Christie to roll on digital projector factory

Underscoring China’s 3D ambitions, global digital cinema projection company Christie is gearing up to launch a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen to meet the growing demand for d-cinema projectors to screen 2D and 3D movies.

The news was welcome for execs at the Shanghai Film Festival, where 3D was the focus of a forum Wednesday.

China is racing to gear up 3D on the technical side.

Hong Qin, prexy of the Beijing-based national exhib Stellar Megamedia Group, said Stellar is planning to build three special effects studios to implement the technology.

But the biz needs to make greater efforts on the creative side, speakers at the forum said.

“Avatar” earned B.O. of $190 million, driving what looks to be another boffo year for Chinese cinema.

While the message was that people needed to think about many different kinds of 3D projects, the success of Cameron’s pic meant forum participants made only a half-hearted attempt to avoid the “A” word.

Hong voiced the opinions of many when he said: “We can’t have 3D just for 3D’s sake. The reason ‘Avatar’ was such a success was because it was a great director, not because it was great technology.”

Hong Kong producer and director Tsui Siuming agreed, saying, “Do we have the talent and technology in China to advance? We don’t have the talent pool yet; we’re not well developed by U.S. standards.”

The Shenzhen factory will initially feed the Asia Pacific market, freeing up capacity at Christie’s North American plants in Cypress, Calif., and Kitchener, Ontario, to increase supply to the rest of the world, where 3D films are fighting for space on too few screens.

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