I am writing to express my views towards movie-filming in the centre. I support this proposal because it is increasing the choice of movie makers, saving the local movie industry and flourishing tourism.
To begin with, it is believed that shooting in the city centre like Central and Tsim Sha Tsui offers more choices to movie-makers. It is because a lot of symbols of Hong Kong are exactly located in those places. For example, the clock tower, a celebrated historical building, is located in Tsim Sha Tsui. Also, the International Financial Centre (IFC) is inside Central. If movie-making is allowed in these areas, a wider range of choices will be provided for the producers when they are figuring out their shooting locations. This is especially crucial for those movies using Hong Kong as the context.
Moreover, allowing movie-filming in the city centre can act as a government’s gesture to support the local film industry. In the recent years, due to the influx of Hollywood movies, together with the trend of illegally downloading movies online, the local show business has been declining. It is even sometimes known as a ‘sunset industry’. However, if the government does not ban movie producers from shooting in the city areas, it can convey a message that the government is actually supporting the industry. It is hoped that in response, the local movie makers will be more motivated to produce movies of high quality in order to attract more audience, which in turn revives the dying industry.
Last but not least, the proposal of shooting in the city centre can boost the tourist industry. As most of the Hong Kong movies will also be shown overseas, for example, mainland China, Southeast Asia, or even in Canada and Australia, people in those regions will actually get the first sight of Hong Kong through the movies. If they can get the opportunity to appreciate the crowded but stunning, spectacular and magnificent views of our city area, their motivation to travel to Hong Kong will be raised. In this way, not only travel industry, but other sectors like the hotel and retail industries can also be benefited.
Some opposers may yet claim that it would exert extra burden to the already hectic areas in Hong Kong. However, this is only the problem of mechanism. The government can simply limit the hours of shooting to the early morning or the late night, when the road is less packed, in order to alleviate the problem. In fact, it is not uncommon to see producers of TV dramas practising this in the status quo. Why can’t we apply the same to the movie sector?
With the above in mind, I strongly believe that movie-filming in the city centre should not be banned. It is hoped that the local movie industry can gradually step away from its stagnating period and gain wider recognition from local citizens, and even people across the globe.
Isaac Lee Wing Ho