Manners an alien concept on the red carpet
A producer of the latest Transformers movie might have intended a compliment when he said the film could open the door to more collaborations between Hollywood and China - with its wealth of resources offering great filming opportunities.
But the upbeat comment of Lorenzo di Bonaventura instead riled some Hong Kong journalists, upset with what they said were the foul manners of the Hollywood crew at the world premiere on Thursday.
They claimed employees of Paramount Pictures, the Hollywood studio that backed the US$165 million Transformers: Age of Extinction, told reporters in coarse language at the Cultural Centre to get off the red carpet - where the only journalists allowed were photographers.
"If you believed Hong Kong was so important, why were your people so rude to us?" one reporter complained to Transformers director Michael Bay.
Bay replied: "Excuse my studio if they were rude to you. I have nothing to do with it … Sometimes studios have bad manners. I'm on your side."
Co-producer di Bonaventura praised the success of partnering with China's Jiaflix to shoot the film in the region.
This would get people in Hollywood talking about the experience, he said. "There are tremendous resources in China, a sheer amount of places that you can shoot. There are people that are passionate about film. So it will keep growing."
Hong Kong hosted the shooting of the alien-robot movie for 10 days in October. The scenes account for roughly the last 40 minutes of the 166-minute action-packed blockbuster.
US actor Stanley Tucci said Chinese star Li Bingbing had been a great host during their shoot in Beijing, where they visited Li's family restaurant. "She took me out to dinner. That was nice. I didn't tell my wife," he quipped.
The film is scheduled to open next Thursday.