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Major studio, amusement project launched
Shanghai Daily
Aug 8, 2012

SHANGHAI, along with US film giant DreamWorks Animation, is to invest more than 20 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion) to build a culture and entertainment complex along the Huangpu River.

The city yesterday launched Oriental DreamWorks, a joint venture with the US film company, to build the complex titled "Dream Center" as well as create a world-class animated film studio.

The center in Shanghai's Xuhui District will include theaters, shops, restaurants, bars and hotels and will open in 2016, while the studio will co-produce "Kung Fu Panda 3," the long-anticipated third installment of the blockbuster, and plans to release the animated film in 2016.

"We have formed what we think is a very valuable strategic partnership to make world class feature animation," Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation, told a press conference in Shanghai yesterday.

DreamWorks Animation owns about 45 percent of Oriental DreamWorks, with the rest held by China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. The companies are seeking partners to finance investment in the Dream Center in Shanghai, said Li Ruigang, chairman of China Media Capital and CEO of Oriental DreamWorks.

The cultural and entertainment complex will feature a "Dream Walk" - a riverside corridor with flowers and trees as well as the world's largest IMAX screen, which can be used for film premieres and other events. The center will also feature art galleries and studios.

Its centerpiece Kung Fu Panda Pavilion will showcase cutting edge technologies, Li said.

"It's an incredible metropolis here with many beautiful aspects to it but it doesn't have that sort of cultural, entertainment center to it, and that's what sort of got us started on this idea," Katzenburg said.

The Dream Center will be a "celebration of great theater, great art, great culture, great music, all in one place," and will target 18- to 34-year-olds, he said.

The project will be "complementary" to the Shanghai Disneyland that is under construction, and quite different from a theme park, Katzenberg said, adding the two projects will "enhance the success of each other."

The first phase of Shanghai Disneyland in the Pudong New Area is expected to open in 2015 and attract 7.3 million visitors a year.

The Dream Center will be the flagship attraction of the West Bank Media Port of Huangpu River planned by Shanghai's Xuhui District government that is expected to see 20 million visitors a year, the district government said at the press conference.

Meanwhile, the Oriental DreamWorks studio plans to release one to three films a year following its first solely created feature production in 2017 and employ as many as 2,000 production professionals.

Li said it aims to be the largest animation production base in China and will also explore opportunities in online games, musicals and consumer products. It has seven scripts in development, one of which will be the firm's first original production, said Li. The name and content of the first work will be announced by year's end.

"We're very confident that the creative talent exists here in China. We're very enthusiastic about building a studio to promote Chinese cultures to the world," Katzenburg said.

"Kung Fu Panda 3" will be a sequel to the 2011 and 2008 films, which generated more than US$600 million each in worldwide ticket sales.

The movies, which are about a bumbling panda who becomes a martial arts hero, are hugely popular in China.

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This has been speculate for a while, but now has finally been put into concrete plans. The Asian branch of the animation studio of Dreamworks would also be based on the same site. It should start construction by the end of the year, and be completed in 3 years:
Building a dream factory for Shanghai's creative set
27 March 2014
China Daily

Former factories in Shanghai are set to be transformed into a cultural and entertainment center that aims to be a hub of creative life in the city.

Co-funded by California-based Dreamworks Animation SKG, Shanghai-based CMC Capital Partners and Hong Kong entertainment giant Lan Kwai Fong Group, the Dream Center is set to become a new landmark in Shanghai along the west bank of the Huangpu River.

It will cover some 463,000 square meters. Construction on the center will begin this year and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The Dream Center will be made up of 12 creative and cultural buildings, which are repurposed from former cement factories or shipyards.

They will feature theaters, music halls, artists' workshops, the headquarters of Oriental Dreamworks and a 500-seat IMAX cinema specially designed for premieres and red-carpet ceremonies.

A Lan Kwai Fong lifestyle neighborhood featuring restaurants, bars and retailers, together with eight outdoor themed plazas, will become the main axis of the west bank area of the Huangpu River.

Allan Zeman, founder of Lan Kwai Fong Group, gathered 15 architects from China and abroad to help develop the neighborhood. Zeman and his team not only want to add a unique flavor to the neighborhood, but also to bring in design that "will help to feed the creativity".

Xuhui district, where the center is located, has pretty views of waterways and a good transportation system. A media hub is also planned for the site that Zeman believes will attract people to work, live, play and ultimately create a culture.

"Creative people feed off one another. The idea is really to have a place with local characteristics. We don't want to copy New York or London. We want the Dream Center to have its own unique style and look. Shanghai is such an important city not only for China but in the world, as it's one of the top romantic cities in the world. It will enhance the attractiveness of Shanghai that is already there," Zeman says.

To Li Ruigang, founder and chairman of CMC Capital Partners, the center is the result of an idea that started with a phone call two years ago from Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who suggested they work together to create Oriental Dreamworks.

"The project we are working on is aimed at building up a platform, providing room for people from the cultural business to showcase their talents and gifts and gathering talents. It is my dream to establish a cultural icon on the east end of the Pacific Ocean," Li says.

Katzenberg hopes to build the Dream Center into a gathering place for young people and tourists all over the world.

He hopes it will become "a center of great creativity, a magnet for great artists, performers, singers and storytellers to come here and work here, and to be able to showcase their works, and for it to be a stage for all China and for all of the world.

"I think it is an opportunity for us to create probably one of the most unique studios that exist anywhere in the world," Katzenberg says.

"Not only will we be able to design and build a world-class, state-of-the-art, best of class animation and technology center, but we will be surrounded by this incredible entertainment platform for us to be able to show the work we create and to attract other artists. I don't think there is any other place like this anywhere in the world."

Oriental Dreamworks came to Shanghai two years ago. It boasts an animation studio that accommodates 150 artists and animators. That number is expected to rise to 400 by the end of next year.
:) :cheers:

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