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横店影视城 中国好莱坞?

线话英语|2011-06-03 11:54:51



横店影视城 中国好莱坞?
If You Build It, They Will Come: Chinese Town Gets Hollywood Makeover


A five-hour drive southwest of Shanghai, in the hills near a manufacturing hub, something like a mirage appears among the smokestacks: a full-scale replica of Beijing's Forbidden City.

Welcome to 'Chinawood,' the world's largest outdoor film studio in the fastest-growing film market.

At more than 2,500 acres, Hengdian World Studios, as it is officially known, is larger than Universal and Paramount Studios combined. Its sets have appeared in more than 800 Chinese television shows and films.

Hengdian has plenty to offer beyond the Forbidden City. There is the Qin dynasty imperial palace that was the backdrop for the movie 'Hero.' There are 100 authentic Ming dynasty riverside houses shipped in from southern China, and the largest indoor Buddha in China.

'We've already surpassed Hollywood in volume,' says 76-year-old Xu Wenrong, a one-time farmer who owns the studios. 'Here, we offer everything.'

Even dreams of stardom.

The remote town has seen its population grow to about 70,000, from 19,000, in 10 years. New residents lured by the glamour of show business have earned a nickname: hengpiao, or 'Hengdian drifters.'

Many become extras. Mao Mao, 25, came to Hengdian three years ago from the southern province of Fujian with dreams of becoming an actor. Playing a pedestrian or a guard earns him 60 yuan ($9) a day -- enough to send some money back home. And shaving his head for a Qing period show earns him another 40 yuan. (For women, he says, a shaved head commands much more.)

'I've seen myself on TV. If I look realistic, I'm happy,' he says, standing in front of a makeshift hospital on a fake Hong Kong street.

Since Mr. Xu constructed his first set in 1996, extras have poured into town. Some 3,000 extras are under the studio's control.

Productions must use the studio extras, says Nansun Shi, a Hong Kong film producer. 'They stick out like a sore thumb,' she says.

Initially, many were nearby farmers and factory workers who happily traded their jobs for a gig on set, without any acting training. One extra on a kung fu movie, who called himself Mr. Ge, said he's been working in Hengdian for 10 years. Every day, he says, he is told where to go by the studio's extra association. Days when he isn't acting, he goes back to work at a nearby factory.

'There's no other choice. It is what it is,' he said, in his Qing dynasty costume, head shaven so he can don a queue -- a man's long braid typical of the period.

The more than 10,000 yuan ($1,540) he makes a year far exceeds what he earned at the factory -- though the money doesn't always come easily. The bespectacled Mr. Ge has to take off his glasses on set for historical accuracy. He can't afford contacts, so he acts half-blind. That hasn't stopped him from being deemed a 'special' extra, he says, which gets him close-up shots, the highest honor short of a speaking role.

Some younger hopefuls come armed with skills that command higher salaries, such as martial arts for men and dancing for women.

Mr. Xu sells Hengdian studios as a one-stop production shop. While the outdoor lots are free to use, he makes money through equipment and costume rentals, restaurant and hotel fees.

To create more studios, Mr. Xu, chairman of Hengdian Group, a multibillion-dollar private manufacturing concern, invests his own money and explodes nearby mountains to create space to build. 'If they're missing something, I'll build it,' he says.

'He's a visionary,' says Bill Kong, the Hong Kong-based producer of world-wide blockbusters 'Hero' and 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,' which were both shot in Hengdian. 'He's managed to turn a place in the middle of nowhere into the best studio in China.'

Hengdian's success has come on the back of China's booming film market, expected to become the world's second-biggest market, after the U.S., by 2012. Domestic box-office revenue surged 64% to $1.5 billion in 2010, while the number of theaters has doubled in the last four years to around 6,300.

Increasingly, Hengdian is featured in Hollywood co-productions hoping to cash in on both U.S. and Chinese markets, such as 'Mummy 3' and 'Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.'

The studios also draw seven million tourists a year as a government-sanctioned 5A tourist destination. Extra entertainment comes in the form of aerial acrobatics, horse jousting and water stunts involving pirates.

