15 June 2021

COLLABORATIONS SPARK NEW LIFE IN REGIONAL PRODUCTIONS

CJ ENM HK closes gap between Korea & SEA

By Lulu M

With CJ ENM Hong Kong Ltd recently announcing its expansion of local language scripted series production pipeline by introducing four scripted series made for global streaming audiences, iNSiGHTS magazine chatted with their Managing Director, Michael Jung on their evolving role in today’s evanescent landscape.

“CJ ENM’s Southeast Asian business is expanding, and we will start to produce more premium local language drama series, with various partners and various business models,” Michael revealed. Three of the recent scripted series released have been supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) for a “streaming first” strategy. Marrying Korean, Singaporean and regional talents, this collaboration was first announced a year ago under the Capability Partnership Programme.

“Depending on the business model with the various partners, our main goal is to create premium dramas with a collaboration between talented local creators and Korean creators, who will share their experiences and offer creative consultation,” Michael elaborated.

Prior, CJ ENM HK co-produced a high-profile Mandarin series with Taiwanese partner, Butt Mountain.

“We love to create franchise IP with lifetime value, and would like to own the IP we create,” Michael noted. “But this can also be on a case-by-case basis. We will own the IP from the three IMDA projects, but some meaningful partnerships, like with Butt Mountain, we proceeded with a co-production, where IP ownership belongs to the main production house,” Michael continued, also reiterating that these titles are not for CJ ENM's OTT platform and are open for discussion to work with various OTT platforms in the region.
 

Michael Jung
Managing Director
CJ ENM Hong Kong


CJ ENM HK places more weight on consumer preferences, as well as the trends in the region, rather than to be caught up in content concepts; basically, what sells.

“Since we are targeting to the entire SEA region, we can't stick to any preferred concepts, but to have a variety of offerings.”

With regards to preferred partners, Michael stated, “We would love to do more projects with the four production companies after a success case, but we are also open to working with all talented creators in the market.”
 

CJ ENM HK’s Slate of Mandarin Language Scripted Series

Hungry Souls (Zhao Wei Films) 

• 5 eps
• Mandarin mini-series
• Spearheaded by Eric Khoo

Venus On Mars (Mocha Chai Laboratories)

• 6 eps
• Produced by Michelle Chang, in collaboration with Taiwanese producer, Phil Tang (Greener Grass Productions & Monomyth Films)
• Showrunner Chai Yee Wei
• Written by award-winning Taiwanese writer Huang Yu-chia
• Filming will take place in Taiwan with post-production in Singapore

Deep End (Akanga Film Asia) 

• 5 eps
• Produced by Fran Borgia
• Production by Yeo Siew Hua & K. Rajagopal
• Head Writer Kaylene Tan
• The series will feature cast and crew from Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia

All three series will finish casting and commence production in 2H 2021.

CJ ENM HK will distribute these series globally
 

Mom, Don’t Do That! (Butt Mountain)

• 11 eps
• Executive Producers Sarso Chou, Weiling Chen & Michael Jung
• Filmed entirely in Taiwan in 4K quality
• The series is now in post-production and set to release in Q4 2021
• CJ ENM HK contributed to the creative direction of the project and will handle distribution within Asia (excl Taiwan & China)