Beleaguered Hong Kong Celebrities Change Channels

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Again within the heyday of Hong Kong motion pictures, town’s movie stars and people groomed by the Hong Kong business have been among the many greatest stars in Asia.

Now, going through the dual pressures of coronavirus’ influence on productions and performances and, for some, a chilly shoulder from mainland Chinese language audiences, many Hong Kong stars have gotten digital creators and entrepreneurs.

Not solely have movie and TV alternatives dried up, well-paid promotional gigs, comparable to ribbon-cutting ceremonies for store openings and industrial launches at purchasing malls, have been referred to as off all through 2020.

Pop concert events have been canceled attributable to strict social distancing measures in Hong Kong. In December, a live performance by Hins Cheung brought about a COVID-19 scare when 4 viewers members and a present employee examined optimistic.

World excursions taking in cities populated by Chinese language-speaking communities had historically been a serious supply of earnings for Hong Kong entertainers, even for lesser-known starlets. However world journey restrictions have made these all however not possible.

Whereas tv productions are nonetheless occurring in Hong Kong, solely a handful of movie tasks went into manufacturing final 12 months. And town’s 163-day cinema closure brought about launch and manufacturing delays.

It was inevitable that entertainers would domesticate new alternatives on-line, says Winnie Tam, an leisure publicist. “They should discover methods to keep up their publicity,” she stated. Some prime Hong Kong celebrities have even adopted the mainland development and are promoting industrial items on-line through stay streaming.

Digitally-savvy youthful performers are specializing in producing authentic content material. Almost each member of the 12-piece boy band Mirror, for instance, operates his personal YouTube channel and Instagram account, commonly importing vlogs of their every day routines and interacting with their followers on stay streams, along with selling their musical and TV releases. Some have produced scripted mini-comedies and music gigs with different musicians. Others are promoting vogue merchandise they’ve designed.

Some more-established celebrities have grew to become profitable YouTubers. Remus Choy of male Canto-pop group Grasshopper reveals off his cooking expertise on his YouTube channel, and has accrued over 100,000 subscribers since its launch final 12 months. Stephen Chan, the previous GM of Tv Broadcasts and a radio present host, runs his personal channel that includes quick dramas, stay music reveals, movie star interviews and political commentaries, and has amassed greater than 125,000 followers. Singer-actor Ronald Cheng has greater than 211,000 YouTube followers.

Some Hong Kong celebrities who’ve been banished from working in mainland China due to their political beliefs are among the many most lively on-line. Actor Chapman To (“SDU: Intercourse Duties Unit,” “Infernal Affairs”) and singer-actor Denise Ho (Life With out Precept”) are examples. To’s “Lateshow” channel has greater than 630,000 subscribers and he’s increasing his channel to an internet tv platform. Ho runs a daily podcast interviewing of us from all walks of life on her channel with over 120,000 followers.

Along with producing their very own content material, stars have been extra open to creating appearances on new media channels, Tam explains. Whizoo, Pomato, CapTV, Trial & Error and the Macau-based Method are among the many hottest amongst celebrities. “Taking pictures for these channels may take extra time than giving interviews to conventional media, however these channels attain a youthful viewers,” she stated.

The heavy reliance on digital units amid the pandemic meant that celebrities have been left with no selection however to search out their audiences in our on-line world, stated Agnes Lam, a journalism lecturer on the Chinese language College of Hong Kong. Younger stars particularly. “They should commercialize their personal life,” Lam stated.

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A-listers beforehand shied away from showing on the brand new media additionally should adapt. Celebrity actor-singer Andy Lau, who by no means had a social media channel, opened his first account on mainland China’s TikTok equal Douyin. He attracted 20 million followers inside 4 days, earlier than the platform downgraded him for watermarking his movies and together with industrial hyperlinks. Singer Eason Chan additionally fronted a stay speak present in December to advertise a brand new single.

However probably the most subtle participant, in response to Lam, is award-winning actor Chow Yun-fat. Chow doesn’t have his personal social media accounts or channels, however he stays a daily on individuals’s social media feeds. The veteran actor generally known as a climbing fanatic who welcomes selfies with followers in the event that they run into him on mountain trails. Selfies with Chow are among the many most coveted objects amongst netizens. “Folks play social media for Chow. He doesn’t should handle his personal account,” Lam says.

 

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