Hollywood-based post house and software developer MTI Film announced that it has launched a film restoration joint venture in China. MTI Film China is located in a newly-opened animation park in the northern city of Tianjin.
The Chinese facility will operate under the direction of Jason Wong, a professor of animation in the department of visual arts of Tianjin University’s School of Computer Software. The facility features a state-of-the-art 4K restoration workflow based on MTI Film’s Correct DRS technology. The first project for MTI China will be a restoration of the 1958 Glenn Ford western, Cowboy.
The Chinese facility will operate in tandem with MTI Film’s facility in Hollywood. Frontline restoration and pre-processing will be done in Hollywood, while subsequent tasks will be performed in China. Final quality control will remain in Hollywood.
“We believe this will result in a more efficient workflow that will help us to retain more restoration work and jobs in the United States,” said MTI Film’s CEO Larry Chernoff. “We expect the operation to grow and allow us not only to service more American clients, but also to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing Chinese film market.”
Chernoff noted that the Chinese government has begun an aggressive program to restore classic Chinese films. He estimates that more than 100 films per year are undergoing restoration in China. A number of Chinese producers, including Beijing Film Academy and Xian Film Group, employ MTI Film’s Correct DRS technology to perform film restoration.
MTI Film China currently has a staff of 10 restoration artists, all of whom have been trained by MTI Film USA. The company expects that staff to grow to 30 by the end of the year. Tianjin University plans to begin offering classes in film restoration this fall.