On April 28th, the Qingdao Movie Metropolis, a nearly RMB 50 billion industrial investment project, was completed after four years and seven months of construction. Its inauguration was jointly witnessed by Yu Jie, Vice governor of Shandong Province; Meng Fanli, Mayor of Qingdao; Li Guoqi, Deputy Director of the Film Bureau, State Administration of Radio and Television; Wang Jianxiang, a member of the CPC Qingdao Standing Committee and Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Qingdao West Coast New Area; Wang Jiaxin, a member of the CPC Qingdao Standing Committee and Deputy Mayor of Qingdao; Li Fengli, Director of the Managing Committee of Qingdao West Coast New Area; Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group; Sun Hongbin, Chairman of Sunac China Holdings; Li Shaohong, President of the China Film Director’s Guild; Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the presidents of international film studios such as Disney, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate and Legend; famous Chinese film producers, directors, and film company chairmen or presidents; and famous stars such as Huang Bo.
Movie production is a technologically sophisticated industry. While China is already the world’s second-largest movie market, its movie production is still in the early stages of development and is yet to establish a complete industrial system integrating shooting, post-production, publicity and distribution, and release, and has even more work to do in “hardware,” where the lack of high-tech studios, advanced shooting equipment and digital post-production processes has become a serious constraint, with the result that most Chinese movies have to do their post-production in Hollywood and even Korea and Japan. The level of industrialization of movie production has a direct bearing on the long-term development of China’s film industry.
The Qingdao Movie Metropolis covers a land area of 166 hectares. According to plans, its production zone will have 52 high-tech studios, including 30 completed in the first phase and 10 under construction in the second phase, including the world’s largest studio measuring 10,000 sq. m., the world’s only integrated outdoor and indoor underwater studio, a comprehensive costumes and props workshop, and a world-leading post-production workshop, among others. The Metropolis’s shooting zone covers 60 hectares of land and is home to a wide range of scenes such as Continental European streets and Old Shanghai scenes, which meet the shooting needs of different movie genres.
Planned as a one-stop movie production world, the Metropolis, which integrates global movie and television production resources, provides movie companies with professional services up to international standards, in addition to one-stop services such as customs clearance, visas, human resources, finance, and logistics provided by relevant government authorities, all of which are needed by international movie studios.
The Metropolis is supported by dedicated funds, including a RMB 5 billion movie and television development fund, 50:50 funded by the Qingdao municipal government and Qingdao West Coast New Area, Wanda Group and Sunac China, which offers a 20-40% production subsidy to qualifying productions; and a fund established by the Qingdao municipal government which offers a maximum of a 10% subsidy to movie companies registered and operating in the Metropolis.
The Metropolis features all kinds of supporting facilities for movie and television production. Among them are included the Metropolis Theater, with a capacity of 2,000 seats, which can hold movie festival opening and closing ceremonies; a mega-size Wanda Mall, which is comprised of an indoor theme park, a water park, China’s largest movie theater with 30 screens, and a large-scale business center, with innovative facilities including the world’s first indoor suspended roller coaster, the world’s first indoor vertical drop flume, and 3D interactive cinema; a large-scale stage show, “The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea”; a cluster of four high-star resorts and hotels; and a world-class international hospital, international school, yacht marina and club.
With its comprehensive world-leading movie and television production facilities and services, the Metropolis has attracted movie and television studios from around the world for residence and production. Even during its trial operation, all of its studios and workshops were well occupied. In October 2016, the Metropolis launched its global presentation in Los Angeles, where it signed agreements with nine renowned American movie studios on the production of 11 movies in the Metropolis and other agreements, among them including Hollywood and Chinese blockbusters such as The Great Wall and Pacific Rim: Uprising, ad productions for famous brands, and the hosting of major cultural events such as the Eurochestries Festival and the China Film Society of Performing Arts Award Ceremony. In particular, the Fengshen Trilogy, which has a total investment of RMB 3 billion and a shooting time of two years, is currently being shot in the Metropolis. As the Metropolis officially opens, it is expected to host more than 500 movie and television production companies within three years, with the production of approximately 100 movie and television works every year.
The Qingdao Movie Metropolis will accelerate the entry of China’s movie production into the industrial era and the internationalization of Chinese movies.