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James Cameron takes 3-D film venture to China

posted 8 Aug 2012, 06:13 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 8 Aug 2012, 06:14 ]

Avatar director James Cameron announces in Beijing plans to open a joint venture in China providing 3-D filming technology.

(BEIJING, CHINA) (AUGUST 8, 2012) (REUTERS) - Oscar-winning director James Cameron said on Wednesday (August 8) that he will open a joint venture in China to provide 3-D filming technology, the latest move by Hollywood to secure a foothold in the country's booming movie industry.

A long-time proponent of expanding 3-D viewership, Cameron said the enthusiasm to try out live 3-D broadcast technology of his Chinese partners and Chinese state television, exceeded even his own.

"This is the first case where our potential partners - when we were talking about this and having our strategic discussions, their vision for what could happen actually exceeded ours. And that was exciting. That's the first time we've ever felt that. So we think we're really on the verge of a major kind of media revolution here, and we can do it. We certainly have the enabling technology, we have the methodology, we've honed our skills."

The new arm of Cameron Pace Group, CPG China Division, will offer Chinese film makers three-dimensional camera technology but will not be involved immediately in producing films, Cameron told Reuters in an interview.

"The best way to put it is, if it's happening in 3-D in China, we want to be right at the nexus of that. But this is not about hanging out a shingle as a production company, make no mistake about that. We may take an equity position in a specific production if that makes sense at the time, again, some reduced margin in terms of the services and technology that we provide, that's a possibility. But that's not our primary goal. We're not really here to be content producers. We're here to be enablers," he said.

Three-dimensional films, which enhance depth perception by being shot from two perspectives, gained popularity during the 2000s and achieved massive success with Cameron's 2009 blockbuster "Avatar", a movie about blue aliens which set a $2.8 billion box office global earnings record.

Cameron said the deal was "huge", but would not give details on the amount of the investment or the venture's equity split with two state-owned entities - film distributor Tianjin North Film Group and Tianjin Hi-tech Holding Group.

China's booming box office revenues have wet Hollywood's appetite despite complaints over government restrictions on access to screens, content control and piracy.