Most of the buzz in Hollywood about China focuses on the big guys, such as Walt Disney Co.’s co-production agreement with a mainland studio and its plans for a $5 billion Shanghai resort.
But industry veteran Larry Namer and his Woodland Hills production company, Metan Global Entertainment Group, are proving there is plenty of room for the little guys as well.
Metan has had a presence in China since 2009 with its flagship entertainment news program “Hello Hollywood,” a show filmed locally that focuses on celebrities, pop culture and lifestyle coverage with Asian appeal.
And this month it will start filming a Chinese-language version of the popular American television series “Gossip Girl” for distribution to laptops and mobile devices. Namer noted that the English-language version of the show was so popular with Chinese women that they tried to emulate how the characters dressed.
“It was the number one driver of fashion choices of women under 35 in China,” said Namer, 66, founder of the cable channel that later became E! Entertainment Television.
What’s more, production is moving forward on Metan’s first entry in the reality format, “The Bruce Lee Project.” Other programs from Metan include “Modern Life,” a web sitcom about six friends living in Beijing, and documentary “Linsanity” about Chinese NBA guard Jeremy Lin.
The company is accomplishing this so far with a staff of just six and a handful of student interns in Woodland Hills. It also has offices and 20 full-time employees in Beijing and Shanghai.
Read the full story in the July 13 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.