At night, for $23 , visitors can catch the 'The Largest Volcano Performance in the World' -- a dance extravaganza with fireworks, glow-in-the-dark figurines, fire breathers and simulated lava.

Hengdian has its detractors. Some cast and crew members who have spent months in the remote town secretly call it 'Helldian,' for its lack of luxuries.

Top stars, such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li, stay at the best hotel in town, The Grand Hotel of International Conference Center, simply called the VIP Hotel, owned by Mr. Xu. Its rooms with views of an amusement park fetch about $49 a night -- pricey for the area, says Chao Chao, art director for 'Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.'

Food options are limited. 'We've eaten at all the restaurants to the point where our mouths are sore,' he says.

Mr. Xu's most ambitious project has become a national controversy. In 2008, he announced a $3 billion plan to construct a full-scale copy of the Old Summer Palace, the Qing dynasty imperial gardens sacked by British and French troops during the Opium War.

Building a replica of the palace, which has become a symbol of foreign oppression in China, crossed a line with many people. Representatives of the real ruins site in Beijing denounced the Hengdian reconstruction as 'neither possible nor tolerable.'

Local authorities stopped construction of the 1,000-acre site, citing illegal use of farmland. The ban was lifted last year.

Mr. Xu says he has every intention of finishing his 'New Old Summer Palace.' He's encapsulated that dream in a two-story building devoted to a miniature model of the would-be grounds.

For now, he's looking ahead. New projects include an antiques trading center and a Chinese wine production business that will carve cellars into nearby hillsides.

The man behind China's most epic films has little to say about his favorites. 'I don't watch movies,' he says. 'I don't have the time.'
从上海出发往西南方向驾车行驶五个小时后,在毗邻一处制造业中心的群山中,进入人们眼 的除了有一座座烟囱,还有一幅彷佛海市蜃楼的画面:实物大小的北京紫禁城复制品。

Cathy Yan/The Wall Street Journal游客参观横店影视城内与实物同等大小的北京紫禁城复制品。欢迎来到“中国的好莱坞”——这座世界上最大的室外影视城正位于全球增速最快的电影市场。

它的正式名称叫横店影视城(Hengdian World Studios),占地超过2,500英亩,比环球影城(Universal Studios)和派拉蒙影城(Paramount Studios)二者加起来的面积还要大。曾在横店影视城取景的中国电视节目和电影数量超过800部。




Cathy Yan/The Wall Street Journal图片:走进横店影视城十年间,这座偏远小镇的人口数量从1.9万增长至七万左右。被演艺圈的光鲜魅力所吸引、进而常驻于此的人群有了一个称号:横漂。






Cathy Yan/The Wall Street Journal电影摄制组成员正在横店影视城的紫禁城复制品前。身穿清朝戏服的他说,没有别的选择,只能这样。为了能戴上拍清朝戏需要的假辫子,他把头发给剃了。




为了建造更多的摄影场景,拥有数十亿美元资产的民营制造业企业横店集团(Hengdian Group)的董事长徐文荣自己进行了投资,他在附近开山凿地,为即将兴建的工程创造空间。他说,如果他们缺什么东西,我就去建。

香港电影人江志强是电影《英雄》和《卧虎藏龙》(Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)的制片人,他说,徐文荣是一个有远见的人,他成功地将一个默默无名的地方打造成了中国最好的影视城。《英雄》和《卧虎藏龙》这两部享誉世界的大片就都是在横店拍摄的。


如今,横店越来越多地出现在那些希望从中国和美国两大市场上获利的好莱坞跨国合拍片中,例如《木乃伊3》(Mummy 3)和《雪花与秘扇》(Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)。




诸如成龙、李连杰这样的一线明星会住在横店最高档的酒店——横店国际会议中心大酒店(The Grand Hotel of International Conference Center),简称横店贵宾楼,老板也是徐文荣。要是住在能看见游乐场的房间,房价是每晚49美元左右——《雪花与秘扇》的美术指导Chao Chao说,在这个地方这是很贵的。








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