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China, New Zealand jointly work on creative aspects of filmmaking

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-22 07:36

China, New Zealand jointly work on creative aspects of filmmaking

Richard Taylor (center) demonstrates how to turn an audience member into a Hobbit character within 30 minutes. [Photo provided to China Daily]

When Sun Lijun visited Wellington-based Weta Workshop in New Zealand 10 years ago, he was impressed by a prop of a sophisticated bow that felt like a real metal bow. The visit thus has pushed the vice-president of Beijing Film Academy to work actively on film-related joint projects of China and New Zealand.

In the past few years, the Beijing academy has sent students to work and get trained at Weta Workshop every year. The workshop is known for its productions of props, weapons, makeup and visual effects for film franchises like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Sun says China is short of such kind of talent in its film market. The situation in China is that they spend a lot on buying software and systems from Hollywood, but few are able to make full use of them, resulting in a big waste and little change for China's film production.

At the opening of a visual arts show on Dec 13, in Wuzhen, East China's Zhejiang province, Sun and his peers launched a project to cooperate with the New Zealand company.

Every year, they will send some young Chinese eager to study the craft at Weta Workshop, and fund their works.

Richard Taylor, the owner of Weta Workshop, says he has been in China doing manufacturing for Chinese movies for eight years.

"We want to work for more Chinese movies," says Taylor, adding that his team also has worked with the People's Liberation Army Academy of Arts since President Xi Jinping visited New Zealand in 2014.

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