Feb 12, 2014

    Late cut could cost Lion Men $10,000

    IT IS a blink-and-you-will-miss-it scene in the Jack Neo movie The Lion Men. But it had to be cut after the movie had already opened in cinemas with a wide release of 50 prints.

    The snip could cost up to $10,000, said a film industry insider.

    The scene to be cut before the movie could be shown in theatres again was filmed at Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

    An RWS spokesman said: "A one-second segment in a sequence showing the movie's lead characters in the theme park will be removed. This edit will not affect the storyline of the movie."

    RWS declined to reveal the reason for the cut, or who will bear the cost incurred for the cut and redistribution.

    When The Straits Times Life! contacted Neo, he said: "We have a contract with RWS. They will be giving the reply. It's not convenient for me to comment."

    Life! understands from other sources that the cut was because of issues with copyright.

    Scenes featuring RWS in The Lion Men, an action-drama about rival lion-dance troupes, include the ones where male and female leads Tosh Zhang and Eva Cheng go on a date at the theme park, where they take rides and pose for photos with mascots.

    RWS is listed as a "presenter" of the film, and sponsored the venues for the movie's filming, the press conference and the gala premiere.

    As the cut was required after the film had already been distributed and screened in cinemas, such a scenario would have incurred unimaginable costs in the past, according to a local distributor who declined to be named.

    He said: "With the advancement of technology, a lot of movies are shown in digital format. Right now the cost is manageable. I don't think it would be more than $10,000."

    He added that such a blip is unlikely to affect movie screening schedules as it is just a matter of "getting a hard disk to every cinema".

    The Lion Men was released on Jan 30 in digital format. Its distributor, Shaw, confirmed that movie screenings will not be affected. There are currently 36 prints showing in all Shaw, Cathay, Film Garde and Golden Village cinemas, except at GV Grand at Great World City.

    The film, the first of two parts, has made $1.8 million as of Monday.