In the spring festival spring, a movie became the hottest topic.
"Wandering Earth", this masterpiece hailed as the first year of Chinese science fiction, not only smashed the circle of friends, but also sang the song at the box office. After winning the Spring Festival title without excitement, it has been optimistic about box-level prediction platform cat eye as a second explosion at state level of more than 4 billion.
Through the many successful elements of "Wandering Earth", in addition to the original appeal of the original Liu Cixin and the professional actor director, Hollywood's visual effect is also an important factor.
After all, in the great film era, the public's special effects to enjoy the audiovisual enjoyment are an indispensable component of the explosion. From the film of the film, realistic effects can also help guide the story, so the audience is there.
With the continued popularity of "Wandering Earth", the domestic specialty businesses behind it have also been dug up by the media and become the subject of worship of fans.
But little is known that it is the biggest special effects company in China that its founder also exclaimed a roar of "yet it is better to die than to die".
Behind the glamorous box office characters and the constant movie stars, what are the survival dilemmas facing these back-the-scenes heroes? During the Chinese film industry's continuing challenge to Hollywood, what kind of political support do they expect?
Let's investigate the behind-the-scenes heroes of this "wandering land".
The director of the "Little Broken Ball" said they are the best in the country.
In the Beijing premiere "Wandering Earth", a guest who spoke did not attract much attention and was rarely mentioned by various entertainment.
MORE VFX co-founder / visual film producer Cai Meng speaks at the premiere of "The Wandering Earth" in Beijing
He came from a company called MER VFX, who was involved in the production of special effects for "Wandering Earth" and was also the largest visual company founded by the Chinese. But in addition to industrialists and a few leading fans, this industry leader with the mission to make world-class visual effects is probably never heard of most viewers.
Founded in 2007, MF VFX graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Liaoning Normal University. He is the first Chinese artist to contact the CG industry, and has been the director of a video production company since 2003 and officially started his business in 2007.
According to its self-review, MORE VFX has started from the residential building for more than a decade, and it has led the development direction of China's visual effects in terms of technology development, visual creation, production process and visual effects of corporate governance processes.
From the first production of advertising effects to the more challenging film effects in 2012. MORE VFX has participated in special effects productions such as "A Good Play", "Wu Chuan", "Da Tian Temple", "Shame Tek" and other hot movies.
Among them, "The Journey to the Monkey King of the Journey to the West" and "Wu Chuan", although the audience has differentiated mouth to mouth, but won the Hong Kong Film Awards Best Visual Effects Award for two consecutive years, showing the strength of MORE VFX. Guo Fan, Director of Wandering Earth, also made a high evaluation of MER VFX, "the best team in the domestic special effects company".
The success of MER VFX is largely due to the combination of art and technology. In an interview, Xu Jian said he was studying oil painting. Among the partners he has learned animation and digital media. "The whole aesthetic foundation is there." There are crafts and skills that are considered MORE VFX. It is one of their benefits that differs from many domestic specialty companies.
From a technical point of view, even though there is still a hole in the Hollywood top, from the "five-hair special effects" ridiculed by fans a couple of years ago, phenomena such as "Wandering Earth" can now be seen and the technical aspects of it domestic special effects industry in recent years. Progress is obvious to everyone.
From the resumption of the film produced by MER VFX, it is particularly good to transform the realistic environment (city / nature) and production of extreme environments such as collapse, fragmentation, explosion and fire. Different from the structure of the fantasy class, it is technically more difficult to be realistic without being distorted in the real environment.
Frozen Shanghai Lujiazui in the movie poster
It is precisely because of this accumulation that Shanghai Lujiazui under the ice in "Wandering Earth" reflects the perfect blend of science fiction and reality, giving the audience a greater visual impact.
With the emergence of the era of domestic film production, the domestic special effects team has some technical strength, the industry should be ushered in its golden age.
However, the reality is not optimistic. There are industrial competitions supported by other governments. Domestically, they often face arbitrary adjustments to the production plan and production requirements. The specialist industry is also facing the double dilemma of vacant staff and limited time to receive work. It is normal to be incompetent.
After the spring festival last year, Xu Jian issued a message in the circle of friends that the company missed many large companies in 2017 due to the unpredictable schedule change of the producers. He said that in 2018 he must decide to implement the system not to give a deposit, not to leave a deposit and not pay a deposit so as not to have the company go bankrupt.
