The guests are discussing actively on the forum.
Traditional audiences are drawn to classic costume dramas in the Xianxia fantasy genre, a Taoism-influenced martial arts style, as a means of escaping back to cherished values and dreams.
But the increasing number of IP TV series and spinoffs, such as "The Journey of Flower," raise many questions for producers about the value of continuing to invest in expensive special effects and famous actors.
The Magnolia TV Forum of the 2016 Shanghai International Film and TV Festival hosted a discussion on June 8 about TV dramas entering the "Chinese fantasy" era and the collision between Xianxia fantasy and reality themes.
"The Chinese Xianxia fantasy can be popular globally," said Tang Lijun, founder of New iPicture Media which produced the hit drama series "The Journey of Flower."
"Xianxia drama is to Chinese people like science fiction drama is to Westerners, and much of Western science fiction stories are also influenced by Taoism culture," she said.
Chinese actor Yan Yikuan pointed out that audience tastes are always changing. He said during the past 20 years as an actor he had experienced many "eras" in TV series, from war-themed dramas to costume dramas and now to Xianxia fantasy.
"The market has a demand and we have the technology to produce high-quality special effects, so I think now is a good time," Yan said."For actors, this is a phenomenon. After the break out of Xianxia fantasy dramas, the market will be more selective and producers will start targeting the next new field."
Chinese actress Qin Hailu explained that a reason for the popularity of Xianxia fantasy dramas is that many Chinese people believe these fictional people and characters once existed.
"And the technology has allowed us to express and show the fantasies in more realistic, colorful and visually attractive ways," Qin said.
Special effects is a key challenge in developing Xianxia TV dramas; they require a significant amount of time, budget and skills, as well as creativity.
The special effects for this genre must be planned from the start, said Yang Xiaopei, executive producer of "Fighter of the Destiny," a partner in Linmon Pictures and general manager of Linmon YueXin Pictures.
"The effects planning is carried out simultaneously with the preparation phase," he said."When planning \'Fighter of the Destiny,\' we looked at a dozen special effects companies from both China and abroad to find the right one. We also planned all the special effects as a whole and then allocated them into four stages."
Xianxia fantasy dramas offer huge opportunities to many young and emerging actors and actresses. But there is also a balance between casting good-looking actors compared to those who may have stronger acting skills.
And while the producer\'s decisions about selecting actors are based on the relevant character, many young audiences prefer actors who look nice, despite their acting skills.
"Actors cannot be suitable for all roles. There’s only one that works best for them so producers cast actors for roles based on the character," Qin said.