Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Steven Spielberg of Thailand

Producer Frank DeMartini is in Bangkok prepping for the production of Elephant White, an action film starring Djimon Hounsou and directed by Prachya Pinkaew, who DeMartini refers to as "the Steven Spielberg of Thailand".

In a posting at Big Hollywood, "Why I'm Filming in Bangkok", DeMartini tells his readers who Prachya is:

Prachya is famous for Om Bak, Chocolat and Tom Yung Goon, three of the highest-grossing films in the history of the country. You may be wondering why I am in Thailand and not somewhere in the United States. Why am I in a country 9,000 miles away from home when I could be shooting this movie anywhere in America including Los Angeles.

DeMartini goes on to explain why he's in Bangkok and offer his views on why shooting movies in the U.S. is so expensive.

It's good that he's here. The Thailand Film Office will be pleased. He can tell other Hollywood folks that the film business in Thailand is great, because they may have heard otherwise.

By now DeMartini must feel like an old Thailand hand, having recently completed The Prince and Me 4 in Thailand, with elephants -- of course -- and production services by DeWarrenne Pictures.

But, um, Frank, the names of Prachya's movies you referred to are Ong-Bak, Chocolate (not the Johnny Depp gypsy movie) and Tom-Yum-Goong. And, among the Top 15 highest-grossing Thai films of all time, according to a study by the Thai Film Foundation's Sanchai Chotiroseranee, Tom-Yum-Goong is in fourth place and Ong-Bak is 14th. Chocolate did pretty good if I recall, but it's not in the top 15.

(Thank you, Lady Karla!)

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