Producing Nuanced Chinese Fantasy: A Case Study of Stephen Chow's Box Office Hit Mermaid
We begin this chapter with a survey of recent changes in the Chinese media economy. Before examining the film itself, we recount Stephen Chow’s long-standing frustration within the Chinese market—specifically, the negative impact of political factors on his filmmaking career, chiefly the regulatory uncertainties created by China’s official cultural policies. We then explore how the casting of a “pan-Chinese potpourri” epitomizes the com- plex and interconnected networks of film coproduction in China. In addition to Chinese creative personnel, crew and postproduction specialists from South Korea (hereafter Korea) contributed core creative ideas and techniques to the film; these personnel were integrated into the larger Chinese network prior to the formation of the production group.