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Movie and TV stars turn into "luxurious products"

By Liu Yiqiao (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

08:46, May 25, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

While the people are worrying about the high housing price, producers are also worrying about the high salary of the movie and TV stars. As the TV and movie industry is booming in China, the phenomenon that the star's salary is increasing sharply has also appeared in the entertainment circle. Some producers and directors also frequently complain that the high salary of the star is affecting the quality of the TV series and movies and has turned into a cancer of the industry. Especially, for those stars who get popular after starring hot movies, the remunerations are growing surprisingly fast. How should the "value-salary" rate of the star be measured? Questions of such kind are making the industry reflect.

What caused the sharp rise of the star's salary?

"Everybody in the circle knows that the salary of the star is unbelievably high nowadays, and they can do nothing about it," a national first-class director Zhu Zheng said, "Here is an example. At present, the salary of an influential star has reached 800,000 yuan per episode, meaning about 20 million yuan per TV series, setting a new record of 2012."

A TV and movie producer Yan Conghua said that the excessive investment, the lack of talented actors and the high Internet copyright price of the TV series and movies are the reasons for the sharp rise of the star's salary. "The situation that some TV stations rely on certain stars too much and many fans pursue their stars too much is also a reason."

Insiders feel that they can do nothing about this situation. Director Zheng Xiaolong said, "The high salary of the star is caused by the market and the star-dominated system. It is hard to control it with policy. What we can do is to make people control themselves or wait for the automatic adjustment of the market."

TV and movie industry should not just rely on stars

Is the high salary of the star coming out together with the rapid development of the TV and movie industry a good thing or a bad thing? "In my opinion, it brings more negative effects than positive effects," said Yan Conghua.

"For making an outstanding TV series or movie, the most important thing is a professional team clearly knowing the TV and movie production and the industry. A professional team is much more important than a star for a TV series or movie. A good play and a suitable director are also important. Then, actors must be casted well and stars, new actors and skilled actors all should be included."

For audiences, the star is actually not a necessity of a good work. Director Niu Chaoyang gave an example: The movie "Who Is under the Bed" actually used only second-line actors, but its box office was higher than many of the movies with super stars showing in the same period. "While selecting stars, we should not choose the most expensive ones but the most suitable ones."

"Before an actor becomes skillful, he or she usually needs to practice for five years. A lot of new-generation actors will catch up and become popular quickly. The audiences will become more rational gradually. After many expensive stars lose their popularities, the salaries of actors will enter a normal zone." In Yan's opinion, it is just a matter of time that the salary of the actor returns to the normal level.

Read the Chinese version:明星已成“奢侈品”

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