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Thursday, September 8, 2016, 11:09

Not quite yet Hollywood dazzling

By Xu Fan

From movements that look rigid and fake to tiny budgets, the mainland's filmmakers have to raise their game. Xu Fan reports.

Not quite yet Hollywood dazzling
The new film L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties directed by Guo J ingming will hit the big screen on Sept 30. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Last Thursday, hundreds of fans were anxiously waiting to get into a media event of L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties in Beijing. But their enthusiasm seemed to wane after the upcoming fantasy film's latest trailer was screened at the Wanda CBD cinema.

There was scattered applause at first. But the screams came only when the star-studded cast appeared onstage.

Its makers say the film, which depicts a fictional wonderland, is an unprecedented Chinese-language title when it comes to computer-generated imagery, as all the sets and characters are the result of digital technology.

Guo Jingming, director and writer of the namesake novel on which the film is based, says the big-budget movie has used motion-capture technology to record facial expressions and moves, which are then converted into virtual images on screen.

When the movie's first trailer was released more than two months ago, it caused a controversy: It was criticized for looking like a videogame or an animated film.

The second trailer, which was screened at the event, however, seems better, with the moves looking a lot less rigid and fake.

In China's booming movie market, the number of such ambitious fantasy productions that stumble in the visual-effects game is not insignificant.

Recent duds have included the TV series Ice Fantasy , starring Feng Shaofeng, and the Jet Li film League of Gods .

The productions were slammed for their visual effects and their over-reliance on colored contact lenses.

In most of the scenes in these films and TV series, the fictional beasts or creatures were criticized for looking like stuffed toys because of their unnatural eyes and expressions.

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