Five Star returns ahead of launch of digital terrestrial broadcasting

Corporate February 21, 2014 00:00

By Watchiranont Thongtep
The Nat

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After a decade-long absence from the TV content production business, the country's leading film-maker - Five Star Production - is returning its focus to this area to capitalise on the arrival of digital terrestrial television, which is set to be fully la

The 40-year-old film-production house is aiming for revenue of Bt1 billion this year from distributing its rights to finished film and drama content to some of the new digital-TV channels. 
The company will in fact offer a mix of newly produced content and material from its extensive archive. 
“Our company had left TV production behind and emphasised our core business of film production after the Asian financial crisis in 2004,” managing director Aphiradee Iamphungphorn said.
She said her company was currently in talks with several new digital-TV licence holders – such as Channel 3, Thairath TV and PPTV – to provide finished films and dramas and to produce new programmes for the new type of broadcasting service. 
The company expects to seal deals with those potential clients soon, she added.
Throughout its 40 years in business, Five Star has produced more than 260 Thai-language films and 600 hours of TV dramas. 
Among the company’s most famous films are “Boonchoo”, “Nampu”, “Fun Bar Karaoke”, “Tears of the Black Tiger”, the remake of “The Red Eagle” and the 3D “Dark Flight 407”.
The production house’s output represents a huge archive of readily available work for new digital-TV operators that want Thai movies and dramas to form part of their programming schedules. 
Aphiradee said that to enhance the quality of sound and video of its archived films and dramas, Five Star had spent more than Bt50 million on re-mastering them into high-definition and 4K quality.
Under its new-content provision strategy, Five Star plans to produce entertainment programmes such as TV dramas, variety shows, talk shows and sitcom series for the new digital-TV broadcasters. 
She added that the company was open to any business option preferred by the broadcasters, be it time-sharing, revenue-sharing, co-production or content provision. 
Meanwhile, Five Star also remains focused on its core business of film production for cinema audiences.
This year, the company plans to produce four or five movies: a 3D horror film called “Nguen Pak Pee”, a 2D horror offering, Episode 2 of “Tee 3 Kuen 3”, and one or two romantic comedies. 
Each film will have a production and marketing budget of about Bt40 million, she said. 
Fifty per cent of this year’s revenue will come from the distribution of films and drama rights to the digital-TV channels, 25 per cent from new TV production, and the rest from film business.
Last year, the company produced only one movie, which generated just Bt100 million at cinemas.
Aphiradee represents the third generation of her family’s business, which was previously headed by renowned film producer  Charoen Iamphungphorn, who died two years ago. 
The company was founded by her uncle, Kiatkamon Iamphungphorn.

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