From November 11-14, attendees from China’s film, tech, and cultural sectors met at the 35th China Golden Rooster Award & Hundred Flowers Film Festival, where a topic of discussion was how metaverse technologies can play a bigger role in Chinese filmmaking. At a forum on the development of the metaverse during the digital age of 5G, Shan Jixiang, Director of the Academic Committee of the Palace Museum, called for using new technologies to promote Chinese culture and strengthen China’s cultural confidence.
Shan’s team jointly launched the “MiGu Research Institute on Traditional Chinese Culture” with Henan TV and MiGu, the digital content company of China’s state-owned telecommunication giant China Mobile.
Also at the forum, MiGu unveiled its metaverse filmmaking solution, which it bills the “MiGu XR Metaverse Movie Factory.” The solution boasts eight core capabilities that assist the entire filmmaking process, from shooting to marketing, among them virtual studios, digital humans, 3D effects, and immersive viewing experiences.
Sun Xiangyun, manager of MiGu’s digital solutions department, stated: “The clash of metaverse and filmmaking is sure to bring about revolutions in filming techniques, virtual production, release and promotion, and audience experiences.”
The forum also emphasized the importance of artistic creativity. Xie Ning, Vice President of Base Media, a Beijing-based cross-national visual effects and animation studio, emphasized that “metaverse movies are ultimately still about connecting with the real world through stories and their characters.” Metaverse filmmaking, Xie added, is a “combination of art and technology,” instead of purely about “algorithms and computing power.”
To that end, MiGu announced that its solution will include designing strategies to promote brands and cultural IPs. MiGu also signed an agreement with the Xiamen Media Group at the forum to explore Xiamen’s unique cultural resources.
MiGu’s pledge to support China’s movie sector with metaverse technologies is significant. The company was involved in making several “mainstream” patriotic Chinese films in recent years, such as My Country, My Parents; Operation Red Sea; and My People, My Country. Therefore, MiGu’s decision suggests that the Chinese government aims to include the movie industry in its state-driven metaverse development model.
State support could mean that more Chinese cinemas and video platforms will adapt technologies to enable viewing in extended reality, providing a boost to China’s recently-announced VR initiative. One can also expect more enhanced movie content that features traditional Chinese culture or patriotic themes.
Chinese museums have been active in releasing digital collectibles and creating metaverse spaces, making it increasingly likely that future Chinese movies will feature their collections or cultural IPs on the big screen through metaverse technologies.