Thursday, October 18, 2012
Hollywood loves the Bangkok of the future
Bangkok's neon-lit seedy side lends itself well to Blade Runner-like dystopian film-noir settings, a notion that hasn't gone overlooked by dozens of authors, artists and, of course, filmmakers.
One of the latest filmmakers to get on the "Bangkok noir" bandwagon is Stephan Zlotescu, a special-effects specialist who directed the sci-fi short True Skin. Shot by H1, the video, embedded above, hit the Web about a week ago and in Thailand, especially among Bangkok's expat community, it's been the talk of social networks like Twitter.
It's the story of a guy in the future who gets hooked on robotic implants. They have been outlawed elsewhere, so the narrator travels to anything-goes Bangkok where there's an open market. The video visits the usual scuzzy sex-tourist traps, like Soi Cowboy and Silom Road. The robotic-implant special effects are stylishly overlayed on touts, vendors and go-go dancers.
The eye-popping short seems to have been made with the intention of landing a movie deal, and it did the trick, with The Hollywood Reporter saying that Warner Bros. and Harry Potter producer David Heyman have picked it up.
There are hopes among the local film-industry community that the movie will actually be made here, but it's early days yet, and as blogger Saksith Saiyasombut points out on Twitter, Warners will probably want to relocate the setting to North America.
Meanwhile, Film Business Asia reports on a crime thriller that will be made in Thailand and Singapore – Pharmacide – a thriller about the illegal pharmaceuticals industry. Thailand's Living Films, Singapore's Blackmagic Design and the U.K.'s Soho Films have teamed up for the production to be directed by Mark Hammond. It's expected to start shooting in mid-2013.