March 18, 2019 – March and April each year sees the grand staging of new developments in the film industry in Hong Kong. Events in this period include the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film and Television Exhibition, and Hong Kong Film Awards.
On March 18, 2019, Er Dong Pictures held a large-scale press conference at the 23rd Hong Kong International Film & TV Market. The theme was “Aspiration for Sailing”, referring to Er Dong Pictures aim to pursue additional domestic business in the future while expanding its global market.
The conference was divided into three parts: “Rein the Billows”, “Ride the Winds”, and “Brave the Waves”. The theme of the conference, in keeping with its location in in Hong Kong, was the integration of Chinese and Western cultures supported by the vision of introducing excellent Chinese film to the world. The three sections thus discussed the important strategic partnerships undertaken by Er Dong Pictures, key film to be released in 2019, and overseas cooperation plans. After nearly four years of rapid development, Er Dong Pictures has already achieved remarkable success in the industry, and its plans are to capitalise on this.
Dr Albert Yeung Sau Shing, Chairman of the Emperor Group; Mr. William Li, Chairman of I DO Cultural Corporation; Mr. Bak-Ming Wong, Chairman of Pegasus Motion Pictures; Mr. Kang Li, COO of Entertainment Plus (Hong Kong) Limited; and Ms. Nancy Xu, Vice President of the American Branch of Starlight Culture Entertainment Group were all invited to attend the event. Other participants included Mr. William Gersh, representative of the Gershs, Mr. Brett Norensberg, senior agent and the partner of the Gersh Agency; Mr. Chris Lee, a senior Hollywood producer, known for Superman Returns and Valkyrie; senior producer Mr. Gianni Nunnari, known for Se7en and Shutter Island; Mr. Harald Kloser, known for 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow; and Mr. Patrick Wachsberger, known for Mr. And Mrs. Smith and Step up.
Mr. Allen Chen, Founder and Chairman of Er Dong Pictures Group; Mr. Bruce Yang, Co-Founder and President of Er Dong Pictures Group; Mr. Stanley Tong, Vice President of Er Dong Pictures Group; and Ms. Yuki Zhang, General Manager of Er Dong Pictures all attended the conference as hosts.
David Lam, the director of the film P Storm, produced by Er Dong Pictures Group, also attended the press conference, along with cast members Louis Koo, Raymond Lam， Kevin Cheng, Lam Ka Tung, Chrissie Chau, Patrick Tam, Adam Pak, Janelle Sing, and Liu Mengna. Jing Wang, director of the film Powerful Four also attended the press conference, supported by cast members Louis Koo, Lam Ka Tung and Jacqueline Ch’ng. Dozens of authoritative media outlets also had a presence to learn about Er Dong Pictures Group’s new strategy.
Breaking boundaries to upgrade the entertainment industry
“Rein the Billows” references a quote from The Metaphor of Mountain and Water by Mencius. One view of the sea is to observe the magnificent upsurges, which were referenced at the opening of the conference. The term thus has two meanings. It symbolises the continuation of a gradual process, and in the past four years, Er Dong Pictures Group has gradually established its own business systems in terms of film and TV investment, film and TV production, cinema management, VR film and technology, and artist brokerage, forming a complete industry value chain. The phrase also, however, refers to keeping an open attitude to linking with the industry’s top resources and seeking common development. At the conference, the Emperor Group, Entertainment Plus, I DO Cultural Corporation, Pegasus Motion Pictures and Er Dong Pictures Group released a joint deep strategic cooperation plan that aims to expand the companies’ cooperation in all aspects of the entertainment industry in the future.
Allen Chen, founder and chairman of Er Dong Pictures Group, noted in his speech, “As a newcomer, Er Dong Pictures has received great support from leaders in the industry, and we will endeavour to work together for the future.”
Focusing on content and major film projects
In 2018, Er Dong Pictures released several hit film projects, and in 2019, the company is set to make a series of great movies. In the “Ride the Wind” session, Stanley Tang, Vice President of Er Dong Pictures Group, announced a list of key projects for the coming year, including P Storm, a serial film whose previous instalments have made total box office takings of over 745 million yuan and the suspense movie Powerful Four, currently in production. Cast members from these two major films also attended the press conference to show their support.
