Besson did complain about Taiwan media: Taipei mayor
By Lauly Li ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said that the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) had received complaints from French director Luc Besson regarding local media repeatedly hounding Besson's film shoot in Taipei.
October 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
Hau said Besson's team had stated that if the city cannot stop local media from intruding upon their film shoot, then the team would cut short their filming in Taipei.
Even though Besson has already filmed many scenes in Taipei for his new movie “Lucy,” there is still a possibility that he might delete scenes involving Taipei, the mayor said, urging local press to give Besson's team more space and let them finish the shooting smoothly.
Hau said that he is worried Besson's filming team might really leave the country earlier than planned due to the widespread attention drawn to his film in the Taiwanese press, as well as media activity around his set.
Hau further noted that he is also concerned this incident may tarnish Taiwan's image in international society. He said he does not want a few local reporters to harm the country or stain the city's friendly image.
The mayor said it is a precious marketing opportunity for Taipei to be a part of a well-known international filmmaker's work, not to mention the value inherent in Besson and other internationally-famous celebrities leaving the city with a good impression.
The latest incident involved a television cameraman who managed to shoot footage of Besson, the movie's star Scarlett Johansson and crewmembers working on various scenes. Vehicles driven by Besson's crew were almost hit by a local media agency's car during a filming sequence in Taipei, the reports said.
During an interpellation at the Taipei City Council, Hau said when he was informed that a car accident nearly occurred, he immediately requested that the police department dispatch six police officers to protect Besson.
The mayor went on to say that on Sunday he also sent flowers and fruit on his own behalf to Besson's team as a friendly gesture expressing his concern.
DPP Councilor Tung Chung-yen (童仲彥) criticized the DCA and Department of Information and Tourism for not claiming sufficient accountability over the incident. Tung further urged Hau to publicly apologize to Besson.
In response, Hau said Taipei authorities will not ask local media to bear responsibility alone, noting that, however, “this is a fact: the media has lost its control over the incident.”
Taipei DCA Commissioner Liu Wei-gong (劉維公) said that what Taipei City can offer to an international filmmaking team is to dispatch police officers and Taipei Film Commission crews to ensure their safety and take care of their needs in full.
French filmmaker and producer Luc Besson is pictured during the inauguration ceremony of the “Cite du cinema,” a film studios complex heralded as “Hollywood à la Francaise” ...