from the Founder of Screenwriting Staffing, Jacob N. Stuart). Scott Rosenfelt is THE encyclopedia of film. So for Scott to take the time to talk to me and Screenwriting Staffing during his very engaging and hectic schedule was a true blessing. I connected w/ Scott based off his impeccable experience and knowledge of the Chinese Film Market. I can’t preach this enough, but screenwriters have ONLY two options on this topic. a) you can ignore it and be left behind, or, b) embrace it and reap the lucrative benefits.
Short Bio: Scott Rosenfelt is one of Hollywood’s most successful independent producers. On the strength of such films as Smoke Signals, Home Alone, Mystic Pizza, Teen Wolf and Extremities, Scott has garnered international acclaim and recognition. Mr. Rosenfelt has also recently started the Hollywood International School of Film, Television & New Media in order to bring Hollywood professionals to China to teach all aspects of filmmaking. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “Why should screenwriters incorporate Chinese characters in their screenplay?”
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “OVERALL, THE CHINESE MARKET IS EXPANDING SO MUCH THAT IT WILL OVERTAKE US BOX OFFICE VERY SOON. THAT MEANS THERE’S A VERY LARGE AUDIENCE THAT WANTS TO SEE FILMS, AND SINCE THERE IS STILL A QUOTA ON THE AMOUNT OF WESTERN FILMS THEY SEE, IT’S BETTER TO WRITE SCRIPTS WITH CHARACTERS IN WHICH THAT AUDIENCE CAN IDENTIFY. AT THE SAME TIME, IT IS NEVER BAD TO INTRODUCE NEW CULTURES TO OUR WESTERN AUDIENCE, TO BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND PHOBIAS ABOUT OTHER CULTURES.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “What’s to credit for the recent success in the Chinese Box Office?”
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “BETTER MOVIES ARE BEING MADE, MORE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THE THEATER, AND THERE ARE MORE THEATERS. THEY WANT WESTERN-STYLE FILMS, EVEN IF THEY ARE CHINESE, AND SCREENPLAYS IN CHINA, WHICH HAVE BEEN WOEFUL, ARE GETTING BETTER.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “Why is Hollywood capitalizing on the Chinese Film Market?
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. A LARGE, UNTAPPED AUDIENCE DYING TO WATCH MOVIES, AND ACTUALLY LIKE TO GO OUT TO THE THEATER. IN THE US PEOPLE ARE STAYING HOME (AT LEAST OLDER PEOPLE ARE) BUT THE CHINESE WANT TO GO OUT, AND THEY WANT TO GO TO THE MOVIES.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “Will the Chinese be able to sell “their” films to the Western audience?”
“SCOTT ROSENFELT: YES, BUT THEY HAVE TO SHOOT IN ENGLISH AND/OR INCREASE THE QUALITY OF THEIR SCREENPLAYS IN ORDER TO DO THAT. IT’S STARTING TO HAPPEN, BUT IT’S SLOW.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “Will the Chinese Film Industry eventually surpass Hollywood? If so, why?”
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “IT WILL SURPASS IT FINANCIALLY. IF HOLLYWOOD KEEPS MAKING THE KIND OF JUNK, OVERALL, THAT IS CURRENTLY BEING MADE, THEY COULD SURPASS US SINCE WE’RE GETTING LAZY AND JUST GOING FOR BIG BOX OFFICE. THAT MIGHT LOOK LIKE THE RIGHT STRATEGY BUT WE’RE NOT DEVELOPING GREAT FILMMAKERS AND CHINA HAS THE ABILITY TO DO THAT.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “What Chinese films should screenwriters watch?”
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “LOST IN THAILAND IS FUNNY, AND FEELS LIKE A US MOVIE. I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS BECAUSE MOST OF THE FILMS I’VE LIKE AREN’T CURRENT.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “What benefits can a screenwriter expect to see in their story when they incorporate Chinese themes and locations?”
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “YOU LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT ANOTHER CULTURE. THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THAT.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “What stereotypes do screenwriters need to be careful with when introducing Chinese characters in their screenplay?:
SCOTT ROSENFELT: “DON’T JUST DEAL WITH THE FOOD BEING DIFFERENT, THE LANGUAGE…WE’VE ALL SEEN THAT A HUNDRED TIMES. NO NEW NEWS THERE. FIND REAL STORIES WITH PEOPLE DEALING WITH ISSUES LIKE IN THE WEST, WITHOUT GETTING POLITICAL. SHOW HOW CHINESE ARE DIFFERENT BUT THE SAME…THAT’S WHAT I BELIEVE IN. OBVIOUS POLITICAL ISSUES WILL NOT WORK IN CHINA.”
SCREENWRITING STAFFING: “Outside of China and India, what other Asian country can we expect to see a boom in the box offices?”
SCOTT ROSENFELT: INDONESIA, VIETNAM, MALAYSIA, THE PHILIPPINES. ALL GROWING ECONOMIES AND THRIVING FILM BUSINESSES.”
Mr. Rosenfelt wrote the script for and will be producing and directing Bre-X, a dramatic feature based on the largest gold stock scandal in the history of Canada. Mr. Rosenfelt will be producing and directing Bruno Sammartino: The Living Legend
from a screenplay he co-wrote with Paul Guay about the champion wrestler’s extraordinary life. He also wrote and will produce and direct the comedy, Snow White Ladies. He is also currently writing the script, Parents, for producer Thom
Mount. Rosenfelt will also be writing the screenplay for Lost In Beijing, based on his original story, for Beijing-based National Film Capital and will co-produce the film with Thomas Leong. Scott Roesenfelt’s IMDb