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Interview with Eric Tsang Chi Wai
UFO 1/1 - Page 4
Author(s) : Gina Marchetti
Amy Lee
Thomas Podvin
Date : 14/12/2004
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Peter Chan Ho Sun
Jacob Cheung Chi Leung
Lee Chi Ngai
Derek Yee Tung Sing
Movies :
C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri
Companies :
Golden Harvest
United Filmmakers Organization (UFO)
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Page 3 : The 80's, Armour of God & Jackie Chan
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Page 5 : Serious roles for a serious actor

HKCM : In 1992 you co founded the UFO company with Peter Chan, Lee Chi Ngai and Jacob Cheung. Could you talk about your involvement with UFO (United Filmmakers Organization) as one of the founding members?
ET : When I left Golden Harvest, I had a good friend who told me that I was really only an employee, and that I needed to think about doing something as a boss. He had a restaurant business, and he sold the company for a lot of money after he had built it up. From that time, I always wanted to be a boss and run a company. So, I started a company called “ Good Friends .” That was the first. In around 1990, I felt the life of an actor was pretty easy, but after June 4, 1989, the Hong Kong economy was going down, so I brought a group of directors together to form a distribution company I wanted to market the name of the director not the actor, script, or story just the director. I started to pre-sell films by financing them throughout Hong Kong , Taiwan , Singapore , and Malaysia . For example, I pre-sold films by Ann Hui and other directors. I would line up financing for the directors, and I was getting about two and a half million for each film, and the director would own the entire film with just a five percent fee for the company. There was no real boss. Because of this, the directors were able to make movies that they really believed in.

Derek Yee had made a film, C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri (1994), about cancer, and this sort of story was right for a company like UFO. I went to talk to the head of one of Hong Kong 's largest theater chains, and he said he could provide eight theaters for me. I wanted 40 weeks for the theaters, because I wanted two weeks for each film. I lined up theaters for one year, so I had to push the directors to make the films. That's how it got started.
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