“Once Upon A Time” a movie which VHQ post produced and worked on visual effects to be released in August. Production pipeline for movies and internet dramas being filled up to end of 2018
VHQ has made significant progress as the leading visual effects house in the China market with the impending simultaneous release on 3rd August, of period romance and fantasy drama “3 Lives”. VHQ has, in hand, another 9 projects it is currently working on and is expecting another 15 projects to be confirmed in stages from now until end of the year. Productions for these projects, a mixture of movies and big budget internet dramas will stretch until end of 2018.
“3 Lives” is a period romantic fantasy movie adapted from a popular novel of the same name, jointly produced by Alibaba Pictures and Ruyi Films and starring mainland China’s A-listers, “Liu Yifei” and “Yang Yang”. This movie is slated for nationwide release on 3rd of August in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D formats. This title is the No 1 ranking internet IP, with an internet and tv drama released securing more than 2 billion clicks online. “3 Lives” is expected to be one of the main blockbusters over the summer holiday season in China.
“3 Lives” was China’s first mega production which was shot with eight sets of 3D dual- machines simultaneously, with VHQ’s Visual Effects Team attendance on-set throughout the filming of 25 indoor and outdoor scenes, which took a total of 93 days to film. VHQ produced more than half of the total of 2,300 special effects key shots in this movie. Total post- production timeline was 15 months. Working in conjunction with the Film and VHX Directors, VHQ’s interpretations of the key scenes in the movie were created through its in-house developed plug-in special effects in addition to the internationally recognized film technology software. The result of this is the creation of beautifully crafted and rendered CGI and visual effects shots in the movie. VHQ is honored to have had the confidence of the joint producers of “3 Lives’, Alibaba Pictures and Ruyi Films, as well as the Film Director, Zhao Xiao Ding, to be entrusted as the lead VFX studio to work on this ground breaking production.
VHQ’s slate of projects consists mainly CGI and visual effects-heavy movies, all which are sci-fi, fantasy, action and adventure genres. “3 Lives” is an important milestone for the company’s development. VHQ is increasingly being recognized by market as the leading visual effects company China for being able to consistently deliver large volume of work of the highest quality. At present, the company has received projects which stretches well into 2018, with a workload of at least 15 films and some high budget internet/tv dramas for this year and next. CGI and visual effects-heavy movies secured by VHQ has been increasing, from 9 in 2016 to 11 in 2017 and 12 in 2018. The market for movies is already very large, on the verge of becoming the largest in the world. Despite negative perceptions, the market, measured by box-office revenues is still growing. Simultaneously, the internet is providing another big wave of growth. The growth trend in the market is irreversible. Movie studios and content producers are driven by their collective desire to ride this wave by producing increasingly higher quality movie and internet content. On the back of substantial increase in revenues from the internet platform, production budgets for high quality dramas have jumped 12 times over a period 12 months. Budgets for better China-made movies have increased in general due to 3 main factors – costs of casts (actors), longer production timelines and costs of post production, including CGI and Visual Effects. VHQ is witnessing a trend of increasing budget allocations for post production and visual effects in movies. VHQ is very optimistic about immediate and long term growth and prospects of its post production and special effects business.
VHQ has put in place a team to take on business in the internet drama and movie space. It is expected to take start inking deals and contributions from this newer department is expected to flow in by the 3Q of this year onward, contributing to revenues and profits. Over a period of 2 years, the Company expects to double size of its staff strength in China.