Television Shopping Industry
This year, Cho Li (卓立) and Yeh Jufeng (葉如芬), the filmmaker and producer, respectively, have collaborated once again, this time introducing a lighter film — “Ace of Sales” (銷售奇姬), which looks at behind-the-scene stories in the television shopping industry.
“It always intrigues me to see how home shopping hosts promote their products, almost as if the products are something you absolutely must have,” Cho told The China Post on Aug. 9. “I find that the most interesting.”
Yeh added: “Her idea for the film has been there since 2008,” referring to Cho in the same interview, “even before her directive debut with ‘Zoom Hunting.'”
It was a joint decision to make the movie a comedy. Both Cho and Yeh thought it would be fun to produce a more lighthearted movie for a change, after the weighty “Rice Bomber.”
“Coincidentally, that’s also when we met Bianca Bai (白歆惠), and saw her potential to be the lead actress for the film, which was then partly tailored specifically for her,” explained Yeh.
Everything — from the storyline and movie theme to the cast and crew — all gelled together smoothly during production. “I discovered that comedy has a tendency to motivate everyone in the room,” said director Cho, “to be more laid-back and whimsical, and inspired one another to create great new ideas.”
New Looks for Familiar Faces
The new film transforms Lin Mei-hsiu (林美秀), a famous Taiwanese actress, from her typical role as a mother into a fashion-forward character. Nadow (納豆), a Taiwanese actor, plays the husband of the stunning Bianca Bai in the romantic comedy, and Jacqueline Zhu (朱芷瑩) portrays a glamorous figure. “We hope to bestow these actors and actresses with brand-new images, different from how they’ve been seen before on screen,” said Yeh.
Embedded marketing has always been an issue in the film industry, in Taiwan and everywhere else. “In the past, there were zero connections between the films and the brands or products you’re trying to integrate,” said Cho, “but this film talks about sales and promoting sales within the movie itself.”
“We were fortunate to have the sponsorship of CTI Television, lending us the actual sets used for their television shopping channels,” continued Yeh. “Making everything even more realistic.”
If you do decide to go see “Ace of Sales,” pay close attention to some of the different brands throughout the film. You will be surprised by some of the ways they have been embedded. ■