Er Dong Pictures also has several other major film projects planned: Song of Youth, Once Upon Time in Northeast China, Line Walker: The Prelude, Sons of the Neon Night, IP Man 4, and other projects like Fatal Visit, Invitation From USA, Cold Detective, Crime Scene, and Dynasty Warriors. These movies cover a wide variety of topics and genres, including comedy, suspense, and action.
In recent years, the market performance of Hong Kong films has been fantastic, and the Cold War serial films, Line Walker serial films, Chasing the Dragon, Paradox, Project Gutenberg, and similar works have all gained excellent box office receipts and public praise. The list of upcoming Er Dong Pictures also highlights the high-quality IP of Hong Kong films, and Er Dong Pictures hopes to continue to incubate this type of classic content as well as incorporating modern and fashionable elements to help diversify the development of Hong Kong film
Entering overseas markets to build a global business matrix
The highlight of the conference was Er Dong Pictures announcing its entry into overseas markets. Er Dong Pictures has been preparing for overseas business for a long time, and this move aims to flexibly and multi-dimensionally stimulate the global film market in the future.
Gersh, well-known Hollywood talent Agency with a huge roster of action actors and over 3000 clients to enter mainland China and Asia, include Kristen Stewart, from the Twilight Series; Courteney Cox and David Schwimmer, stars of the classic American series Friends; Elizabeth Olsen, of the Avengers series; and Tony Jaa known for his wonderful performance in Paradox.
At the conference, William Gersh, the representative of the Gershs, Brett Norensberg, a partner of the Gersh Agency, launched an in-depth cooperation programme at the conference alongside Yuki Zhang, the general manager of Er Dong Pictures. The two firms will form a joint venture company to introduce North American artists and management experience into the domestic market, and Er Dong Pictures will use its domestic resources to lead the business development of Gersh artists in Asia. Gersh chose Er Dong Pictures as its main partner in the Asian region because of a belief that the young and efficient team of Er Dong Pictures can bring energy and success to cooperation between the two companies, allowing them to work together to explore a broader potential market for the global artist brokerage business.
Alongside the talent agency cooperation, Er Dong Pictures announced a cooperation plan with Starlight Culture Entertainment Group that involves them working together to complete film projects with global top directors.
So far, Starlight Culture Entertainment Group has signed 10 Hollywood first-class directors and producers such as James Wan, director of Aquaman; Jon M. Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians; F. Gary Gray, director of The Fate of the Furious; Alan Taylor, director of Thor: The Dark World; Sam Raimi, director of Spider-Man, Robert Zemeckis, director of Forrest Gump, Roland Emmerich, director of 2012; Sylvester Stallone, director of The Expendables; Nattawut Poonpiriya, director of Bad Genius; and Jonathan Liebesman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The list of new film releases included 12 projects, most of which are still in development stage. These include Sentinel with James Wan; Smooth Stones and Empty Bones and Autoerotic with Sam Raimi; Melody with Jon M. Chu; and Special Forces with Sylvester Stallone. Er Dong Pictures, by working with Starlight Culture Entertainment Group, thus aims to facilitate more high-quality film projects for the global film market.
In the future, Er Dong Pictures will introduce more excellent films to the Chinese market and produce more high-quality film and TV work by cooperating with Hollywood partners This will gradually form a solid cooperation model, allowing the Chinese industry to increase its participation in the global film industry while developing a global business matrix.
At present, the film market in China has is the world’s second largest by box office and Chinese film companies are constantly exploring overseas cooperation methods. Er Dong Pictures’ overseas cooperation plans have two main aims: the first is to “export”, promoting Chinese film to the world to open up overseas resources and channels for Chinese filmmakers, allowing additional participation in core areas of the global film market; the second is to “import”, learning from advanced overseas production experience and operational mechanisms as well as introducing high-quality content and teams, fusing creative ideas, and creating a new pan-entertainment format to further enrich the Chinese film market.
Although Er Dong has been founded for less than four years, it has been firm in its love and awe foe the film industry, with a focus on exporting excellent film and enhancing the competitiveness of Chinese films in the global market. It sees its responsibility as producing the “head” (a term from “Long-tailed distribution” in statistics and business) as standard, focusing on the “head” projects, establishing the “head” teams and accessing and providing top-quality resources. As its overseas plans begin to develop, Er Dong Pictures will move closer to its goal of becoming the top entertainment producer in China.