Monday, January 14, 2008

The 'Ollywood of Southeast Asia

Newspaper stories about the film business in Thailand can often be a source of entertainment.

Take today's story in the Bangkok Post about a joint venture between London-based production house Greatguns and Thailand's Maison Film and Siam Studio.

Digging down in the story are the usual statements from the Thailand Film Office about the economic benefits of foreign productions shooting on location in Thailand. According to the story, film productions generated 28 billion baht in revenue in 2006, of that, 1.9 billion baht coming from foreign productions.

Looking ahead to the coming year is where the story starts getting entertaining, with the Thailand Film Office projecting 1.7 billion baht in revenue from foreign productions, including a film called Pinkville, directed by Oliver Stone.

But hasn't Pinkville been canceled due to the writer's strike? Stories here, here, here, here, here and here say so.

Likely a blow to the Thai companies involved, the cancellation of Pinkville, a story about the My Lai Massacre that was to star Bruce Willis, was indeed noted in a December 14 story in the Bangkok Post, which namechecks Oliver Stone.

Yes, even though Pinkville has been canceled for now, Stone, recently returned from the jungles of Colombia, will likely still be coming to Thailand at some point, according to that story, which reported that Stone is setting up a studio in Thailand as a joint venture with King Maker producer David Winters. Located between Bangkok and Pattaya, locals have dubbed the project "Olliewood", the story, based on quotes from an unnamed "friend of Stone's", says.

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