The clash of swords and screams of the dying fill the air. It's a typical?
GV PAN..Extras charge across studio during filming
CU Sign "Shaw Studio"
GV Shaw House
SV PAN..Shaw arrives in Rolls Royce and enters building (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR..Shaw on telephone
GV Castle wall
SV Warrior enacting death scene
SCU Director barking orders through megaphone
SV Actor comforts "dying" warrior
CV PAN..Actors' apartment block
CU INTERIOR..Wong Hop smoking pipe
SV PAN..Round Wong Hop's apartment
CU INTERIOR..Li Ching making up (2 shots)
SV Li Ching in scene with other costumed actresses
CU Li Ching answers question
SV Girls rehearsing sword fight
CU Poster advertising "Sworswomen Three"
SV TILT DOWN..Cinema
SV PAN..Actors in spear fight
TRANSCRIPT: QUESTION: "Do you ever go to see British and american films ?"
(SEQ 17): LI CHING: "I like American films."
QUESTION: "Who are your favourite actors and actresses ?"
LI CHING: "I like Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood."
QUESTION: "Do you regard yourself as a sex symbol ?"
LI CHING: "I don't think so, no."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The clash of swords and screams of the dying fill the air. It's a typical day in the studios of Hong Kong's booming cinema industry, where tales of violent swordsmanship and chaste romance have become the basis of a multi-million pound investment.
While Hollywood is fighting for survival, the film industry of the Far East has struck a box-office bonanza. Films in Chinese pack cinemas from Djakarta to Bangkok, from Singapore to Taipei.
Biggest of the Oriental companies is the Hong Kong-based Shaw Brothers organisation. At hillside studios, overlooking the Crown Colony, Run Shaw -- one of the two brothers who founded the company more than 40 years ago -- presides over an empire which yields an estimated GBP 125 million Sterling a year.
Although they are household names throughout asia, the stars do not lead pampered lives. Most of them live in modest apartments in a studio block.
Naturally, the Hong Kong stars look up to Hollywood counter-parts. But, as actress Li Ching explains, the Shaw Brothers heroine isn't encouraged to regard herself as a sex symbol:
With one or two minor exceptions, Chinese film-makers do not tolerate the permissiveness of the Western cinema. Human dreams -- such as Li Ching's latest film -- are popular.
But the biggest moneyspinners are blood-and-steel epics of revenge and hate, where Chinese audiences can revel in the more violent traditions and customs of their past.
To produce these epics, the Shaw Brothers studios work a punishing seven-days-a-week schedule. The staff receive only four days holiday a year. Increased competition accounts for the frantic pace of studio production.
In recent months, the Shaw Brothers have faced a mounting challenge from high-quality Taiwanese Mandarin films. And now a Filipino mogul is threatening to cash in on Hong Kong's phenomenal cinema boom.