China's Tencent Pacts With Base-FX on Big-Budget TV Show (Exclusive)

Illustration by: Lars Leetaru

'Fog Zone' is a psychological thriller set in contemporary China

Beijing-based visual effects studio Base-FX, which has close links to Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), is pacting with Chinese online giant Tencent and Glori Entertainment to make a TV thriller, Fog Zone, which they say will involve the biggest-ever TV spend on visual effects in China.

Base-FX has a strategic alliance with Lucasfilm subsidiary ILM and is also working on the three upcoming installments of the Star Wars franchise. It has also worked on Identity ThiefLooper, Pacific Rim, Endangered, Pain & Gain and Black Sails.

Although financial details were not available, Fog Zone will be one of the biggest budgeted TV series ever in the country, and will be produced in partnership with Shanghai-based Frank Hui of Glori Entertainment, and Chris Bremble and Conor Zorn of Base-FX.

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Details about Fog Zone are being jealously guarded, but sources close to the project say it is a psychological thriller set in contemporary China. Base-FX says the show will be the first in a series of collaborations for online content.

"The team here at Tencent is thrilled to embark on this revolutionary series, which will be the most ambitious VFX production in Chinese television to date," said Jeff Han, general manager of Tencent Video, who likened the show to Under The Dome. The show will run over eight 45-minute episodes, with production starting in March or April and the first installment coming out in late August.

In 2010, Base-FX won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects on HBO's The Pacific, and the following year won its second Emmy for Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire.

Base-FX has also worked with some of the top directors in China, including Zhang Yimou on Flowers of War, Chen Kaige, Jia Zhangke and Lu Chuan.

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