Rachel Song Launches Chinese-Language Label XS Productions

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Rachel Song Launches Chinese-Language Label XS Productions

by Patrick Frater

 

Rachel Song, the Chinese producer who had two English-language films in Sundancethis year, is launching a Chinese-language offshoot of her XS Media company.

The first project at her new XS Productions is “Yoyo,” the debut feature by writer-director Xing You. The film will shoot from August, with actresses Lu Huang and Hong Yue in the lead roles. Executive production is by Laura Rister at Untitled Management.

Song says that XS Productions will be based in Beijing and “focus on the development and production of Chinese-language film and television projects with fresh new creative talents and international appeal.”

All projects at XS Productions will be developed and produced in-house and XS Productions will self-finance some of the development. It aims to develop and produce 3-5 Chinese-language projects a year across feature films and digital and television series.

The company intends to launch a private film and television fund in 2019 to self-finance future film and television projects.

XS Productions’ executive team includes CFO Tao Cheng; VP of development & productions, Julie Zhang; and director of business development, Tian Zhang.

Los Angeles-based XS Media this year launched “A Kid Like Jake” starring Jim Parsons, Claire Danes, Priyanka Chopra and Octavia Spencer, which was picked up by IFC Films; and Christine Choe’s “Nancy” starring Andrea Riseborough, Steve Buscemi and John Leguizamo, and which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance.

“There is a vast and growing number of young Chinese filmmakers, creators and storytellers who are looking for that next step, looking to get eyes on their content so they can continue to develop new projects and work alongside other filmmakers to bring recognition and visibility to their stories. We want to be a catalyst for them, and operate as a company that invests in creative ambition and powerful material that can channel with the millennium and cinefile audiences both in China and overseas,” said Song in a prepared statement.

《银幕》选出50位备受瞩目青年制片人,中国三人入选

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原文链接:http://www.sohu.com/a/232462979_758090

2018-05-22 11:54 深焦DeepFocus

《银幕》是国际上最具权威的电影杂志之一,该刊“未来领导者”栏目对电影行业关键领域人才的关注已经持续了七年。今年,他们将目光投向了制片领域,选出了在全球范围内正在对整个电影产业生态正在产生重要影响的50位青年电影制片人。

screen daily文章标题

与往年一样,《银幕》杂志也坚持了“国际化”的评选标准。入选者普遍具有开放的国际视野,他们的影响力已经超出了他们所在国家的影视行业。《银幕》选择了那些被电影行业的同行们形容为“初露锋芒”的制片人才,大多数入选者虽然都只有一到三部电影作品,但足以璀璨夺目,引起了业内的广泛关注。中国地区本次有三位青年电影制片人入选,分别是杨城、王子剑、宋晓文。

入选名单

50位入选者中,有曾为柏林银熊奖影片《悲伤秘密的摇篮曲》担任制片的新加坡制片人Jeremy Chua,早年间他移居巴黎,做艺术电影发行相关的工作。回到新加坡后,他参与制片了新加坡电影《一只黄鸟》,影片在2016年的戛纳电影节影评人周首映。

Jeremy Chua

以及《布鲁克林》的联合制片人Bennett McGhee。他曾经独立制片过由皮尔斯·布鲁斯南主演的喜剧电影《自杀四人组》,以及获得第57届意大利大卫奖最佳欧洲电影的《四重唱》。

Bennett McGhee

英国制片人Andy Brunskill也是入选者之一,他在许泰丰的《轻轻摇晃》中担任制片。Andy对于非传统的发行方渠道非常感兴趣,曾通过一个互动APP发行过一部短片。现在还在继续“通过做针对数码平台的故事片去挑战常规”。

Andy Brunskill

Stephanie Wilcox

名单中还有参与过制作《爆裂鼓手》和《夜行者》的美国制片人Stephanie Wilcox,以及西班牙青年电影制片人Valerie Delpierr, 她制片的电影《九三年之夏》获得了第67届柏林电影节最佳处女作奖。

Valerie Delpierr

作为三位中国地区入选者之一的杨城,去年制片的黑色幽默动画电影《大世界》于2017年成功入围第67届柏林国际电影节的主竞赛单元,是中国电影史上第一部入围三大国际电影节主竞赛单元的动画长片。在这届柏林国际电影节上,他监制的真人电影《空山异客》也同时入围了“全景”单元。《大世界》也获得第54届金马奖最佳动画长片奖,并由法国知名发行商Memento(代表作:《一次别离》《请以你的名字呼唤我》等)发行到30多个国家。《大世界》完整体现了杨城的制片观念:以创新思维和国际视野做言之有物、兼具艺术个性和市场竞争力的中低成本电影。

