Visionary touch

Updated: 2013-12-11 07:07

By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)

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Visionary touch

Hong Kong film producer Bill Kong (L) believes in not following the herd while selecting projects. Tony Zhao / China Daily

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Cold War, 2012's sleeper hit, and Firestorm, which premieres on Dec 12, are both of the cop/crime genre. But the former is a strict drama with no fight sequences while the new one has such non-stop explosive action it literally blows up Hong Kong's Central District. "I respected Kim-ching Luk and Lok Man Leung, the duo behind Cold War who made the script so tight it was impossible for me to insert action scenes," explains Kong.

Bill Kong worked in the family business importing films into Hong Kong before he decided to get into production.

His big break came when he participated in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. At that time, the wuxia genre was in hiatus, and Lee was not exactly known for it. Asked why he would bet on Lee, Kong said Lee's movies had won Oscars in the US. "I did not give him a chance. Rather, he gave me a chance."

After that, he produced or executive-produced Zhang Yimou's foray into the wuxia (martial arts) genre, i.e. Hero and his subsequent costume dramas-until Kong's widely reported withdrawal from the director's Nanjing Massacre movie Flowers of War. Coincidentally or not, the film failed overseas.

Kong explains that most of his projects were handed to him, rather than he initiating them and scouting for the writer-directors. But he does admit that his international experience, which he accumulated from his decades of importing and distributing foreign movies, has been instrumental in getting some of his works into the global market.


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