Christopher Doyle looks to Kickstarter to help fund Hong Kong Trilogy
Filmmaking can be democratic and not dictated by tycoons and auteurs, according to Christopher Doyle, who is calling for public support for his latest project, set against the backdrop of the Occupy protests.
The award-winning cinematographer and his team aim to raise US$100,000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to complete Hong Kong Trilogy, a three-part, 90-minute feature about the city, "told by three generations of Hongkongers amid a sociopolitical vibe reflected by the protests also known as the umbrella movement".
Initially a 30-minute short named Hong Kong 2014: Education for All, the film, directed by Doyle and part of the short film series Beautiful 2014, premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival last year. The film was also available on Youku.com on the mainland and had 1.5 million hits.
Doyle later renamed it Preschooled. "So we move on to make a second and a third film," Doyle said, in a video introducing his project.
Preoccupied will be about young people in their 20s and Preposterous is about those aged in their 50s or above.
"Then Occupy Central came along and gave the whole project much more sociopolitical reference," said the filmmaker, who is from Sydney.
Doyle was spotted filming among the tents erected in Harcourt Road, Admiralty, during the 79-day protests. But he did not respond to inquiries about what he was filming at the time.
On Kickstarter, the project is branded a "democratic approach to film" as funding is scarce for experimental projects, and public support will be key.
As of yesterday, 586 backers had pledged US$63,944 for the project on Kickstarter. There are 25 days to go before the fundraising period is over.
Doyle said he had not been working in Hong Kong for a while and the project brought him back to the place where he made his name as a filmmaker.
The moving images he crafted for Wong Kar-wai's many films, including Chungking Express and In The Mood For Lov e, earned him world recognition, putting him in the big league of global cinema.
But in recent years Doyle has moved from cinema to art galleries, with some of his shorts being featured at Art Basel in Hong Kong last year - and in a recent interview with the Post he said he had turned down offers to film the third, fourth and fifth Harry Potter films.
"I don't want to make one film every five years like Wong Kar-wai. I want to make five films a year," he said.
He collaborated with young director Jenny Suen on short film Allergic To Art in "response" to the craze for art, inspired by Art Basel.
"You have to question the stuff you care about," Doyle said. "I want to tell the kids, don't wait for the money, wait for the ideas. Take the ideas and go somewhere with them."