Distribution : Better place to be a film maker - Hong Kong or New York? by Derek Allen Hammer

Derek Allen Hammer

Better place to be a film maker - Hong Kong or New York?

Hey all, I'm an American film maker and have been living in Asia for some time, now planning to move to a place where I could move onto making distribute-able feature films and one day breaking into the industry. I have two choices I'm considering: - Hong Kong, where the government is trying to promote made-in-Hong Kong films to revive the now declined Hong Kong film industry. They have sponsorships (not sure how hard they are to get and I know they are limited), and if I made a film in Mandarine, I'd have access to the world's #2 market, China, for distribution. But my concerns are: language and cultural barriers (both come up when translating my script and it's very frustrating when I hire a professional translator and even they don't translate it right). - New York - don't know much other than the possibilities seem endless and I read somewhere it's one of the top places to be as a film maker. I've never been to NY, but I know I like living in Asia hence I'm considering HK. But if anyone has insight or advice I'd really appreciate it!

Joseph Davila

In my personal opinion, though annoying and difficult, barriers can be overcome, and Hong Kong has it's appeals; but it'll always be easier to be an American filmmaker in America, New York or otherwise.

Dan MaxXx

I live in NY. Stay in Asia. Make movies there. Cheaper labor. Cheaper everything. The Tech side is improving. If u have contacts & money people backing your projects, you're doing fine. Why leave? Become great in Hong Kong (make a movie that makes $$$$$, win Critics, festivals) and Hollywood will come and get you.

Maroun Rached

Also, the competition in NY and LA is probably tougher: maybe it's easier to break through in Hong Kong. For the translation, you probably need someone really involved in the script, maybe a co-writer. Good luck,

Terry Owen

We have found with AkyumenTV and www.akyumen.com that emerging markets in APAC, EMEA and Russia have a greater thirst for entertainment content, especially all things INDIE... With the OTT market becoming the wild wild west and fragmented with a lack of all genres - emerging markets subscribers are showing greater loyalty and consuming all genres of content, especially comedy, at a 86% higher rate with multiple views of the content over a 48hr period by the same subscriber account. Our content distribution partners are enjoying great results in all markets but especially emerging markets where they are outperforming the Netflix counterpart 5 to 1 in customer loyalty (actual paying subscribers as opposed to binge watching subscribers who cancel their Netflix after free timeframe has completed.

Derek Allen Hammer

Sorry for the delayed reply. Thanks for the comments guys. I was emotionally inclined to stay in Asia anyway, and now I'm planning my next movie here ;)

Terry Owen

Excellent choice Derek.... we have seen a 23% increase in our theatrical smartphone devices sales in the APAC region as well as a 145% increase in subscribers for our smartphone embedded global OTT app especially in mainland China. You are making a great choice in my eyes..

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Just putting in my 2 cents. Born in New York. Raised in New York. 3rd generation New York Show Business Family. So If I was you I would stay in Hong Kong.

Derek Allen Hammer

Thanks Steven.. and thanks for your input Terry but I'm not following you 100%. Your theater phones are selling better in APAC, EMEA and Russia, and your content distributor partners are having more success with those regions as well, is that right?

Terry Owen

Derek that is correct... recent information coming of our GSMA, and our data to date is indicating this trend, that by 2020 95% of the global consumer market will consume their content via a smartphone or tablet device - with China, EMEA, India, Africa regions leading the way in both device purchases and content consumption. Last year alone Mainland China, Africa and India represented over 45.7B in entertainment content consumption (gaming/movies/shows) and this trend and dollars will continue upward. Send me a email to terryowen@akyumen.com and I will share with you more information.

Becky Taylor Hellwig

Just a thought, what about partnering with a European production company? There are a lot of "film funds" (e.g Hungarian Film Fund, German Film and even Israel).

Warren Workman

The great thing is you can be a great filmmaker anywhere. As long as you have the talent base near you to pull from to tell great stories, you have everything you need. Take your film to markets. Get it sold and make another. Be a great filmmaker regardless of your geography.

Einny Kim

How about 'South Korea'? You look happy in Busan.

Bob Couttie

I have to say, after 15 years in film in the Philippines I'm now developing projects in Cambodia, for the international market. A fair amount of opportunity for experience film makers..

Elisabeth Meier

Be a filmmaker no matter what no matter where! If your wish is to reach Hollywood just work on and trust your talent and love what you do. It will happen even if you were a filmmaker living on the ISS.

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