Jin Tiemu, director of Legend of the Tang Empire. [Photo: Global Times]
Following the phenomenal success of James Cameron's Avatar, a ceremony marking the start of the shoot of China's first IMAX3D film was held in Beijing on May 13.
Directed by Jin Tiemu, Legend of the Tang Empire (Daminggong Chuanqi), stars Song Jia, the Best Actress winner at both the 13th and 14th Hundred Flowers Awards, and upcoming actress Liu Yuxin.
Jin began his preparations for the film two years ago when he went to New Zealand and the US to learn special techniques.
He also invited master IMAX3D cinematographer Reed Philip Smoot from Hollywood to work on the project.
Reed said that unlike Avatar, the 3D American fantasy film which broke box office records, Legend of Tang Empire is a cultural movie. He said that he decided to take on the job due to his interest in Chinese traditions and customs as well as his appreciation of Jin's visual sense.
Legend of Tang Empire tells a story set in the Daminggong Palace during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The Prince of Persia falls in love with a noble woman named Ming Yue (Liu Yuxin) when he visits the Empress Wu Zetian (Song Jia). In order to win the heart of Ming Yue, the Prince takes part in a crucial tournament with his many other love rivals.
As he was keen to highlight the merits of IMAX film, Jin said that he focused on the scenes featuring strong visual effects such as the large-scale palace ball, the royal horse ball game and hunting scenes.
"But the pressure of making a 3D movie was still much more than I expected," he said. "When using the IMAX3D camera, any detail, even a grain of sand on the floor, can affect the quality of the film."
Jin also said that you need a much larger space for the shoot and more electricity, and that one minute's shooting costs some 2 million yuan ($293,000).
"But as the one to shoot the first IMAX3D film in China, I had the responsibility to do it well," Jin added.
Legend of the Tang Empire is expected to make its debut at Daming Palace National Heritage Park in Xi'an on October 1.
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