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Willing Collaborators | Creative Transformations Asia

Willing Collaborators

Willing Collaborators:

Negotiating Change in East Asian Media Production

A three year Australian Research Council funded Discovery project (Jan 2014 – Dec 2016) DP14101643


In China the search for market success in media and cultural content has led to an increasing number of collaborations with ‘foreign’ entities (partners). In many cases partners come from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Others are from well-established film industries in Hollywood, the UK and Europe, as well as in the Asia-Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore). As China looks to become a willing collaborator we need to explore the potential of collaboration, not just for well-financed feature film production houses, but for a range of screen content and new media.

We are exploring how creative labour functions in a country that is looking for ways of making better content, while maintaining its national and cultural identity. This site will provide updates on research, breaking news, and intelligence in relation to issues of intellectual property, policy changes in specific sectors, as well as analysis of specific hotspots. Regular updates will also appear in the Asia-Pacific Creative Landing Pad Inflight Magazine.

Our research has three components.

The first concerns collaborative production environments and content diversity. We look specifically how businesses (film, TV, documentary, and new media) are operating; we look at how policy impacts upon the kind of content that reaches the marketplace. We examine how international collaborations are changing the ‘production culture’, and if different cultural processes exist when PRC producers work with partners from East Asia.
The second component focuses on technological collaboration. We look at how skills and technologies are transferred to China from collaboration. Many of these, particularly from South Korea, are pushing the technological frontier with regards to high-end digital effects as well as low cost mobile app affordances. While China is keen to learn from its collaborators we examine benefits that flow in both directions.
The third component looks closely at international co-productions, joint ventures and projects that make use of designated film industry parks and animation bases (sometimes referred to as media clusters). We are interested in whether these bases are locations where creativity clusters or if they are just places where cheap labour and preferential policies are offered to attract business.

Research Team

Michael Keane

Michael Keane

Michael Keane is the lead investigator of the ARC Discovery Project Willing Collaborators: negotiating Change in East Asian Media Production. He is currently a Professor and Research Fellow at the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. He is author of over fifteen books on China and East Asian media. Recent books include Creative industries in China: Art, Design and Media (Polity April 2013) and China’s Television Industry (forthcoming 2015).


(+61) 07 3138 3757


Brian Yecies

Brian Yecies is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies, and an associate member of the Institute for Social Transformation Research (ISTR) at the University of Wollongong. His research focuses on cinema going in colonial Korea (1910-1945) and contemporary South Korean-Chinese-Australian film and digital media collaboration. He is the author of Korea’s Occupied Cinemas, 1893-1948 (Routledge, 2011) and The Changing Face of Korean Cinema: Planet Hallyuwood (Routledge, forthcoming) — both with Ae-Gyung Shim.

(+61) 02 42214076

Terry Flew (B&W )

Terry Flew

Terry Flew is Professor of Media and Communications in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. He is the author of New Media: An Introduction (Oxford, 2008), Understanding Global Media (Palgrave, 2007), and The Creative Industries, Culture and Policy (Sage, 2011). He is a leading international figure in creative industries research, having undertaking invited presentations on creative industries in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the United States and New Zealand.

(+61) 07 3138 8188



Michael Curtin (partner investigator)

Michael Curtin is Professor of Global Studies in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV and Reorienting Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders. He is co-editor of the Chinese Journal of Communication and the International Screen Industries book series of the British Film Institute.


Anthony Y.H. Fung (partner investigator)

Anthony Fung is Director and Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests are popular culture and cultural studies, gender and youth identity, cultural industries and policy, political economy of communication and new media studies. He has published many works on media, culture and popular music. His most recent edited book is Asian Popular Culture: the Global (Dis)continuity (Routledge).


Dr MA Xiaolu (Coco) (Beijing)
Dr LIU Rui (Bonnie) (QUT)
PENG Weiying (Sherry) (PhD candidate, QUT)

Chinese University of Communication (CUC)
Prof LI Huailiang: Director of National Cultural Trade Research Center
XUE Hua: Associate director of Cultural Industry Management Department
WANG Dawei: Lecturer CUC

Peking University
Prof XIANG Yong: Director of Institute for Cultural Industries

Shanghai Jiaotong University
Prof LI Benqian, Dean of School of Media & Design
Dr WU Huan Associate Professor of School of Media & Design

Shanghai Theatre Academy
Dr GUO Meijun
Mr Conor Roche, BOP Consulting
Steven Yao (STA intern University of California)

Shenzhen University
Dr WEN Wen, Institute for Cultural Industries Shenzhen University

Beijing Centre for Science of Science
Dr HUANG Lin, Researcher

Associate researchers

University of New South Wales

Dr Elaine Zhao, Lecturer

Murdoch University Singapore
Dr Tania Lim, Lecturer


Team work