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Film crews flock back to 'China's Hollywood'

By MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou| China Daily| Updated: July 9, 2021 L M S


Visitors interact with actors in Hengdian World Studios, known as "Chinese Hollywood," in East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/China Daily]

An increasing number of movie and television crews are flocking to Hengdian World Studios, one of the country's biggest film and TV production centers, now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under strict control in Zhejiang province and with the film and TV industries recovering rapidly.

In the first half of this year, Hengdian, a town in Dongyang county, Zhejiang, known as "China's Hollywood", received 210 shooting crews, nearly double the same period last year.

"All the actors are in high spirits and worked hard to understand the script, and received training on ancient etiquette and martial arts in advance," said Ji Yang, art director of Chong Zi, a new TV series starring pop idols Yang Chaoyue and Xu Zhengxi.

Fifty-one crews are currently shooting in the town, with another 59 on the waiting list, said Du Shanshan, deputy director of the marketing department of Zhejiang Hengdian Film and Television Crew Service Company.

Du added that costume dramas account for 72 percent of productions, with history-related teleplays representing 21 percent. The proportion of dramas produced solely for the internet has also increased this year.

There are more than 100,000 registered extras in Hengdian, with over 8,000 having become permanent residents of the town.

Song Qiang, manager of the company's actor agency group, said the number of Hengdian-based extras is up 35 percent compared with 2019.

With the approach of the summer holidays, the town has also witnessed a big surge in tourists wanting to take in new immersive attractions and traditional scenic spots.

Han Tingting, chief screenwriter of Law of the Jungle, an immersive role-playing experience in Hengdian, said the recently launched project has attracted over 400 tourists and applicants, far exceeding forecasts.

Wu Shuhong, deputy general manager of Hengdian's Guangzhou and Hong Kong Streets Resort, a famous tourist attraction, said the number of visitors has increased significantly thanks to the summer vacation.

"Each weekday we receive over 2,000 tourists, and on weekends it will reach over 4,000," Wu said.

Cai Jingwen contributed to this story.