East meets West to build global stars


HONG KONG -- Talent management companies from Asia and the West need to work together to build global stars, panelists at Filmart said Wednesday.

"There are no borders anymore, especially in entertainment," said Jack Heller, manager at the Schiff Co., based in Los Angeles. "To be a star now means being a star globally."

Said Teddy Jung, CEO and president of South Korean talent management company and production house iHQ, said: "Why are we talking about this? Because everyone is interested in everyone's markets. We have good productions in Korea, but we lack networking."

For Zhuang Liqi, managing director of Beijing-based Chengtian Entertainment International Holdings Ltd., increasing regional networks is an integral part of preparing to do business with the West. "Strengthen Asia first, then move to Hollywood," Zhuang said. "We can produce bigger movies together, we can make more stars. When our productions are big enough and our stars are big enough, then Hollywood will come to us."

In addition, iHQ's Jung pointed out that while growing a star's appeal abroad, there is more to becoming an international star than just Hollywood. "The dream of Hollywood is there, that is where everyone wants to go," Jung said. "But we cannot always follow our desires. It is our job to help our talents know where their strengths lie."

Heller added, "It's always a seesaw. You cannot just go into markets and grab clients. You need to build relationships with the people there first. You need to complement what they are doing."

"It's about language, it's about culture, it's about cooperation," Echelon Talent Management president Andrew Ooi said. "We need people on the ground. It's a joint vision. They conquered the local market. We're there to take them to the next level."