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Canadian effects giant Vision Globale could be the next North American company to set up shop in China.
The firm is already working on its first Chinese feature and is currently examining how and where to put down roots in China.
The company's CEO and president Mathieu Lefebvre has this week headed off to Shanghai to talk to local companies and scout locations.
Among his visits is one to Hong Kong director Andrew Lau, now shooting action film Flying Guillotines. Originally conceived as a 2-D film, producer We Pictures recently announced that it would spend some $3 million with Vision Globale on converting it to 3-D.
Having previously converted North American films including Upside Down and The Colony, Vision Globale was able to show a body of work.
"We develop our own [conversion] software, which gives us an edge. The software improves almost weekly," says Lefebvre. "2-D to 3-D conversion is not just a technical process, it also requires human decision making and that needs closeness to the nuances of the customers." Hence the need for a Chinese or Asian outpost.
"[Getting into Asia] is not about cutting costs. It is not a low-cost option, or if it is, it will not stay low-cost for much longer," says Lefebvre.
The Montreal-based company has grown from humble origins as a tape transfer operator into telecine, then film restoration, post-production, animation and effects and, most recently, into 3-D conversions. It now has a staff of some 450 employees.
"We have worked with distributors and rights owners all around the world on restorations, first to HD, then to 2k and nowadays to 4k," says Lefebvre. "We've probably restored over 600 Asian titles to date."
Earlier this month Los Angeles-based post-production firm MTI announced that it will be opening a film restoration facility in the recently-opened animation park near the northern Chinese city of Tianjin. Its first job will be restoration of the 1958 Glenn Ford-starring title Cowboy.
Source: Film Business Asia
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