027: Chinese studios adopting Hollywood Standards

Justin K Muller

027: Chinese studios adopting Hollywood Standards

Justin K. Muller is the Managing Director of Studio Operations for a Chinese studio. He explains how infrastructure and not art will revolutionize the Chinese film and TV landscape.

This is the China Hollywood Greenlight Podcast episode # 27   

A quick update on what I’m working on.  Some of you may know I am developing a membership website to connect writers and producers in Hollywood and China. I am very excited that it is almost done. I will put the word out very soon about our launch date so stay tuned. 

Before I introduce today’s guest – I’d like to start out with a motivation quote to encourage our listeners to continue on their path to achieving their own green light. And today’s quote is from Bruce Lee.

QUOTE  “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.

Today’s interview is with Justin K. Muller who is is the Managing Director of the International Development Division – Studio Operations for Xiangshan Global Studios.  He talks about Chinese productions getting up to speed with help with some Hollywood know-how.



Justin plans for his new company – Skywood Muller + Lou – to exclusively manage Chinese studios. His turnkey studio solution will also include financing.   So, keep an eye out for announcements by XiangShan studios and their partner Salon Films for this new film fund. 


What will change the landscape of the Chinese film industry?  Justin says it’s not the artistic side but the infrastructure. Billions of dollars are being spent on studio infrastructures but Chinese studios are not matching the service level to the asset type.  There is a gap in the market which could prove to be a huge opportunity for top-flight studio management companies.


Justin is introducing a Bell and light system to Chinese studios. This is common in the U.S. but not in China. A bell rings and a red flashing light goes off by the set exits to tell everyone the set is off-limits since they are filming.  In China, some dramas don’t record clean audio because they are not controlling the set environment.  So, you’ll get tourists walking through a hot set. Justin hopes to educate Chinese studios on using a true lockdown.  His goal is to bring Chinese studios up to Hollywood standards.



Finding business partners is based on relationships, as we all know.  But you need to follow up with people. Follow up on your LinkedIn profile / WeChat etc. It takes seven times of touching someone to build a relationship – that can be emails, phone calls, etc. Don’t give up after the first few attempts and you don’t hear back from your prospective partner.  Then if you get the answer no – then the answers, no but don’t give up before that.


LinkedIn in China is a great tool in China. Many studio execs in China are using LinkedIn So keep your profile up to date.


Chinese studios need to make more TV or web series if they are to develop a professional production community near their studio. TV or web series creation really stabilizes your film community, unlike film where productions set up shop for a few weeks or a month and then move out.   If you have a TV or web series – then the crew will relocate and stay closer to the studio. Chinese studio executives can form a film crew community right outside their gates. Also, producers can save money by putting up crew in houses as opposed to hotels.  

Justin’s Chinese partner – Felix Lou who vice managing director of its international development division who he mentioned earlier did an interview on Middle Earth – China’s cultural industry podcast.  By listening to both podcasts, you can get the Ying and Yang – an American and Chinese point of view from two men transforming China’s studio system.  

Production Assistant Boot Camp

In that podcast, Felix mentions the XiangShan film school which opened 2 years ago. They also plan to launch a Production Assistants boot camp to train entry-level PAs to work on an intentional level. This boot camp will encourage students to adopt Hollywood standards of filmmaking.

Check it out – it’s Middle Earth’s Episode #36.

Well, that’s the show. Thank you for listening. To show your support – go to iTunes, subscribe, and leave a rating so other people can find this podcast. 

The China List – coming soon!

And screenwriters, producers, and talent agents – we will soon be launching The China List. This is a China-Hollywood screenplay database to connect writers with producers and reps in Hollywood and China. It also will connect producers to Chinese financiers.  Stay tuned for our announcement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook – just look for The China Hollywood Greenlight on those social media outlets. 

And I’ll see you at the première.

Bye!  Yi Huir jian! 一会见!

China Hollywood Greenlight Podcast – Episode 027

Justin K. Muller

Show Notes

Host: Caryn McCann 马恒驰

Website: www.Chinahollywoodgreenlight.com

Podcasts: https://chinahollywoodgreenlight.com/podcasts-2/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHGreenLight/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chgreenlight

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2H1sMLn

Guest: Justin K. Muller, Managing Director – International Development Division – Studio Operations for Xiangshan Global Studios

Wechat:    KMuller

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinkmuller/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justin.k.muller

Interview w/ Justins Chinese partner Felix Lou on Middle Earth Podcast produced by China Compass Productions: https://bit.ly/3hsyMy8

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