During his call, the China Film and Television Industry Association launched on July 10, 2017 "China Film and Television Industry Alliance: A Proposal for the Agreement between Film and Television Companies and Production Companies", which proposed a deposit as a deposit. Part A's extension, the relevant answer to the filing and the watermarking measures for the final payment.
Xu Jian's "Roaring" movie circle of friends
It is said that the customer is God, and the special effect industry dares to cling to their own food and parents. It really is a last resort.
Some people in the industry said that if the manufacturers and the special effects companies were in favor of giving the materials in March and delivering them in September, the company had to arrange a lot of labor to make the project later in the period. If the material is suddenly postponed, the company must bear the enormous cost of idle personnel. Since the delivery date is based on the release time of the movie, even if the material is "late", it will not be delayed.
"In this way, only the late companies are being squeezed, time is shortened, the price is the same, and the price has increased.
Moreover, the late company is at the end of the film production, so it must also bear the cost pressure after the film investment exceeds the budget.
"It is a good 30 million. Finally, it can only be 15 million, but the manpower and the equipment are already vacated. It is not realistic to temporarily pick up other jobs. Many times it can only be self-sufficient, comforting the lower film and collaborating. It depends on the long term. "
In sharp contrast, foreign special effects industries are not only more standardized, but also have political support from the government.
For South Korea, which is the most competitive in the country, the local government not only assists domestic specialty companies to convene domestic producers but also subsidizes the difference between the two parties' quotes. Therefore, most of China's special effects films have been achieved in South Korea.
In Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where film effects are more developed around the world, there are also government forces. Canada's tax rebates can even reach 40%, and it has become Hollywood's largest outsourcing specialty production base.
However, over the past few years, many support policies for film and television production have been provided in recent years, and most have been given to producers, and few have directly supported significant industries. This makes the domestic industry quite strong in competition with foreign colleagues.
What is more serious is that foreign specialty companies have also seen the huge market for Chinese films and have increased their pace of entry into China. A number of general practitioners have revealed to the media that the Chinese market is now a fertile ground for foreign companies to prefer to push prices. Under the two-phase pressure, it is not difficult to understand the scene where Xu Jian's circle of friends "fired" the producers.
Can the Capital Market Help?
Xu Jianzi's founders are all people who love art. They do not think it is very important to make money. Since the industry leader has performance pressure but can survive, MORE VFX has not yet had any funding. But other late companies have begun to use the capital market to try to enlarge and strengthen.
According to the data, another well-known domestic specialty firm, Base FX, has accepted the investment from the Chinese culture holding group in 2016. The two parties have also jointly established the film production company "Beishi Media" to develop and produce high quality visual effects films for China and the global market . . Tiangong Splendid, who specializes in animation special effects production, also achieved two rounds of funding in 2014 and 2017, of which funding for 2017 was provided by Xinghui Entertainment.
In addition to Xinghui Entertainment, the Waihai shares in the A stock market also attracted 110 million yuan of strategic investments at the end of 2016. The latter produced domestic produced blockbusters such as Di Renjie and Ghost Blowing Light. Baiyang shares also announced in June last year that it plans to acquire an 80% share in the movie special effects company, Devil Vision, with a consideration of 340 million yuan. 楷 Vision's related shareholders promised that ion Vision will achieve a net profit of no less than RMB 150 million from 2018 to 2020.
In addition to these primary market mergers and acquisitions, it is still difficult for special effects companies to really land on the domestic capital market. First, there are many small and medium-sized businesses in the industry. It is difficult to meet the listing requirements of the Executive Board with regard to active size and profitability. For science and technology boards that do not have profit needs, they will also give priority to supporting "hard" information technology, biomedicine, advanced equipment and new energy. In the short term, technology cannot "open the door" to the film and television industry.
In addition, the high goodwill generated in the climax of the film and television industry's mergers and acquisitions in recent years has also intensively exploded in the near future, which has also affected the enthusiasm for the capital market for the film and television industry.
"At present, advertising special effects still make money, and they can only be used as a hole in advertising allowances for movies. Others can only do so," an industrial source said. With regard to the future, this person also expressed the hope that more people and capital with the popularity of "Wandering Earth" could become aware of domestic special effects industries. I also hope the public authorities can be aware of the current situation in the industry and provide targeted support policies.