Filming ramps up at China’s equivalent to Hollywood – Hengdian World Studios

By Chen Xi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/3 15:48:40

New arrivals register for work permits at Hengdian World Studios. This is often the first stop for "Heng drifters." Photo: Li Hao/GT

More than 100 crews have returned to work at China's version of Hollywood, Hengdian World Studios in East China's Zhejiang Province.

According to reports, since July a total of 48 crews have started filming, while 63 crews are in preproduction. All told, the number of crews at China's biggest film base has tripled compared to March and has increased by 16 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

The hashtag for the resumption of filming had earned 120 million views on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo as of Monday afternoon. 

Many Chinese netizens have expressed their excitement about the resumption, revealing their confidence that the Chinese film industry will recover.

"China's film and television industry has finally returned to normal. There are so many dramas that I am looking forward to watching: The Golden Hairpin starring by Kris Wu and Yang Zi, The Oath of Love starring Xiao Zhan and Legend Of Fei starring Wang Yibo and Zhao Liying," one Chinese netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

Some actors from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region including Lawrence Ng and Ray Lui have also flown to the film base and, after undergoing a 14-day quarantine, have begun filming again. 

Ng posted a photo of himself with his film crew on Sina Weio along with a post highly praising the anti-epidemic measures taken in the Chinese mainland.

"The Chinese mainland has done a good job in fighting the epidemic, and the epidemic prevention measures are implemented well. I have been at Hengdian World Studios for several months and there has not been a single infected case. I feel very safe here," he wrote. 

Han Dan, an employee at Hengdian World Studios, told the Global Times that in order to enter the film base people must have a work certificate and a green health bar code proving they come from a low-risk area. 

"People from middle- and high-risk areas are not allowed to enter Hengdian World Studios. They might need to undergo a 14-day-long quarantine," Han said.

Hengdian World Studios shut down in January due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It began gradually opening a month later. 

The increased number of productions underway means a higher demand for extras. Currently, nearly 8,000 extras who used to work in the studio have returned to work since the epidemic in China was brought under control. 

"Most of the extras are part-time. An extra can earn around 90 yuan ($12.90) a day, and 10 yuan per hour if shooting exceeds 10 hours," said one extra Liang Aiping, according to a report from CCTV on Monday

Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, many productions were delayed from March to the hotter months of July and August. At present, the highest recorded temperature at Hengdian World Studios has reached 38C. This has posed a challenge for performers, who must still wear heavy warm clothes that had been prepared for March filming. 


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