Asian Directors Shaking Up Hollywood

2013 is a big year for Asian filmmakers in Tinseltown.

By on March 13, 2013

At last month’s Academy Awards, Taiwanese American filmmaker Ang Lee won Best Director for his 3D fantasy adventure Life of Pi. The win not only marked Lee’s second Oscar triumph but also heralded a massive year for Asian directors in Hollywood.

In 2013, nine major American studio releases will be helmed by Asian directors, and some of these movies may surprise you. Instead of the period dramas and Bollywood musicals typically associated with Asian cinema, these new films come in a wide range of genres - from action to sci-fi to horror.

Three of this year’s most highly-anticipated summer blockbusters, ‘After Earth,’ ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’ and ‘Fast & Furious 6,’ were directed by Asian American filmmakers M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and Justin Lin, respectively.

As creative talent continues to diversify in Hollywood, so do the ways entertainment is being consumed. Since the birth of cinema nearly 125 years ago, movie lovers today no longer have to go to an actual cinema to enjoy a film. The paradigm shift began in the late 1970s with the VCR ushering in the era of home video. After a 25 year reign, the VHS cassette was replaced by digital-based formats like DVD, On Demand and Blu-Ray. Now in the Millennial Generation, “home video” is no longer an apt description as the on screen experience takes place almost anywhere. 

With the rising popularity of multi-platform streaming services like Flex View, users can now watch movies on their smart devices, computers or TVs - and they are. According to a 2012 IHS Screen Digest Broadband Media Market Insight report, Americans now pay more to stream movies online than on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray discs. This figure is expected to more than double in the next few years.

With ever-increasing viewing options, deciding how to watch a movie is becoming almost as difficult as deciding on what to watch.