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Other Shaw Studios (Movietown) - Hong Kong, June 2018

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Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd was the largest film production company of Hong Kong.

 

In 1925, three Shaw brothers - Runje, Runme, and Runde - founded Tianyi Film Company (also called Unique) in Shanghai, and established a film distribution base in Singapore, where Runme and the youngest brother, Run Run Shaw, managed the precursor to the parent company, the Shaw Organisation. In 1957, Run Run Shaw moved to Hong Kong, set up a new company called Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Ltd, and built a new studio at Clearwater Bay, which officially opened in 1961 as Movietown. In the mid-1960s, Movietown was the largest and best-equipped studio in Chinese filmmaking as well as the largest privately owned studio in the world, with 15 stages, two permanent sets, state-of-the-art film-making equipment and facilities, and 1,300 employees. The 1960s was a period of intense rivalry between Shaw Brothers and Cathay Organisation, but eventually Shaw Brothers gained the upper hand and Cathay ceased film production in 1970. Some of Shaw Brothers' most notable films were made in this period, including The Magnificent Concubine, The Love Eterne, as well as One-Armed Swordsman, which broke the box office records and spawned multiple sequels. Over the years the film company produced some 1,000 films, some of them being the most popular and significant Chinese-language films of the period. The studio popularised the kung-fu genre of films, which later included Five Fingers of Death and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. In the 1970s, Shaw Brothers faced a strong challenge from a new studio, Golden Harvest, which had considerable success internationally with the martial arts film 'Enter the Dragon' starring Bruce Lee. Shaw Brothers then also began to co-produce films with western producers for the international market, and invested in films such as Meteor and Blade Runner. However, Shaw Brothers ceased film production in 1986 because of competition from Golden Harvest and increasing piracy, focusing instead on TV production. In 1986, Movietown became TV City, which was leased to TVB for TV production. In 1988, the company was reorganized under the umbrella of Shaw Organisation. In the 1990s, Shaw again started making a few films, but no longer on the same scale as before. In 2011 Shaw Brothers was reorganised into the Clear Water Bay Land Company Limited, its film production business being taken over by other companies within the Shaw conglomerate.

 

Shaw Studios / Movietown has been vacant since 2003. There are plans to eventually turn it into a Grade I historical site but there is no sign of this taking place at the moment. Shaw Studios has since relocated to a new site in Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong.

 

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Hong Kong is extremely hot and humid at this time of year, often with up to 95% humidity, so this was a tiring explore. The mosquitoes and cockroaches absolutely love it though so you're never short of a few friends along the way :29_smirk:..... If you ever come here, definitely pack some bug spray. Now, despite covering a lot of ground in a few hours here, we only managed to see a fraction of what is left. It's absolutely massive. There are a couple of active looking buildings but the majority is completely deserted. I wish we'd gone back to see the rest but too many #gintops (don't ask *smh*) got in the way. Hong Kong's a pretty epic place but I would recommend visiting at another time of year to avoid the humidity. There's a lot to explore so I may return next year. Shaw studios will be the first place I come back to if I do. For a more extensive report check out drhowser's report here > https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/shaw-bros-studios-hong-kong-sept-17.109830/#post-1182300 :104_point_left:

 


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This building appeared to be set up for functions

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Studio named after George Clooney randomly
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Rooms of old film reels and projection equipment just lying around....
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This was the guy who made it all happen. He lived until the age of 106!! RIP Sir Shaw

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謝謝你的期待

 

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Cool to see that your journey was successful. I especially like the old studio lights and the rusty film rolls.

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