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Movie magic for your phone photos

Updated: May 7,2015 4:18 PM Paper/Shanghai Morning Post

Coming shortly to a screen near you may be a photo-sharing app that brings the magic of movies to your photos. One of the app’s functions gives photos the movie treatment by using various filters and then captioning them in both Chinese and English.

With 13.5 million users, according to the Shanghai Morning Post reported March 27, the app has already proved a “box-office” success.

Yang Liu, who majored in theater, film and TV literature at Shanghai Normal University, and her team created Fotoplace in People Squared, a makerspace in Shanghai.

The idea of making photos look like movie stills came from a team member who took a picture of other members when they went to see a movie, said Yan.

“He made it look like a photo taken from a movie. I saw it and felt that this effect will appeal to everyone. Soon as we went back, I asked our programmer to update the app so that its users can add the effect to their photos. I didn’t expect the updated software to become so popular on Wechat,” she said.

The team had to keep upgrading their server so that it wouldn’t crash due to the large number of visits, and more than 20 institutions or companies have shown interest in investing in the app, Yang said on March 16.

Han Zheng, Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee visited People Squared, and took a picture with Yang Liu.

“I invited Secretary Han to have a picture with me. He agreed. Then I used the app to edit the photo, adding ‘I have a dream’’’ as the caption,’’ said Yang.

The secretary ‘s visit shows the government’s support to business starters, she said.

“More and more producers of other software have began to imitate us since the app became popular. I hope the government will protect our ideas, as they are the fruits of the hard work done by us, business starters,” she said.