The State of VFX in China: Best VFX Studios Out There

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Image credits – Wikimedia

China is a big deal economically, politically, and also, in terms of sheer size. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when we tell you that it’s also one of the hottest VFX markets in the world.

After all, the box office here makes about $5 billion every year and the number of cinema screens has also increased exponentially in the past few years. For example, in 2014, the country was home to around 23,000 screens. In 2008, it was just 4000; that’s a sevenfold increase in just 6 years.

All this growth has led Hollywood to consider China as a major film destination. In fact, the country has been quite welcoming of western cinema in recent years. Around 34 foreign movies are distributed in the country annually now.

This trend has, in turn, also led to a boost in the VFX industry, especially with movies such as Jurassic World and local hits like The Crossing and Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal garnering plenty of praise.

Wil Manning, VFX Supervisor at Pixomondo in Beijing tells us that the movie market in China is growing at 35% per year. So, there’s a bright future for VFX here.

So, naturally, there are bound to be a few early birds who want to capture the best of what the market has to offer before things reach a saturation point.

Here are a couple of the country’s biggest VFX studios at present.

Base FX

Search for “VFX companies in China” and the first name that pops up is “Base FX”. This isn’t only because their website has excellent SEO. It’s also because these guys produce some fantastic work.

Apart from working with local greats such as Lu Chuan, Jia Zhangke, and Zhang Yimou, they’ve also done VFX for Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Trek: Into Darkness, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In 2016, they received an Oscar nomination for Star Wars: The Force Awakens under “The Academy Award for Visual Effects” category.

Studio 51

Based in Beijing, Studio 51 is another major player in the Chinese VFX industry. They specialize in areas such as concept design, pre-production, post-production, shoot supervision, and other creative services.

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Image credits – LinkedIn

Some of their projects include local box office hits such as Skiptrace, Monk Comes Down the Mountain, and Time to Love.

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