Both domestic and international viewers have started to pay more attention to visual effects in Chinese dramas and demand higher quality. Sixth Tone, an online magazine in English that focuses on making the voices of China’s people heard, just published an interview with the visual effects supervisor Guan Ming Jie, the man behind the visual effects for last years’s mega hit Ice Fantasy or the recent web drama Rakshasa Street.
To resume Guan Ming Jie’s main points, viewers are no longer satisfied with the current quality of the visual effects in Chinese dramas and there are three main factors that explain the lower quality compared to Hollywood movies:
1) Too little time
A fantasy drama has hundreds or even thousands of minutes with visual effects compared to a movie of only 100-200 minutes, and productions don’t give enough time to create good quality effects.
2) Limited budgets
The visual effects industry in China is still young. The chaotic market and disunity between the visual effects companies push prices downward, so that workers don’t get paid enough to be able to offer high quality work.
3) Lacking teamwork
The visual effects team should be involved in every production stage, starting with the screenplay, in order to guarantee an optimal result, but the reality is that they can often only get involved in the post-production stage.
Guan Ming Jie now founded his own visual effects company and plans to offer high quality work, even though he won’t make any money in the coming years like this. However, he is confident that the overall situation will better itself over time and that his sincerity towards his work will pay off in the long run.
It seems like there are more Chinese fantasy dramas in the works than ever nowadays, probably due to the huge success of recent fantasy dramas like Ice Fantasy or Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. Therefore, the quality of visual effects is indeed a hot topic.
Do you share Guan Ming Jie’s opinion that visual effects in Chinese dramas will improve over time? Have you already seen any Cdramas that had good quality visual effects in your opinion? Which upcoming Chinese fantasy dramas do you have high hopes for?