Hong Kong Film Industry

Hong Kong is known primarily for its action and gangster films, choreographed fight scenes, fancy gun play, and motorcycle chases. At one time the Hong Kong movie industry was the world's third largest behind India and the United States. The golden period for the industry was between 1986 and 1992. In 1992, the industry grossed a record $155 million. During the following year, Hong Kong made a record 200 films. Hong Kong action films generally fall into five categories: action thrillers, gangster movies, romantic comedies, swordsmen dramas and ghost stories. Hong Kong action movies are famous for their quick editing, fast motion action, cheap trick photograph, and fights between sword-wielding kung-fu warriors who fly with the help of a miniature trampoline. During the Golden Age of the Hong Kong film industry in the 1980s, the average action film took three months to make and cost around $129,000.

Local gangs and triads often demand protection money from film crews to shoot on Hong Kong's streets; actors and directors were threatened to act in or hire triad-supported films and actors. However, after 1994 when police began to take serious action, the triads have ceased to literally attack members of the film industry. Instead, they have begun to "kill" the film industry through its rapid and extreme production of pirated films.


Although many martial artists from Hong Kong have becomes famous such as Bruce Lee, Chow Yun Fat, and Jackie Chan, Hong Kong fight scene choreographers have also developed a reputation. Yuen Woo Ping has began his career working with amateur martial artists, who have since become internationally known. He has worked on choreography for movies such as the Matrix series, Kill Bill, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Kung Fu Hustle, and much more.

Martial arts films originated from Shanghai in the 1920's and quickly spread to Hong Kong; over this period, it began to be called Wuxia. Martial arts films,or Wuxia, is known more as a Hong Kong genre rather than a Chinese one because such films were banned in China during the Cultural Revolution. Sadly, the Hong Kong film industry has been declining as of late. In 2005 and 2006, they produced 57 and 51 films, respectively. In addition, the number of movie theaters and box office earnings have also decreased. The decline in the quality and performance of Hong Kong films can be attributed to the lack of funding. The production of most Hong Kong films cost less than $200,000 US and take less than a month to produce. The entire crew for a movie usually consists of the cameramen and the actors, which means less special effects and fight scene choreography. Not much time is spent on scripts, and retakes are a rarity. Many producers, directors, and actors have admitted that no one is really making a profit anymore, but they can't simply cease to produce movies. Some also speculate that the decline in quality is a result of overproduction of sequels and imitations of successful movies, not enough "new" movies. Competition has also increased, as many moviegoers have turned to American or other Asian movies. Business has gotten so bad, in fact, that people say the Triads have already stopped investing or interfering. Also, many have said the Hong Kong film industry in the early 90's can be considered a sort of bubble economy, with everyone hoping to produce as many films as quickly as possible, take the money, and run.

In relation the America:


Enter the Dragon was the first major collaboration between American and Chinese production companies. Bruce Lee is considered to be a major pioneer in that regard, bringing Hong Kong and Chinese martial arts to an international stage.