Who can resist such glittering “national achievements”?
So, when a press release about the Blitar girl with a series of film achievements was spread, almost twice a week, the media swallowed it raw. Livi was greeted with an uproar. Livi’s achievements are celebrated. Livi was hailed as a young filmmaker from Indonesia who inspired and was able to “penetrate Hollywood”.
Livi, or whoever is behind him, knows very well that Hollywood is the key to all worldly cinema matters.
However, is it true that Livi penetrated Hollywood?
We better not have to hurry. It might be that Brush with Danger is one of the Hollywood films. The film was produced in the United States by Sun and Moon Films, a production house based in the United States.
Livi, coincidentally, if you don’t want to be called intentional, actually lives in Los Angeles. He lives in a luxury mansion at 4715 Los Feliz Boulevard, a super-elite area in LA with a property value of nearly 2.5 million dollars. That certainly makes it easier to get the director’s label producing films in Hollywood. Wong, he lives there.
But, does that immediately make it a Hollywood filmmaker? The answer: not necessarily.
Hollywood, an area in LA, California, in the dimension of cinema, is a community: You need to take a long, steep road and bring good quality in order to enter the circle of super-elite.
The term that might be more appropriate for Livi Zheng is LA-based filmmaker or filmmaker who resides in LA. However, in order to boost sales value, the name of Hollywood is pinned. Not wrong, indeed, but also not right.
Not just a frill “Hollywood”, Livi uses more dangerous maneuvers: pinning himself with the Oscars, the prestigious arena of the Hollywood industry and world film.
So, claims Brush with Danger entered the Oscar nomination selection makes Livi look super cool. Although some media and parties began to smell something fishy about the claim, he still didn’t budge.
As messages are conveyed by being forwarded, information is distorted. The fact that Brush with Danger passed the Oscar-nominated administrative selection — in fact, it could be fulfilled by almost all films, regardless of quality — turned the narrative into “being nominated for an Oscar”. And, Livi never clarified it. That’s how he keeps the image of “Oscar” in his film.
Not to mention the case of The Legend of The East, the film he produced which won the Madrid International Film Festival award for the category of foreign language films in 2014. Apparently the festival is a pseudo-festival or bulging festival.
Such a fantastic image would be incomplete without media intervention. To be more convincing, Livi always includes news reports abroad in every promo film or his work.
In the Bali promo: Beats of Paradise, for example, the media consistently quoted reviews from the Los Angeles Times that called the documentary: “It’s entertaining”.
In fact, in a review of only three paragraphs written by a person named Kimber Myers, there was more criticism than praise. The full sentence: It’s entertaining but slight, particularly as it bulks up with the post-credits inclusion the video. (“This film actually has a bit of entertainment. But, that didn’t work optimally because the director decided to end the film by showing the video clip he was working on.”)
The publicity machine behind Livi Zheng also includes news clippings from any online portal regardless of credibility. For example, Zimbabwe News, which is not even a real media portal.
It is clear: Livi Zheng’s public relations machine utilizes the temperament of Indonesian people who are easily dazzled by something from abroad, especially with the appendage of “the name of the nation”, “Hollywood” and “Oscar”.
The Hok Bing Clan Intervention
If the row of achievements is still not enough to attract public sympathy, the next step is melodrama, a story full of sweat and disappointment and disappointment. The public likes motivational stories like that.
In several interviews, such as on NET TV on the Satu Indonesia program, Livi said that he was often underestimated when he began his career in Hollywood. “They say it will be difficult. First I am female, Asian and young. It’s hard, “he said.
The story was added to the story of his independence which he said himself had been embedded since adolescence despite being born into a rich family.
“I’ve been working since level 10 (equivalent to first grade high school). My family didn’t help me at all with my career in film, “Livi answered in a public lecture at a private campus in Jakarta last week, which we visited.
The audience looked amazed. In their imagination, it is very possible, drawn this kind of shadow: Young Indonesian women, achievers, were able to conquer Hollywood because of their hard work without anyone’s help.
However, the facts speak differently. Sun and Moon Films production house, which produces Brush with Danger and Bali: Beats of Paradise, is owned by Lilik Juliati aka Lili The Hok Bing, who is none other than Livi’s mother.
While in an interview with marketeers.com, Livi claimed to have founded Sun and Moon Films in 2012. However, in an interview with us, Livi changed his own statement: “I only work at Sun and Moon Films.”
We met Mawardi, not his real name, former Livi’s assistant, who told us that all forms of publicity about Livi had to be with the approval of his father, Gunawan Witjaksono or The Hok Bing – commonly called ‘Pak Bing’ by his employees.
“Mr. Bing can revise 20 times for just one press release. He watched to the point of the coma. All content on social media Livi also must be approved by him, “said Mawardi.
Mawardi told us how Livi answered media questions and must always be accompanied by Sinta Kurniati Arifin, Livi’s manager and Gunawan’s secretary. Sinta is believed to be the leader of PT Negara Agung Film, a Bali production house: Beats of Paradise, in Indonesia.
“If the question has never been briefed, Livi will not answer. Because if you say the wrong thing, he can be rebuked by his father, “continued Mawardi.
Mawardi said his former boss, and the entire staff of the Brush with Danger promo, were based at the NAM Center Hotel, Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.