We just wrapped our first event in China! What a whirlwind experience for the ScreenCraft team and our Hollywood panelists! In partnership with the Shanghai International Film Festival, we produced a 90-minute conversation titled ScreenCraft’s Hollywood Creative Panel: Screenwriting for a Global Audience featuring the minds behind some of the most popular shows in China (and worldwide). The ScreenCraft delegation of staff and mentors included:
- Vince Gerardis (literary manager, executive producer of GAME OF THRONES)
- Zack Estrin (screenwriter-producer-showrunner of PRISON BREAK)
- David U. Lee (Chinese producer and distributor of such films as THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM and DIVERGENT franchise)
- Emily Dell (head of industry outreach and events for ScreenCraft, writer-director of Netflix’s B-GIRL, the upcoming short film HELEN, and online content for Awesomeness TV and more)
- Ryan Murphy (producer of films for Universal, Hallmark and more)
- John Rhodes (co-founder / CEO of ScreenCraft, and film executive with credits including DRIVE, ENDER’S GAME and THE GREY)
Writing for a Global Audience
The panel opened with the discussion about how screenwriters can connect with a global audience. They agreed that it was less about the overall concept and more about connecting with the audience through situations and characters that they can relate with.
Characters and Relationships
According to the panel, characters and the relationships between them are globally relatable. Fast and Furious wasn’t such an international hit just because it had fast cars and major action sequences. It was a hit because the story was about brotherhood and the relationship between the characters. Global audiences respond to those types of stories.
When asked if they draw material and concepts from their own personal lives, the panel stated that yes, you do find yourself looking within when you develop, write, and choose certain projects. This adds to the validity of whatever a screenwriter takes on and when there is not reality to draw from — for fantasy and science fiction projects especially — you pull from your own imagination to create those stories, characters, and situations.
You can watch the rest of the panel highlights on ScreenCraft’s YouTube Channel!
Following the event we had a VIP dinner and a cocktail reception. Thanks to our friends, partners and sponsors who helped make this trip happen!
Especially warm gratitude to:
- Twilightstar Entertainment, production company specializing in broad-appeal storytelling in film and TV with distribution in China and worldwide
- Shanghai Vancouver Film School, specializing in top screenwriting and film production education for students in China, in partnership with Shanghai University
- Free Spin Consulting, specializing in providing access to top branding opportunities in China and beyond
- Giorgio Visconti, luxury Italian jewelry design
- ENT Group, China’s top entertainment industry data and analytics company
- WriterDuet, newly launched in China!
- CNDBPRO, one of China’s top film and TV production equipment sales and rental companies
We look forward to opening opportunities for our talented emerging screenwriters with Chinese companies – as China continues to become the largest media-producing country in the world.