Digital Domain linkup leads way to negotiations with majors on other co-financing deals

BEIJING — Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co. believes its link-up with Digital Domain Media Group will feed a growing market for big, high-tech movies in the booming China market, and is in conversation with Hollywood studios about co-financing projects.

“We think and surveys show that more and more Chinese audiences prefer to watch big, high-tech movies in the cinema rather than small productions,” said vice prexy Zhong Lifang.

The group is also discussing co-financing deals with Sony, Fox and Warner Bros., she said in an interview with Variety.

Galloping Horse will formally announce its link up with the vfx and CG animation company Digital Domain on “The Legend of Tembo” at next week’s Beijing Intl. Film Festival, (Daily Variety, April 12). Galloping Horse will market and distribute throughout China.

The pic, about a baby African elephant shipped to India, will be the first family-friendly animated feature from Digital Domain’s subsidiary, Tradition Studios. The shingle is in the process of establishing a studio in Beijing.

The challenge with co-productions was still to find the successful formula that works in both overseas and in China.

“This is something we need to study. We need to find out how to balance the demands of both sides of the market. So far we have not got a good solution,” she said.

A recent decision to allow more overseas movies into the Chinese market would cause pain in the short-term for domestic filmmakers, but it would also push them to make better films.

“The market is hot right now, and film makers are making movies quickly and not seriously. Now they have to face competition from big movies from Hollywood every month,” she said.

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