M is for magic, movies at new Pudong studio

Li Qian
M-Station used to be a stadium for staff at the Shanghai International Resort. Now, it's an emerging filmmaking hub for post-production.
Li Qian

Adjoining the Shanghai Disneyland, a former stadium has been converted into a studio doing post-production, helping to make filmmaking dreams come true.

The site, called M-Station, opened on July 29 and has gained much popularity. “M represents magic and movie,” said Huang Wei, director of Pudong Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau.

The site, covering over 3,000 square meters, used to be a stadium for staff at the Shanghai International Resort. Now, it's an emerging filmmaking hub for post-production.

It's a revolution in the industry, according to Jiang Chuanrong, in charge of the site.

Usually, film post-production requires the involvement of tens of different companies. This takes time and money, and it’s likely to cause different parts of a film to vary considerably in quality. M-Station offers a solution.

Here, directors and producers can find whatever they need, from dubbing and editing raw footage to adding special effects.

The idea comes from the sharing economy, Jiang said, adding that the site allows the sharing of space, talent and other resources.

“We have a talent pool providing professionals in makeup, costumes, lighting and shooting. Also, we combine advancing technologies including 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud storage,” Jiang said. “No matter who you are, you can come to us to make a video or film. Also, it decreases costs.”

Financial institutes such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, universities such as USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry and technology giants such as Huawei, VCG and ByteDance have signed agreements to support the development of the site.

“Disney is known for filmmaking and Disney films are so popular. We have such close ties with Disney, and thus we have natural advantages to develop the film industry,” said Li Zhihong from the Shanghai International Resort.

He added that Shanghai is now building a global filmmaking hub and the resort wants to be part of it. “We hope to become a window opening Shanghai to the world through film,” he said.

Under the plan, within two to three years, other unused structures in the surrounding areas will be transformed into high-technology film studios and practice bases. Within three to five years, it plans to create a film ecosystem featuring filmmaking, R&D in post-production technology and film talent cultivation.

In five years, the site is expected to have 1,000 workers and produce 20 films every year.

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