杨城

杨城在北京电影学院文学系获得了硕士学位,早在《大世界》之前,杨城就已经在艺术电影领域取得了令人瞩目的成绩,由他担任制片人或联合制片人的《家在水草丰茂的地方》《有人赞美聪慧、有人则不》《我的青春期》等片皆入围了威尼斯、柏林、东京等A类国际电影节。2016年,他创办了自己的制片公司哪吒兄弟影业。

哪吒兄弟影业

除了制片工作之外,杨城也将自己融入到行业的各个领域中,他长期进行电影文化报道和影评的写作,曾为专业电影杂志任柏林电影节、威尼斯电影节的特派记者、撰稿人。他也是一些影展和创投会的策划人及评审。他和中国新导演群体有着广泛和深入的联系,2017年,他联合“画外”“凡影”两家机构,历时一年推出了“2017中国青年导演生存状态调查”,引发了广泛讨论。来自电影行业多个领域的浸润使他对电影生态的变化格外敏锐,也形成了自己独特的职业理念。

对杨城来说,正在快速发展的中国电影市场充满了机遇,但陷阱也无处不在。“做好的电影是一件太难的事”,他对《银幕》表示,“制片人不仅要应对持续在发生着变化的市场环境、电影管理部门的要求,最重要的还有人才的贫瘠和行业浮躁的气氛。”目前,他正在为一部前所未有的家庭电影《难念的经》而工作,他坦言这是一个令人兴奋的巨大挑战。

《难念的经》海报

另一位入选者,制片人王子剑,曾参与了一系列高质量艺术电影的制片工作,例如《路边野餐》,《轻松+愉快》等,这些影片不仅在各大国际电影节上斩获奖项,在国内也有着不俗的口碑。2013年,王子剑创立制片公司黑鳍Blackfin, 他认为“一个制片公司所带有的品牌价值,有能力给整个行业带来改变,这是仅靠个人的力量做不到的”。

王子剑

面对如今的市场语境,坚持做艺术电影的他对自己的制片工作有很多思考,他认为:“作者电影目前仍缺乏最本质的盈利渠道及稳定的观众群体,并且政府审查也带来了一定程度的干扰。制片人必须学会在投资和回报之间找到平衡,才能给做电影这件事本身更稳定的发挥空间。“

宋晓文

与前两位不同,中国另一位入选者宋晓文则将美国作为自己制片工作的主场,最近一部她参与制片的电影《孩童杰克》在圣丹斯首次亮相即收获许多赞誉声。

谈到自己的制片工作时,宋晓文表示:“美国的电影市场相对而言更加规范,因而单就制片工作而言,美国更容易,但不可否认的是中国市场的资金更好找。”因此,她希望以后能够继续做中美电影之间的桥梁,和更多的中国本土的电影人合作,“把高质量的、带有创新性的内容,推广给全世界的观众看。”

《银幕》指出,随着行业的不断发展,这些来自世界各地才华横溢的制片人,都意识到了建立和维持国际合作的重要性。他们的共同点显而易见——渴望与世界接触,并与独特的创作人才合作去讲述别具一格的故事。在专题报道的最后,《银幕》表示为入选者至今取得的所有成就而感到喜悦,也期待看到他们更加璀璨的未来。

Alumna Produces Two Movies at Sundance | Carnegie Mellon

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January 17, 2018

By Nick Ducassi

 

In 2016, Rachel Xiaowen Song graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s Masters of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM) program. One year later, she signed on to produce for two feature films, “A Kid Like Jake,” starring Jim Parsons (CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory”), and “Nancy,” starring Ann Dowd (Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”). This month (Jan. 18-28) both are premiering at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, where Song is hoping to sell the film’s distribution rights to major Hollywood players.

This year’s Sundance festival is not Song’s first. Throughout the two-year program, MEIM students attend several prominent film festivals, including Cannes, Sundance and the South by Southwest Film, Interactive and Music Festival.

This year’s festival marks the 10th year that the MEIM program has brought its students to Sundance. MEIM is a joint program with CMU’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and the College of Fine Arts.

“The trip highlights the importance of the deals that are being made daily at the festival,” said MEIM Director Dan Green. “It’s especially gratifying to go to the festival and have faculty, alumni or current students involved with one of the films being screened.”

