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China outfit helps cut through local red tape

World Brief

SHANGHAI — Signs of China’s increasing importance as a production base continue with the establishment of what claims to be the country’s first true production services company.

Dragon Studios is a joint venture among American Peter Loehr, who has produced many of China’s biggest hits of recent years; Er Yong, a well-known local line producer; He Peng, director of one of China’s largest film equipment rental companies; and Hengdian Group, the company behind the Hengdian World Studios, one of the region’s largest back lots, where parts of Zhang Yimou’s “Hero” were shot.

Though rules controlling domestic productions were recently relaxed to allow independent producers to shoot without the support of an official state-run studio, foreign productions must still find a local studio partner.

“That’s something we can help with,” Loehr says. “We can budget the film, crew it up, do all the paperwork, help form the studio relationship, assist on the shoot itself and take production right through to leaving China.”

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