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U.S-China Film & TV Expo in L.A.: "It's the Best Time to Create Content"

Chinese and Hollywood execs gathered to discuss better ways to communicate, collaborate — and cash in

Major players from Hollywood and China gathered at Los Angeles' Convention Center for the US-China Film & TV Industry Expo on Sept 15-16, which featured 60 speakers and executives from companies like Relativity Media, The Weinstein Company, Technicolor, Universal Pictures International and dignitaries from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to Yunnan Film Group president Zhang Xun.

"We're building a bridge between the U.S. and China," UCFTIE COO Raymond Cheng told THR. "The rope's thrown over to the other side, and now we've got a one or two-man bridge. In five years, you'll be able to drive a semi across." Added Scout Media executive chair Ross Levinsohn, "It's the best time there's every been to create content, by far."

But experts on the Online Streaming Media panel with Levinsohn (LeVision vp Shan Dongbing, Defy Media evp marketing Andy Tu, Zefr co-founder/CEO Zach James, and Jiafix president/co-founder Marc Ganis) stressed that both cultures have far to go to bridge their gap. Jiaflix's Marc Ganis (who says his cousin, former AMPAS president and Jiaflix chair/co-founder Sid Ganis, "got the niceness gene in the family") cited the performance of Transformers 4 in China as proof that the Chinese market is fulfilling its vast potential. "We broke Avatar's record, $217 million, in eight days -- we're the only movie that's broken $250 million, and then over $300 million. We had 30 days, and Avatar had 127 days in theaters, which doesn't happen anymore. Now it's 30 days or less, and after the first two weekends you're basically done."