At the 2017 Sundance festival, students attended the screening of “Crown Heights,” a film executive produced by MEIM faculty member Jonathan Baker, which went on to win the Sundance Audience Award for Best Dramatic Feature. Additionally, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama alumna Chante Adams took home the Sundance Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance for her work in the film “Roxanne Roxanne.”

Song said attending Sundance during her final MEIM semester was inspirational.

“Sundance was the first real filmmaker-driven festival I’d been to, and going there really helped shaped my career path,” she said. “Since I was a child, I’ve always loved watching films … but after Sundance, I knew I wanted to pursue making them. I knew I wanted to be a producer.”

Prior to attending Sundance, Song had worked primarily in film financing, with tenures at the international sales agency IM Global and production company Kylin Pictures (“Hacksaw Ridge”). In 2015, Song co-founded the film financing company Vantage Entertainment. As its head of business, she brokered deals between U.S based productions and Chinese-based financiers, including the film “Billionaire Boys Club,” starring Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver”).

Hoping to work more closely with directors and writers, she left Vantage to found the production company XS Media in early 2017. Now, she’s “making a bigger difference than just putting together $300 million for a slate financing deal,” Song said. XS is focused on “making something for the audience and creating a spontaneous, genuine voice for them. Maybe you’ll change their lives.”

“A Kid Like Jake” and “Nancy” are XS Media’s first two films, and “the only two films I did this year,” Song said. “I feel incredibly lucky.”

“The mission for XS is to make filmmaker driven projects,” Song said. “To spend the energy and capital on development and to nurture younger talent — especially writers and directors, for projects with award potential and cross-platform profitability.”

Song, who was born and raised in China and is bilingual, said XS projects include English and Chinese-language films and television shows. Joining her at XS is MEIM alumna Julie Zhang, who serves as director of development.

“We’re both from China,” Song said. “We’re developing some Chinese language features with some up-and-coming Chinese directors and writers.” One of the features is the Chinese-language feature film “YOYO.” Song said she hopes to bring her films to Chinese theaters.

“The cinephile audience in China is growing,” Song said. “They’re hungry for content.”

XS English-language feature films include “The Zero,” about a young boy who contracts a mysterious fatal virus, which Song is producing with 2012 MEIM alumnus Jonny Paterson.

“I met Rachel through the MEIM program,” Paterson said. “Her drive and passion to be a producer was something that struck me from the first time we met. She was inquisitive yet knowledgeable, and very passionate. She’s done a remarkable job in a short period of time to have two films at one of the world’s most important film festivals … I’m excited about what her future holds and think the sky is the limit for her as a film producer.”

“A Kid Like Jake”

“A Kid Like Jake” follows a pair of young parents, played by Parsons and Claire Danes (Showtime’s “Homeland”) as they raise their transgender 4-year-old child in New York City.

“I loved the script immediately,” Song said. “It’s such a strong and original story. I was the first financier on-board.” Directed by transgender director Silas Howard (“Transparent,” “This Is Us”), “Jake” also stars Octavia Spencer (Academy Award winner for “The Butler”), and Priyanka Chopra (ABC’s “Quantico”).

Even though the film’s budget is “small,” said Song — under $5 million — “the stars are huge.” Parson’s company “That’s Wonderful Productions” purchased the film rights after watching its original incarnation as a play at New York City’s Lincoln Center Theater in 2013. The film is Parson’s first leading role in a feature film, following a supporting role in 2017 Best Picture nominee “Hidden Figures.”

“‘A Kid Like Jake’ is the first English language film that I produced and was extensively involved in,” Song said.

“A Kid Like Jake” will premiere out of competition in the Premieres category, typically reserved for bigger budget films. Though Song and her fellow producers will seek to sell the distribution rights to “A Kid Like Jake” at Sundance, Song has already secured its Chinese distribution rights.

“Nancy”

“Nancy” stars Andrea Riseborough (“Birdman”), Steve Buscemi (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”), Ann Dowd (Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and John Leguizamo. It will compete for Sundance’s top honors in the U.S. Dramatic competition. The film follows a woman who grows to believe she was kidnapped as a child and ventures to learn the truth. Nancy, produced in part by female-driven film fund Gamechanger Films, sported an all-female production and creative team.

“When I found out that every single executive producer on Nancy was female, I thought it was important that I get on board,” Song said. “I had no idea it would get into the US Dramatic Competition.” Song said she has already sat down with several interested distributors.