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Tong Dawei (L), Huang Xiaoming (Middle) and Deng Chao (R) in "American Dreams In China."[Photo:filmbiz.asia]
We Pictures is spending C$3.5 million ($3.45 million) on a 3-D conversion of Andrew Lau's upcoming The Guillotines.
The $15m film is to be released on 20 Dec in China, making it the only 3-D Chinese language picture in the Christmas market.
The company also revealed that Chinese star Huang Xiaoming had joined the cast of American Dreams In China, Peter Chan Ho-sun's current film as director. He joins Deng Chao and Tong Dawei, in the tale of three men who go from rags to riches as language teachers. Production has been underway in Beijing and Tianjin since last month and will shift to New York in September.
Both American Dreams and We's third project The Truth of Beauty, a plastic surgery drama directed by Aubrey Lam and starring newcomer Bai Baihe, are expected to release in early 2013, close to the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day slot.
Lau said that the conversion of Guillotines to 3D "bring(s) the guillotine alive in its truly vivid manifestation." The film was shot in 2-D with Arri Alexa digital cameras and is being converted by Canada-based effect company Vision Globale.
The decision to upgrade was primarily made with a view to boosting the film's appeal to the key Chinese audiences. Guillotines has been widely pre-sold internationally, but it is unclear whether the 3-D conversion will have any effect on contract terms or rights deals overseas. "In China 3-D is still a premium that gets audiences into cinemas," said a We Pictures spokesman. "The value of 3-D [non English] language films in the international market is hard to assess."
In China the film may also be released in cinemas using the China Film Group's proprietary China Giant Screen technology. There are no plans to convert it to the IMAX format. Guillotines is the first film to be announced as using the CGS technology, though others are understood to be in the works.
Source: Film Business Asia
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