Innovative Dutch production company FCCE is joining forces with Chinese broadcasting giant Heilongjiang Longmedia Group to bring its user-generated movie format the Entertainment Experience to China.
FCCE tried and tested the format – in which the public is invited to help devise, write, direct, act in, cut, score and publicise a feature from start to finish — with director Paul Verhoeven [pictured] at the helm last year.
The project resulted in two feature-length films — one entirely user-generated, the second a remake by Verhoeven of the user-generated picture. The Basic Instinct director oversaw both productions.
Some 35,000 people participated in the multi-platform project, which drew its audience in through an interactive TV show as well as social media campaigns and dedicated website.
Monday’s deal was signed by Beijing-based Heilongjiang Longmedia Group and FCCE China, a joint venture between Amsterdam-based FCCE and Chinese partner Trihelix.
FCCE has also optioned the format to Swedish broadcaster SVT, which is mulling a pan-northern European version, and Sony Pictures Television for the Middle East where a pan-Arab, English-language version is being mulled.
The Chinese version of Entertainment Experience is due to kick off in March 2013. FCCE Chief Commercial Officer Justus A.G. Verkek said a Chinese director had yet to be selected to oversee the productions.
He revealed that they had decided to tweak the format after their experiences with Tricked to give the project more direction.
“We’ve stipulated that the film will revolve around eight characters with three storylines and will end in the perfect wedding,” says Verkek. “Last time, we discovered it was difficult for people to work collectively in the development stage and script writing stage if they didn’t know where the film was going.”
Heilongjiang Longmedia Group representative Gao HongGang, vice-director of the group’s satellite channel, told a news conference after the signing ceremony: “Young people in China dream of becoming film stars, directors and producers and I share that dream. I hope we can make it come true with the Entertainment Experience.”
Founded in 1956, Heilongjiang Longmedia Group is one of the oldest broadcasting groups in China. Its satellite channel is available to a potential audience of 500,000 people in China as well as in the US, Australia and New Zealand.