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The budgets of its films will be capped at US$2 million and will shy away from casting major movie stars. It already has financing in place to produce its target of 6-8 features in its first two years.
Projects that suit a higher budget, will be brought "upstairs" to Kong's Edko Films Ltd where Tang maintains his position as production head. However, going forward, Tang will prioritise developing Movie Addict projects.
For its launch, Tang wanted to "make a splash" with more established directors and a big name cast, announcing two-part horror Tales from the Dark at Hong Kong FilMart yesterday in partnership with Edko.
The two omnibus films feature six segments directed by Fruit CHAN, LEE Chi-ngai, Lawrence AH MON, Simon YAM, Teddy Robin and Gordon CHAN. The first four having already wrapped their shoots.
Despite some big names casting — including Tony LEUNG Ka-fai and Kelly CHEN in one segment — Tang insists that the budget is still just US$2m per title with cast and crew taking reduced salaries to help launch the initiative.
Simon Yam, who has just wrapped his section, is making his directorial debut. He also stars in his own segment on which he worked as a second unit cameraman. Tang believes it will be one of the most visually distinctive segments.
The segments began production in Nov 2012. Tang had approached best-selling local writer Lillian LEE for permission to adapt her short horror stories. The six directors then chose which stories they would like to adapt.
Tang had been discussing the need for such a company with Bill Kong throughout 2012, before the success of Cold War which he produced for Kong's Irresistible Films. Both recognised a lack of new talent emerging in Hong Kong.
The lower budget films are intended to give new directors greater breathing space, working in a wide range of genres. Although some titles may be released in China, the films will primarily target a local audience in Hong Kong.
Kong said, "The local audience is eager to see pure HK movies, as evidenced by a series of recent local hits. What's exciting about making a pure HK movie is that there is no boundary and restriction in terms of creativity."
Although the company does not expect to have in-house directors, it has already signed two actors, Cherry NGAN and Miki YEUNG. However artist management won't be a core business for the new company.
Chris CHOW — who wrote Fearless (2006) and directed Strawberry Cliff (2009) — has been hired as head of story development at Movie Addict and is currently writing the script for a film that he will direct.
The Tales from the Dark films will be distributed by Edko on 4 Jul and 1 Aug 2013. Edko will also handle international sales on the two films and on future Movie Addict productions.
Source: Film Business Asia
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