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China 3D Expo to address domestic film quality, int’l co-operation | 3D Focus

November 15, 2012

From 3D Focus on 11/15/12

Next month’s China 3D Expo will address the quality of domestic 3D production, forge ties between the west and the east, and debate the future of 3D TV.

3D China Expo 475x196 China 3D technology show to address knowledge gap

Originally scheduled for early November, the China 3D Technology & Creative Exposition has been rescheduled to December 18th – 20th over security concerns during the recent transition of Government. Part of a larger 12 day event, the expo will feature workshops, presentations and forums in a country that offers hope for the 3D industry after the western market has been slowing down.

Founded in 2010, the China 3D Expo is a government supported event aligned with The Beijing International Cultural Creative Industry Exposition (ICCIE) which itself has attracted 2 million people since 2006. In 2011, the 3D Expo attracted 20,000 delegates and it will be interesting to see whether the same numbers will be attracted to next month’s conference.

Do the number crunching and analysis and it is easy to understand why western 3D companies are so keen to establish a presence in China. The Chinese government is increasingly receptive to western films and a policy of only allowing western 3D movies a theatrical release has boosted international box office profits. For example the re-release of Titanic made more than its $18 million conversion costs back in the opening weekend of the Chinese release alone.

Domestically, 588 theatrical film productions have been produced in China – reaching the output of the Hollywood film business. However, of these 558 theatrical film productions, only a fraction made it to the cinema and they only count for 35% of box office whilst foreign films, which are limited to 34 per year and almost exclusively from the US, make 65% of box office currently. Only Painted Skin 2, made it into the top ten in Q1 2012, all the other big hits were of US origin and even titles which were a flop in the US, made it into the charts in China (John Carter number 7 with $42 million and Wrath of the Titans as number ten with $25 million.)

The Chinese government knows quality of production is essential and is encouraging international co-productions.  Chinese film studios have taken US film studios into their business as minority partners and every kind of foreign transfer of film making knowledge, production and post-production skills are meeting a large, very receptive audience. The latest example is the opening of CAMERON & PACE Group in Tianjin, a 14 million populated city close to Beijing, who have announced that their core business in China will be training, standard setting and knowledge transfer rather than film production itself.

3D as at the core of an exploding film market. First half of 2012 growth rate was 42% compared to 2011, after an already astonishing 29% growth in 2011 over 2010. If the Chinese box office maintains its 42% growth rate through the whole year, 2012 box office could reach $2.9 billion and China would be the second largest film market after the US, although behind India in terms of number of productions.  Since the further opening of the 3D film market to foreign productions, foreign films increased their box office share from 49% in 2011 to 65% in Q1 2012.

Painted Skin 2 became the best-selling ever domestic film, shot in 2D, converted to 3D and released to cinemas in 3D only, even though the conversion was described as ‘terrible.’

The purpose of the China 3D Expo is to build a cooperation platform for dialogue and exchange in the 3D industry domestically and internationally to strengthen the integration of 3D technology and cultural industries.  High level government officials from the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), and People’s Government of Beijing Municipality will be attending. Academics, TV industry leaders and international guests from Warner Bros. China, CAA China and News Corp will also be present.

Director Bai Qiang China 3D technology show to address knowledge gap

Director Bai Qiang

In an interview with 3D Content Hub, Bai Qiang, founder of China 3D Expo partner 3D China Ltd, clarified the goals for the event: “First, to emphasize on the importance of the quality of 3D film/video; second, to bring in good quality 3D content from abroad; and third to discuss about the future of 3D TV in China.  We hope that the Chinese 3D professionals can learn from their international counterparts and start working on improving the quality of local 3D content. We also hope that this expo could be helpful to the development of 3D TV in China”.

In the same interview Qiang emphasised that domestic 3D production needs to dramatically improve: “The domestic attempts on 3D have not been well received by the public, who do not believe that we can make good quality 3D movies on our own. I should qualify that I believe not all stories are suitable for 3D.  About two years ago, our company had the opportunity to produce a 3D Docu-concert film in China. From my point of view, movies that talk about arts and sports can really benefit from 3D technology.  There is still a long way for the Chinese 3D producers to go to catch up with the western filmmakers. There needs to be more interactions between 3D professionals at home and abroad and that is the reason why we are so dedicated in doing this 3D Expo – we intend to set up the platform and also organize training workshops to help the Chinese 3D producers reach the world-class technical level.”

You can read the rest of the interview here. For an interview with Bai Qiang about his 3D concert film, Transcendence, click here.

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