Mak­ing China into a truly great movie power

China Daily European Weekly - - Comment - By XIAO CHUAN 2, Sea, Wolf War­rior Oper­a­tion Red Oper­a­tion Red Sea, Wolf War­rior 2 This ar­ti­cle was first pub­lished in Bei­jing Youth Daily.

The in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of China’s film sec­tor was a ma­jor topic of dis­cus­sion at the re­cent 8th Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. Some film­mak­ers cited the suc­cess of

which amassed a record 5.68 bil­lion yuan ($891 mil­lion; 754 mil­lion eu­ros; £658 mil­lion) at the box of­fice, and

which won the Best Vis­ual Ef­fects Award at the Bei­jing fes­ti­val, as ev­i­dence that China’s film in­dus­try has come of age.

The con­struc­tion of the Qing­dao Ori­en­tal Movie Me­trop­o­lis in Shan­dong prov­ince might have boosted the film­mak­ers’ op­ti­mism. Built on 166 hectares for 50 bil­lion yuan and ex­pected to open in Au­gust, the film com­plex is a com­pre­hen­sive cul­tural in­dus­try project with a su­per-large film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­trial park. It will com­prise 52 high-tech stu­dios, in­clud­ing the largest stu­dio and the only fixed un­der­wa­ter stu­dio in the world.

Since the Qing­dao film com­plex will have world-class sound, mixing and an­i­ma­tion fa­cil­i­ties, as well as cos­tumes, props and equip­ment pro­cess­ing plants, some be­lieve it will boost the pro­duc­tion of mega-scale films and help China’s film in­dus­try to “go global”.

How­ever, some be­lieve China’s film in­dus­try has a weak foun­da­tion, and de­spite the suc­cess of movies such as and

it still has a long way to go be­fore be­com­ing as in­flu­en­tial as Hol­ly­wood.

In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of movies is based on spe­cial­ized mass pro­duc­tion of films, largescale in­dus­trial parks, highly ef­fi­cient en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians, steady and quick-todu­pli­cate assem­bly line pro­duc­tion equip­ment, and a com­pre­hen­sive in­dus­trial chain com­pris­ing, among other things, shoot­ing, post-pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion and screen­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

But China still lacks an ad­e­quate num­ber of high-tech stu­dios, ad­vanced shoot­ing and post-pro­duc­tion dig­i­tal equip­ment. As a re­sult, some Chi­nese films have to be sent to the United States, Japan and the Repub­lic of Korea for post-pro­duc­tion.

To over­come this prob­lem, China needs to com­bine fund­ing in­put from en­ter­prises with con­sid­er­able govern­ment sup­port to fully in­dus­tri­al­ize in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and pro­duc­tion level.

More im­por­tant, China should, by pro­vid­ing “one-stop” film and TV drama shoot­ing ser­vices, cre­ate a stan­dard­ized film in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion process and use com­pet­i­tive sub­sidy poli­cies to re­duce shoot­ing and pro­duc­tion costs. The pub­lic-pri­vate partshould ner­ship model be­ing ex­plored by Qing­dao Ori­en­tal Movie Me­trop­o­lis should set an ex­am­ple for other large movie and TV drama pro­duc­tion bases. Wanda Group and the Qing­dao govern­ment con­trib­uted 5 bil­lion yuan to the Qing­dao film com­plex as its spe­cial film de­vel­op­ment fund, which of­fers sub­si­dies of 20 to 40 per­cent to the films made there.

Qing­dao has also set up a spe­cial fund to sup­port film and TV drama en­ter­prises that set up base there, of­fer­ing them a sub­sidy of up to 10 per­cent of their busi­ness rev­enues.

In terms of soft­ware, China’s film in­dus­try try to in­cul­cate in talent and pro­fes­sion­als a pro­found global vi­sion based on Chi­nese el­e­ments. A spe­cial sym­po­sium at the 8th Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val took a pos­i­tive step to­ward this goal by dis­cussing how to make new di­rec­tors more ef­fi­cient and pro­duc­tive, and pro­mote a high-stan­dard in­dus­tri­al­ized film sys­tem through cul­ti­va­tion of talent.

Last year, the Chi­nese main­land’s box of­fice hit 55.9 bil­lion yuan, mak­ing it the world’s sec­ond-largest film mar­ket. In the lat­est round of re­form, the es­tab­lish­ment of a new film man­age­ment bureau un­der the Publicity Depart­ment of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee high­lights the strate­gic position given to the film in­dus­try.

How to tell the world a good Chi­nese story and project a stronger Chi­nese voice is a big cul­tural mission for the coun­try’s film in­dus­try. For this, China needs to deepen the re­form of the en­tire cul­tural in­dus­try and give full play to the mar­ket’s in­vis­i­ble hand and the govern­ment’s vis­i­ble hand so that the prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with the in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of the film sec­tor can be solved, and China can be­come a truly great moviemak­ing power.

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