At the 12th China Intl. Cartoon & Animation Festival, held in April, it was revealed that the market for domestic animated films had grown 78.6% in 2015 — accounting for revenue of about $300 million.
Little wonder then the major players in China’s domestic industry — Base FX among them — are looking at animation as a future step.
“We are local in terms of our artists and we are looking into making the films that the Chinese audience wants to see,” says Base FX founder and CEO Christopher Bremble. “These are ‘their’ films and, you know, the market is still growing. No one really knows just how big things will get.”
Bremble says animation is a natural progression for his company, expanding on talents — and ideas — it’s already being developed. “Every visual effects company has wanted to make its own movies,” he says. “In 2013 we started a content team and the plan has been quite simple. We want to make one film a year. It’ll be big, but we’ll take our time. We’ll get it right. We’ll use that project to fill capacity.”
Other vfx companies have tried this concept, with mixed results. But Base has the backing of giant investment group China Media Capital, which should help give the plan the financial clout necessary.
Bremble says Base can succeed where Western companies did not. “We’re uniquely positioned to make spectacle-driven movies for the Chinese market because we can make them at a price for the market,” he says.