Spielberg has desire to work with Zhang Yimou

Composite photo of Steven Spielberg (L) and Zhang Yimou (R).

CHINA - Steven Spielberg said he would be highly interested in working with his "dear friend" Zhang Yimou on an international film in China.

"I would like to make a movie in China with my dear friend," said the director of Jaws and Saving Private Ryan in a telephone interview with China Daily. "We would work together on an international film that could take place in China."

Zhang, director of the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympic Games and award-winning films such as To Live and Raise the Red Lantern, was in Los Angeles in May and met with Spielberg, where they had discussions about working together on a film.

"I just feel China has such a rich history and inspirational culture for filmmakers both in the West and Asia. So many good stories could be told about China, not just stories from a distant past but contemporary stories," Spielberg said.

"I made Empire of the Sun in Shanghai in the 1980s (and) I want to come back one day to make a movie in China."

The 67-year-old's latest cinematic connection with China is his 3-D version of Jurassic Park, which will be released in the country on Aug 20. He said he chose Jurassic Park because it was easier to convert into 3-D.

"When the film came out in 1993, it was perceived to be a movie that makes it appear as if the dinosaurs would jump out of the screen and onto the laps of the audience," he said.

Spielberg positioned cameras during filming of Jurassic Park to take advantage of depth of field, meaning there were a lot of animals coming from the background and quickly coming into the foreground.

"It was 3-D technique without the use of actual 3-D. I have done that in Jurassic Park more than in my other films. That's why it would be an easier conversion to bring it out in 3-D."

He said there are no plans to convert The Lost World: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Park 3, although he is working on the script for Jurassic Park 4, which will be filmed in 3-D format. There are also no plans to reach back into his library of films to convert them into 3-D.

"Someday I may change my mind, but right now I cannot think of any film that I want to convert into 3-D except for Jurassic Park."

He said 3-D technology is more like a choice or tool and not necessarily a staple for filmmaking.

"3-D is a choice that studios and the filmmakers can make if they feel they can give the audience an enhanced experience by shooting it or converting it into 3-D," he said.

"I would not be interested in making a love story in 3-D, or a personal small drama in 3-D because I have a strong philosophical belief that 3-D is not for every movie, but for certain types of pictures."

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