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Visualizing the future (2)

By Liu Wei  (China Daily)

09:17, May 25, 2012

Founded in Germany, Pixomondo set up its Beijing and Shanghai offices in 2009. Base FX arrived in 2006, when Bremble wanted the visual effects for his directorial work, Deep Rescue, created in China. The lower price of labor seems an obvious reason for choosing the country.

"In China the labor price, in some ways, is only 20 percent of other locations," Bremble says.

But its growing market is the real attraction. As shown by recent years' box-office revenues, Hollywood is largely relying on visual-effects-studded pictures, such as Avatar and The Avengers. To distribute visual effects production to different locations across the world is an instant way to cut costs.

But China grows as a popular location for the distributed visual effects work not only thanks to a lower labor price but also because of the domestic film market's huge potential.

As the fastest-growing film market, China produced 791 films in 2011. The box office has been rising by 30 percent a year since 2003, reaching a record 13 billion yuan ($2 billion) in 2011. It's widely believed it will become the second largest film market, after North America, by the end of 2012.

"Chinese audiences, having shown great enthusiasm for visual effects-driven films like Avatar and Transformers, are more demanding now," Pixomondo's executive producer Jan Heinze says.

"Their demand will urge domestic filmmakers to make more visually stunning pictures."

Pixomondo has a growing number of Chinese clients. The Chinese offices used to work mainly on Hollywood films but are dealing with three Chinese films' pre-productions - about half of the projects they will work on in China this year.

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