By Joyce Xu(Shanghai Daily)
Scriptwriting is facing new challenges and opportunities in the Internet era, TV professionals told a forum yesterday at the 23rd Shanghai TV Festival.
A lot of today's TV and online series in China are adapted from popular online novels which have already developed a huge fan base, the forum titled "Innovation and the Quality of Screenwriting" was told.
And the demands of fans are increasingly being taken into consideration during the adaptation process.
Zhang Yongchen, famous scriptwriter and chairman of Pilot Media, said novels and TV/film productions have quite different artistic styles. The most important thing about a script is the value it conveys, he said, and audiences and scriptwriters should learn to respect each other.
"But these days the enthusiastic fans of the original online novels are very likely to object to any big changes," he said.
"A good scriptwriter is a good listener but he should never simply yield to the appeals of fans. He should be good at giving audiences surprises."
TV professionals are also expecting the emergence of new production and business models that specifically cater to young enthusiasts.
The weekly broadcasting of a series, though common in Western countries, is still relatively new to Chinese audiences, the forum heard.
But industry insiders believed that in the near future a new model of broadcasting while shooting will also be promoted in China. It will change the accepted methods of casting, scriptwriting and marketing.
Wu Bai, director of the hit online suspense series "Evil Minds," said that scriptwriting and the production of online series were more flexible and creative today.
Vaun Wilmott, producer and screenwriter of the fifth season of "Prison Break," said he is willing to show the series in China and take Chinese series with good ideas and human interest stories to the United States.
The theme of the fifth season is a universal journey to return home, Wilmott said, and will show audiences fresh and unique things they haven't experienced.
Celebrated Hollywood producer Nicole Clemens said that everything in production starts from an innovative story. And, before producers decide to make movies or TV shows, they need to test the pilot to see whether it is appealing to audiences and critics.
Fast-paced series with an original story and new styles of cinematography are well-received among Netizens. Pic by CFP