The tastes and temperament of movie-goers changes just as with other art forms and the pace of modern life. Those who evolve along with it are the ones who will continue to tell the stories we all love for years, even decades. Producer Bohan Gong is a modern template for this. As a film industry professional who has worked for years in the exponentially increasing union between China and US filmmakers, Bohan rooted himself deeply, assuming a position that along with this talent has made him immensely attractive to a variety of those in this field. Such successful productions as Birth of the Dragon, So Young, The King’s Daughter, and a variety of others have vetted Gong as one of the leading producers within film, in particular those which combine US and Chinese production teams. For The King’s Daughter, Bohan ventured into the arena of 3D films. Working closely with director Sean McNamara, Gong proved himself invaluable with his tremendous contributions throughout the entire production process. The post-production of The King’s Daughter allowed Bohan to merge his producing skills with his fluency in English and Chinese, essentially becoming the conduit that led to the film’s great acclaim. The film’s Hollywood production team only spoke English and the Chinese company handling the 3D work in post only spoke Chinese. The film needed someone who understood the direction intimately as well as spoke both languages. This 2017 fantasy adventure film featuring Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Bingbing Fan, and a number of marquee names required every aspect of the production process to be handled expertly and Bohan Gong made certain that the 3D facet and others were done so.
The King’s Daughter is a fantasy which tells the story of France’s King Louis XIV's quest for immortality. When the king’s daughter Marie-Josephe falls in love with a mermaid, the jealous Lintillac requests her hand in marriage with the understanding that Lintillac’s family has a great deal of money that could help France. Refusing to be forced into marriage, Marie-Josephe throws herself off a cliff to her death and only this fanciful creature can save her. The loving father must make a decision between sacrificing the mermaid or his own daughter. The storyline is well suited to visual creativity and the 3D approach utilized emphasized this. In addition to coordinating and monitoring post production processes like editing and color correction, Gong was placed in charge of the transfer of this movie from 2D to 3D. Movie making has gone through a few drastic changes in the past: from silent to “talkies”, black & white to color, film to digital, and now 2D to 3D. 3D continues to grow in its popularity in both the US and international market. Bohan admits that his work in regards to the 3D aspect of The King’s Daughter increased the depth of his knowledge on this trend. He relates, “I did a lot of work negotiating the distribution plan of this movie, which is something I’ve done a lot of in my career and which I enjoy. I cooperated with many famous distribution companies in the US and China including Wanda Picture, Disney, Fox, Universal, SONY, Open Road, & BH Tilt. One of the most exciting parts of my work on The King’s Daughter was focused on the 3D transfer. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things and doing so allows me to bring even more value to the next production of the kind that I work on. I think 3D will continue to grow in popularity. But 3D technology will be optimized, for example, glass-free 3D, the vertical feeling and the light will be more and more advanced. The trend of the last three years shows that the Chinese and international market are growing in their desire and acceptance of it.”
This open attitude towards new things is something which Gong also imparts upon his relationship with his production crew. He notes that he is always careful to not express his own subjective opinion too early. He actively seeks out the creative ideas of the crew and welcomes them with the opinion that their experiences may allow them to bring some unexpected benefit to the filmmaking process. This type of “trickle down producing” endears his crew and peers to hm. Hong Pang (Lead Producer on The King’s Daughter) has worked with Bohan on such acclaimed films as Hacksaw Ridge, American Made, & Birth of the Dragon; all of which were a major commercial and critical success. Pang declares, “Bohan made tremendous contributions to The King’s Daughter. His creativity and helpful opinions undoubtedly improved the movie’s quality during the editing, mix, color correction, and 3d transfer stages. He is an excellent communicator but on this production in particular, his linguistic skills and professional demeanor were paramount. We needed someone exactly like him working as a producer on this film and lucky for us…we had him!”
Screened at the 2016 Shanghai International Film Festival, The King’s Daughter proves that the art of filmmaking will continue to evolve whether in the stories told, the means of technological advances, or in terms of a more diverse and worldwide audience watching these productions. In all of these categories, Bohan Gong is at the forefront, constantly defining the modern incarnation of a producer in the industry.