SHANGHAI FILM GROUP EMBRACES DIGITAL FILMMAKING

Jebsen Industrial helps China’s iconic Shanghai Film Group(SFG) embrace digital production with the latest equipment from ARRI digital camera, peripheral products and outstanding service and support.  

The Challenge: Capturing Opportunities in the Digital Age
Shanghai Film Studio was established in 1949 as the cradle of Chinese film. It produced China’s first feature film and introduced both sound and animation to local audiences. It has made almost 800 films to date, many of which are globally revered as classics, including The Butterfly Lovers (梁山伯与祝英台), Civil War (南征北战), The Letter with Feathers (鸡毛信), Nie’ Er (聂耳), and Red Detachment of Women (红色娘子军). It has also developed new film technologies and collaborated with industry legends from around the world.

In 2004, this iconic studio was restructured to enable it to recapture the influential position it enjoyed in its heyday from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The new entity, Shanghai Film Group, combines the strengths of several specialist studios to create China’s largest and most powerful film, animation, and documentary production company. With unrivalled technical resources and creative talent, it is now winning over new audiences and reinforcing Shanghai’s role as the Hollywood of the East.

Jebsen Industrial helps China’s iconic Shanghai Film Group(SFG) embrace digital production with the latest equipment from ARRI digital camera, peripheral products and outstanding service and support.

Multi-year Project Spans Digital Shift
Just as the restructuring process got underway eight years ago, Jebsen Industrial successfully bid to supply Shanghai Film Studio with new film cameras. However, since the studio was in transition, the project was put on hold. Seven years later, when the procurement project resumed, the industry has changed so substantially that a new bidding process was begun.

“The question for Jebsen Industrial was this: how can we now best support our customer to thrive in its fast-changing industry? As a trusted partner to Shanghai Film Group, we were ready to take the initiative and to be flexible to meet its needs in the era of digital filmmaking,” said Lorenz Zimmermann, Director, Jebsen Industrial.

Filming and releasing a movie in digital format lowers the cost of production and distribution and eliminates the risk of film prints degrading through wear or human error. The shift to this new technology has already revolutionized the film industry in the US, Japan, and China – the world’s three largest film markets.

About 90% of China’s 9,000 commercial movie screens have now been upgraded for digital projection, signaling an end to traditional film production. The sector is firmly on schedule to achieve the total transition to digital envisaged by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television in 2004, when China had only a few digital cinemas.

 
The Solution: Latest Technology and Exceptional Support
Jebsen Industrial used the Creating Client Value methodology to help Shanghai Film Group understand the issues and opportunities it faces in the transition to digital production.

“Guided by the goal of helping Shanghai Film Group regain its influence and audience appeal, we proposed a complete digital solution, found a way to meet the studio’s very fast delivery schedule, and devised a full technical support program,” explained Mr. Zimmermann.

Complete Digital Production
After an in-depth investigation of the studio’s needs, Jebsen Industrial determined that Shanghai Film Group would have to fully embrace the digital production process and yet select equipment capable of working with its existing technology. It delivered a complete system comprising:
• ALEXA and ALEXA Studio optical-view finder digital cameras;
• ARRI lighting system;
• Masterprime lens;
• Tiffen filter.

ARRI of Germany is the maker of the world’s best-selling cameras, most advanced lighting technology etc. Its 90-year history is a record of constant innovation. It has partnered Jebsen Industrial, China’s film technology pioneer, since 1960.

In past, Shanghai Film Group have purchased already high-precision optics products of France’s Thales Angenieux. Rewarded multiple times by Hollywood since its founding in 1935, it remains the world leader in the zoom lens field and is a major player in the development of HD and 3D lens technology. It has worked with Jebsen Industrial in Greater China since 1996.

Jebsen Industrial helps China’s iconic Shanghai Film Group(SFG) embrace digital production with the latest equipment from ARRI digital camera, peripheral products and outstanding service and support.

Tight Delivery Schedule
To meet the production schedule for an important new film, The Sky of Tibet, Shanghai Film Group needed its new equipment on location within three months of the contract signing.

“Meeting this extremely short delivery cycle would not have been possible without good communication with Shanghai Film Group,” said Mr. Zimmermann. “We had to ensure that we had the necessary equipment ready for immediate delivery.”

The new digital cameras and lenses and the lighting system were delivered to Shanghai Film Group in March 2012, ready for location shooting in Lhasa in early June. The equipment and its operators were immediately tested in extreme conditions on the Tibetan plateau, with the largest scenes involving 10,000 extras.

Full Technical Support
With Jebsen Industrial’s machine demo, consultation services and technical support, Shanghai Film Group now has some of the most advanced filmmaking equipment in China.

To prepare Shanghai Film Group personnel to use this new equipment, Jebsen Industrial organized five training sessions from March, 2012. In all, close to 100 people including The Sky of Tibet project received training, including the director, producer, lighting team, cinematographers, and technicians. Their technical training covered the ALEXA digital cameras and the S.Two OB-1 non-compressed digital film recorder and other third-party tools and included sessions on  the total workflow for principles, patches, upgrading etc.

Jebsen Industrial helps China’s iconic Shanghai Film Group(SFG) embrace digital production with the latest equipment from ARRI digital camera, peripheral products and outstanding service and support.

Going forward, Jebsen Industrial will continue to work with Shanghai Film Group to provide ongoing maintenance, upgrade services, and technical support as the studio ramps up production on new high-profile films.

 

For More Information
To learn more about Jebsen Industrial products and services for the film industry, please send an email to [email protected] or visit the website at: www.jebsenindustrial.com 



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