Darkdraft sheds light on joint ventures' bright prospects

( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-04-09 08:36:04

The Sino-US joint-venture film project Darkdraft vows to illuminate the future of cross-border cinematic cooperation.

The 3-D fantasy blockbuster was thrust into the spotlight at a Beijing news conference in late March, where US-based Film Financial Services signed agreements with Beijing-based Guo'an New Bridge Film and Media Investment to coproduce five films in the near future.

The story centers on a savvy computer gamer's adventures in reining in virtual space monsters that originated from ancient Chinese mythology and accidentally entered the real world.

The film with a $40 million budget is scheduled to begin shooting later this year and be screened in early 2018. 20th Century Fox may become its global distributor.

"It will be a truly maiden voyage overseas for Chinese cinema's special-effects industry," Guo'an New Bridge Film and Media Investment president John Qu says.

Most of the Hollywood film's post-production's special effects will be finished in the Citic Guo'an International Film Production Base in Beijing's outskirts.

This is unusual since even many domestic blockbusters outsource post-production. But the base pledges Hollywood standards.

"Domestic teams will not only participate in the processing of the film but also get training from gurus from the United States to nurture a booming industry," Qu says.

He adds the Guo'an production base will be the country's new hub for special effects' financing, technology and creativity.

Though the cooperation will mainly focus on the special effects and post-production, FFS president David Sheldon reveals the cast will likely feature actors from both countries. Specific candidates have yet to be decided.

China's cooling real estate market has encouraged capital flows to other areas. And the film industry will embrace this development opportunity, Sheldon says, explaining his company's motivation to forge partnerships with Chinese companies.

"The world has great expectations for Chinese cinema, and Hollywood is good at storytelling and experienced in digital technology," he says.


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