Though she is originally from Dalian, China, producer Yuxiao Wang has spent the last few years producing films in the U.S. where she’s created a strong reputation for herself through the success of the productions she’s produced for Sky Culture Entertainment, One All Entertainment and others. Some of the films Wang has produced include “Locked,” which earned 14 awards at festivals around the world, as well as several nominations at the prestigious Madrid International Film Festival, and “Harmonica,” which took home the Silver Lei Award from the Honolulu International Festival.
Wang was also the producer on Sky Culture Entertainment’s fantasy film “Talentik,” which was shot in the U.S. and released online in the Chinese market through major Chinese video platform Sohu Video. “Talentik,” which starred Chinese star Lee Chen from the hit U.S. series “Veep,” as well as American talent such as Jessica Treska from the series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Criminal Minds,” quickly gained traction among Chinese viewers online earning upwards of nine million views upon its release, and was named one of the Top 10 Web-Based Features according to Guduo Media, one of China’s leading analytics platforms.
“Digital streaming has become an essential part of people’s entertainment life... the importance of digital media and streaming platforms has grown rapidly and added more voices to the traditional film market,” says Wang. “Before, few people would have imagined a Netflix released film would be screening at Cannes, which I participated in, but South Korean director Bong Joon-ho ‘Okja’ did just that this year at the 70th Cannes Film Festival”
The power of digital streaming has not only made it convenient and accessible for audiences around the world to watch films and TV series, but it has also opened the lines of possibilities for filmmakers who previously would have struggled to get their projects made.
Wang explains, “Before digital streaming took off, not everyone had the opportunity to release a film in the theatre so it made it very hard for people who wanted to be filmmakers to actually choose it as their career. Nowadays, with the development of the internet, watching films has become much easier, and filmmakers have more options to get their films into production and they actually have more freedom to tell their stories.”
As a producer Wang recognized the powerful growth of, and opportunities provided by, digital streaming platforms, and she’s since capitalized on that trend, one such film being “Talentik.”
“Talentik” executive producer Yunlong Jiang, who produced the web feature "Seven Days," which earned over 10 million views in three days, and the series "Chasing the dream," which accumulated over 75 million views, says, "Yuxiao Wang is the most critical producer I've ever worked with, her knowledge of producing shows in the U.S and her experience in various forms of media makes her a unique and rare trilingual producer needed for the film market.”
Over the past two years Wang has produced several projects that have streamed on digital platforms, such as the high-paced Chinese web-based feature film “Los Angeles Kidnapping,” OhMore TV’s “Explicit! Hollywood Makeup Artist Reveals Special Effects Techniques,” Sky Culture Entertainment’s live streaming show “From the East to the the West,” and others.
Last year Wang worked with China-based production company Beijing Zhuimeng Culture and Media Co., Ltd. as the producer of the film “Los Angeles Kidnapping,” which was released on iQiyi Video in February where well over two million users logged on to watch the film. While the film was shot in the U.S., “Los Angeles Kidnapping” is a Chinese language film, but it includes English subtitles, which naturally gave the project the ability to reach a larger audience.
Wang’s knowledge and experience using digital platforms to release films in the past, such as “Talentik,” was hugely integral to the film’s successful release online, but that is not the only area where her work as the film’s producer were critical to the production.
She explains, “We flew the talent from China to the US, as well as the director and investors… There is a major barrier between the film production practices in the US and China. My skill in understanding co-productions in various languages, and in both countries, helped to break the barrier and achieve smooth communication and a smooth production.”
Fluent in English, Mandarin and Japanese, Wang’s multilingual skills and experience producing projects that include talent and crew members from different cultures was invaluable when it came to producing OhMore TV’s “Explicit! Hollywood Makeup Artist Reveals Special Effects Techniques,” which was released earlier this month and immediately racked up close to 10,000 views on YouTube.
Wang was specifically requested to come in as the producer on the project after having worked with the show’s director Ye Kuang on his award-winning films “Harmonica” and “Locked.” The docu-video revolves around Hollywood VFX special effects makeup artist Kazuyuki Okada who, in a little over a decade, has worked on more than 85 film and television projects. As the producer of the project Wang went to great lengths to find the perfect subject for the video, as well as negotiated the shooting schedule and the productions day to day management.
“After hearing from the client about the theme of innovative personnel, I searched my network and finally decided to pick up Kazuyuki Okada as the hero of this documentary. At the beginning he is very shy to talk, so I improved the drafted script to make him feel more natural and comfortable,” explains Wang. “Hollywood is a mix of all immigrants and dreamers from all over the world, and Kazuyuki is a great example of a person who is actively pursuing his dream.”
As the producer on Sky Culture Entertainment’s series “From the East to the the West” Wang was a key figure in developing the story that would unfold over each episode and the topics they focused on, as well as managing the production’s schedule and locations, handling script revisions and coordinating with the Chinese and American clients, as well as overseeing the production while on location.
The series focuses on investing, tourism, education and American business in general, and is predominantly geared towards Chinese audiences. With some episodes focusing on the high market value place for overseas investors, “From the East to the the West” has provided valuable source of information and inspiration for Chinese business people considering business ventures in the states. The series was released initially through a live stream on NetEase Live this past summer, with each episode garnering millions of views, and episode 5 specifically, pulling in 2.66 million viewers simultaneously.
As a producer, being able to innovate and evolve with technology has been vital to producer Yuxiao Wang’s success, and she has certainly found a niche market with her unique ability to manage Chinese productions in the U.S. and reach an ever-growing international audience by utilizing the power of digital streaming formats.
At the end of the day, Wang says, “The reason I want to distribute content online is because I am a story generator and I’m able to work very fast using digital content. It allows me to produce several projects at the same time and digital streaming allows me more freedom to be creative and to reach a larger audience. Also, the cost of marketing and distribution is significantly less than for a theatrical release, so we can spend more money on production and make our production value higher.”