Chinese Hollywood or One Billionaire’s Dream

Chinese Hollywood or One Billionaire’s Dream

Wang-Jianlin-richest-people-of -China-2

I have always been fascinated by China and I always keep my eye open on what is going on there. Media report about the fact that China was going to build its own Hollywood couple of years ago. Back then, one of the richest people of China, Wang Jianlin, who also is known as businessman and philanthropist, stated that he was going to invest around 8.2 billion dollars in building of a complex allowing shoot films of Hollywood level in China. Nowadays, studios are being built; and it is expected to turn the project into reality by 2017. Minimum 20 studios are expected to be built by then.

Billionaire’s dream.

Wang Jianlin’s company started working in movie industry back in 2005. He started opening cinemas despite that the majority of shareholders were against it and considered that investments would bring nothing but losses. Back then the company generated twice as much as he had expected. Now, his long-held dream to recreate Hollywood in China has already begun to turn into reality. Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis is a full name of studio and film set complex where the best Chinese and world stars will be filmed. It is being built in Qingdao City by the Yellow Sea.

A rendering of Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, backed by Wang Jianlin, which will include one of the world’s largest movie-production facilities, a theme park, a 300-berth yacht club, and much more. (Dalian Wanda Group)

The following will be situated in the territory of Metropolis:

➡️ Studio floor with area of 33 thousand square meters;
➡️ Auxiliary departments, around 20 pcs., one of which will be underwater;
➡️ Theme park, similar to Universal Studio in USA;
➡️ The museum of movies;
➡️ Permanent exhibition of cars;
➡️ Hotels and restaurants;
➡️ Cinema;
➡️ International hospital.

The scope of idea is really impressive, taking into consideration the deadline of building completion – 2017.
Wanda Company is going to shoot around 30 movies per year with western and Hollywood stars as well as approximately 100 absolutely local films.

How a movie is shot in China.

Active support of local movies production is not very helpful to local studios. Firstly, one should mention that a movie is shot quickly in China which greatly affects its quality. In order to shoot a romantic comedy non-objectionable by censorship it is enough to have a good scenario – money for its realization can be obtained the very next day. Film set will be ready in a few days. This is called “Chinese speed”.

And those who shoot more serious films have to pass several circles of censorship, any of which may be fatal for a film at any stage. After the approval of scenario the shooting may be started. But this is not all, as ready film is subject to censorship as well; the film not approved by the committee will not come out.

Films of all genres popular in Hollywood nowadays are shot in China:

☑️ Romantic comedies;
☑️ Melodramas;
☑️ Action films.

Films about martial arts are the most popular in the world. Such films as “House of Flying Daggers” and “Hero” became very successful not only in China, but far beyond it as well. Besides that, there are some famous directors shooting films in Hollywood, for example John Woo.

House-of-Flying -Daggers
Shoot from the movie “House of Flying Daggers”

Western interest.

Taking into consideration that PRC’s censure does not allow showing films with steamy love scenes and other things unworthy for Chinese viewers, and quota for foreign movies – not more than 34 films per year – is effective in China, many western companies strive for cooperation with Chinese companies and co-producing; the thing is that such films are not considered to be foreign ones.

2013 Beijing International Film Festival - Red Carpet
Actor Keanu Reeves, Chen Hu, Ye Qing and Hong Kong action choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping arrives at the closing ceremony red carpet during the 3rd Beijing International Film Festival. April 23, 2013 in Beijing, China. Photo by Lintao Zhang

Wang Jianlin says that he has already entered into preliminary agreements with studios expected to shoot 30 films per year in Metropolis, engaging famous western actors in their films. Besides that, the company allocates around 50 million dollars for agents who will attract the West to cooperate with them.
Wanda already has an experience in working with a real Hollywood star. Keanu Reeves was invited as a director of “Man of Tai Chi” movie. He played one of the main parts in this film. Besides that, in 2012, the company bought AMC Entertainment Holdings network of cinemas, USA at the price of 2.6 billion dollars.

Movie Poster “Man of Tai Chi”