Peter Chan founds Changin’ Pictures, a filmmaker-led Asian TV producer

Projects starring Donnie Yen and Zhang Ziyi are among the independently produced TV series set to launch this week on the sidelines of the Busan International Film Festival. The company responsible is Changin’ Pictures, a wannabe studio being hatched by Hong Kong-based film director and producer Peter Chan Ho-sun.

Driven by the growing recognition of Asian talent and the global distribution potential of multinational SVOD platforms, Changin’ Pictures aims to be a high-performing production hub, delivering premium drama content to streaming players.

The company has raised very significant funding from Asian sources and intends to develop and produce series that it will promote and license on the platforms without resorting to the production funding, green light and editorial restrictions of the OTT companies.

The company expects to enlist a mix of Asia’s most successful established filmmakers and emerging talent “to create innovative drama series for pan-Asian netizens with a cross-cultural global assimilation in mind.” COO is Esther Yeung, a veteran executive with ten years at Bill Kong’s Edko Films and previous experience at Fortissimo Films.

Changin’ Pictures will unveil its first five series in Busan, representing a quarter of the projects it already has in active development and expects to deliver in the first four years. The number excludes subsequent seasons and spinoffs.

The first shows come from Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan. The company will then continue to cast its net and expand into Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

“We aspire to be Asia’s most effective one-stop shop for international production partners and streaming platforms,” ​​said Chan. “It’s only supported by filmmakers and driven by filmmakers so that we can increase our levels of productivity and efficiency.”

The company’s first two projects to go into production are both Korean, giving Changin’ Pictures an instant calling card for streamers with k content hunger. Although stylistically different, both are adapted from popular webtoons, giving them an already established following.

ONE: High School Heroes is an action-packed series about a teased high school kid who turns into a tyrannical hero. Produced by Covenant Pictures (“Desperate Mr. X”). Heesu in Class 2 is a bittersweet romance between two high school boys played by K-pop idols. Produced by Film K (“Exit”, “Escape from Mogadishu”).

Yen has signed on to star in Outright Loser, Hidden Master, an action-fantasy drama about an Asian-American who discovers that Hong Kong martial artists are mysteriously expanding their lineage by converting their memories, martial arts skills and techniques into… imprinting on the bodies of strangers . Yen, who previously starred in Chan’s “Wu Xia” (aka “Dragon”), will also serve as showrunner and action choreographer. He is in talks to direct some episodes of the series.

“Infinite possibilities can be found when filmmakers share the same vision,” Yen said. “I look forward to partnering with Peter Chan and am confident that together we can take materials to the next level.”

Chan himself will direct Zhang in The Murderer, a suspense thriller set in 1944 Shanghai. Based on real events, the story focuses on a woman accused of murdering and dismembering her abusive husband. “By depicting the vagaries of her various trials, this series unveils the vicissitudes of leadership in China from Japanese occupation to Nationalist government and the birth of the new China,” said Changin’ Pictures.

A trio of Thailand’s most successful directors – Banjong Pisanthanakun (“Pee Mak”, “The Medium”), Nattawut ‘Baz’ Poonpiriya (“Bad Genius”, Netflix’s “Thai Cave Rescue”) and Parkpoom Wongpoom (“Shutter”) – as well Chan and South Korean directors Kim Jee-Woon (“I Saw the Devil”) and Hur Jin-Ho (“Christmas in August”) will all work on “The Eye” (aka “No Jump Scares”). The series is an anthology of cross-genre chillers, expanding on the Thai horror film franchise The Eye, which Chan has helmed since 2002.

In addition to his own directing work (Perhaps Love, Comrades, Almost A Love Story, The Warlords), Chan has other producing or executive producing credits on Twelve Nights, Bodyguards & Assassins, Golden Chickensss” and the Oscar-nominated “Better Days”.

At the turn of the millennium, Chan pioneered the pan-Asian co-production movement with the launch of Applause Pictures, collaborating with Kim Jee-Woon, Park Chan-Wook, Miike Takashi, Hur Jin-Ho, Nonzee Nimibutr, the Pang Brothers and Fruit Chan in films ranging from Thai erotica (“Jan Dara”) to Korean romance (“One Fine Spring Day”) to Hong Kong cartoons (“McDull: The Alumni”). For much of the past decade, Chan has spanned Hong Kong and mainland China with his company We Pictures, enjoying hits with the up-and-coming drama “American Dreams in China” and the sports biopic “Leap” with Gong Li.

While both Applause, now primarily a distributor, and We Pictures are expected to remain, Chan has built a team of development and production executives in Hong Kong, Korea and elsewhere in the region and expects Changin’ Pictures to be his primary occupation going forward.

https://variety.com/2022/global/news/peter-chan-changin-pictures-asian-tv-producer-1235391213/ Peter Chan founds Changin’ Pictures, a filmmaker-led Asian TV producer

Charles Jones

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