Chinese video firm makes short clips on history, culture

Updated: 2016-10-20 08:09

By Wang Kaihao(China Daily)

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Chinese video firm makes short clips on history, culture

Li Feng. [Photo provided to China Daily]

He says some top TV documentaries, which take years to shoot and edit, are only broadcast on TV a few times and are easily forgotten by people.

"New forms of documentaries are needed," he says of the reason behind his career move.

He even has established an editorial board at his studio, just like a mainstream media company.

Weng Fei, 26, who is in charge of content at Zhonglan Media, says some creative methods are used to bring high-quality content closer to young people.

For example, about 20 graduates or PhD candidates from renowned universities at home and abroad, including Peking University, Yale University and UCLA, are being offered part-time jobs to prepare the video clips.

"It's impossible to give a panorama of an episode of history or a cultural phenomenon within three or five minutes," explains Weng, who graduated from Beijing Normal University with an education major.

"But we want to nurture our viewers to be good students.

"A good student will be enlightened and led by good introductions, and the person will get more knowledge relevant to our clips."

Weng says the clips are also to make today's people relate to history in many ways.

As virtual reality is popular in today's China, Li's team has begun shooting VR clips of the country's renowned scenic spots, with explanations on their cultural backgrounds, to prepare for a huge database serving his business in the future. He plans to cover 500 sites within the next three years.

Nevertheless, unlike his short-video business, which has made profits from cooperation with smartphone manufacturers, sponsors and airline companies, the VR model has yet to pick up.

Other than content shot by the in-house team, more than one-third of the expenses of Li's studio are used to purchase clips from the makers of China's best documentaries.

"I don't expect them to make money at once," he says. "But, these clips are our immovable asset."

His next big project is to use VR technology in shooting the country's main museums.

"Kan Jian will cooperate with overseas websites toward the end of the year to help the foreign audience to understand Chinese history and geography better," Li says.

"In the future, we aim to become the Discovery Channel of China."

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