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Metan learns what Chinese audiences want

Realscreen met with Metan Development Group's chairman Martin Pompadur, president Larry Namer and EVP and MD, China Operations, Jean Zhang at MIPCOM. The unique company, which serves a Chinese audience using Hollywood know-how, just debuted its first production since forming earlier this year. Metan's team talked with realscreen about audiences in China and what they've learned after completing their first production.
October 14, 2009

Realscreen met with Metan Development Group’s chairman Martin Pompadur, president Larry Namer and EVP and MD, China Operations, Jean Zhang at MIPCOM. The unique company, which serves a Chinese audience using Hollywood know-how, just debuted its first production since forming earlier this year. Metan’s team talked with realscreen about audiences in China and what they’ve learned after completing their first production.

Larry Namer, president of Metan, elaborated about the lessons learned from the production of Hello! Hollywood, produced in collaboration between Metan’s Beijing and Los Angeles offices. Working on the first project for the company, the Beijing group would decide which entertainment news Chinese audiences would prefer, and the U.S. team would go out and film it.

As for the first lesson learned, Namer says Chinese audiences wanted a nicer take on their entertainment news. The Metan team learned quickly that Chinese audiences weren’t looking for salacious gossip, and instead wanted factual info on their favorite stars. ‘It was nice for us not to have to dig up that dirt,’ Namer says.

Lesson number two was to slow it down. Originally, Hello! Hollywood was meant to have 16 segments within the show, but the quick pacing didn’t work with Chinese audiences. Now the entertainment show has been pared down to six segments.

Lastly: ‘Take nothing for granted.’ Namer says that context has to be considered for everything featured in the show. Zhang is a bridge between the Beijing production side and the American office, having lived in the U.S. for some years.

Currently Metan’s debut show is being carried on 10 channels in China, which translates to 15 million homes, with the potential for 200 million viewers.

Metan is currently looking for drama formats and reality formats for Chinese audiences.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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