Dalian Wanda Group, led by billionaire Wáng Jiànlín 王建林, invested heavily in China’s movie industry over the past decade. In 2014, at the cost of $8 billion, Wanda Studios Qingdao was founded. This move was aimed at establishing a dynamic supply chain that would be able to facilitate the creation of entire films, from production to distribution. After debt issues forced Wanda to sell its majority stake in the venture to Sunac, another Chinese property developer, the studios were rebranded as Oriental Movie Metropolis.
Gary Kho, the former chief technical officer and chief marketing officer of Wanda Studios Qingdao, worked for the studios throughout their construction. In this interview, he describes how the facilities were built, identifies some of the challenges that the film industry faces domestically, and expounds on his work in bridging divides between China’s film and TV industry and those abroad.
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The film Wandering Earth (流浪地球 2019), shot at Wanda Studios.