- For journalists leaving media and embarking on careers in content entrepreneurship, the Chinese film industry offers possibilities.
- Wang Hong is one such media veteran who has joined the movie industry.
- Partnering up with director Jia Zhangke, Wang hopes to tap the potential of the booming Chinese movie market.
For journalists leaving media and embarking on careers in content entrepreneurship, the Chinese film industry offers possibilities. After all, both movies and newspapers revolve around telling good stories.
Wang Hong, the former managing director of Elle Men magazine’s Chinese edition, is one such media veteran who has joined the movie industry. Partnering up with Jia Zhangke, director of art films Still Life and Mountains May Depart, Wang hopes to tap the potential of the booming Chinese movie market by making films based on reality.
Forty-year-old Wang — also known by his pen name, Wang Taibai — spent nearly half of his life in traditional media after graduating from Peking University in 1997 with a degree in Chinese language and literature. He worked for such prominent publications as the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald and the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post before moving on to Elle Men. (The Oriental Morning Post is a subsidiary of the Shanghai United Media Group, the parent company of Sixth Tone.)
During that time, his reporting beats included business, culture, and entertainment. Wang’s experience writing movie reviews is what helped him find common ground with the director Jia. The two men also share common values when it comes to observing China and the changes it is undergoing. Their collaboration took shape in May 2015, when Jia announced the launch of his filmmaking company, Fabula Entertainment, at the Cannes Film Festival. Wang is now the company’s CEO.
China’s box-office earnings reached RMB 44 billion (US$6.6 billion) last year, and this year promises an even higher figure. Wang’s movie company Fabula raised RMB 30 million from investors in the month of April.
For Wang, the emergence of content entrepreneurship is a good thing. “Content, in essence, is communication among people, the exchange of knowledge and ideology,” he said.
— A longer version of this article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.