Tenpercenteries eye country as a new outpost for talent
Dynamic Marketing Group is trying to make it easier for Hollywood to do business in China.The Shanghai-based company has tapped Chris Fenton, co-founder of management-production shingle H2F Entertainment, to serve as DMG’s Hollywood liaison. Since its formation in 1994, DMG has established itself as a serious player in China, working around the country’s bureaucracy, censorship, language barriers and culture shock that have inhibited major congloms and tenpercenteries in the past. As an advertising agency, DMG has created campaigns for clients such as Volkswagen, Microsoft, Budweiser, IBM and telco China Mobil, working closely with government officials to shut down major streets like Shanghai’s highly trafficked Bund and lift a law to film in Beijing’s Forbidden City. But DMG, founded by Brooklyn-native Dan Mintz, has bigger plans when it comes to entertainment. DMG is developing a slate of movies, TV shows and comicbooks. Projects will be developed and produced inhouse and enable DMG’s corporate clients to come aboard as financiers and promotional partners. Mintz’s first film, “Cookers,” is making the rounds of the festival circuit and will soon find limited distribution. Mintz’s second film, “American Crime,” stars Kip Pardue, Rachael Leigh Cook and Annabella Sciorra; it’s in post-production. DMG raised financing for both pics in China and produced them in the U.S. DMG’s success and contacts in China could prove attractive to Hollywood as the entertainment biz tries to capitalize on one of the few remaining markets yet to be exploited. New outpost for agents Tenpercenteries are eyeing the country as a new outpost for their talent and corporate clients but also as a source of new artists looking to cross over into the U.S. Earlier this month, the William Morris Agency opened an office in Shanghai and signed the Shanghai Film Festival as its first client. Agents from CAA have made trips to the country, and the agency is mulling over its future there. Endeavor has also been active in China. Also this month, entertainment law firm Loeb & Loeb pacted with Chinese law firm Fu & Tong, PRC and International Lawyers to create new opportunities for clients of both companies. But setting up shop in China has proven difficult for Westerners in the past. “People come in and try to do things on their own, but very simple things can be very difficult and frustrating,” Mintz said. “They end up spending so much time just trying to get by.” Through Fenton, DMG is trying to change that, providing anyone from agents to filmmakers with a local contact who understands DMG’s abilities in China and can help broker deals. As part of its campaign for Volkswagen, DMG connected music group Hanson with the German automaker for a spot that not only features a song from the band but will kick off a concert tour around China later this year. DMG coached producers of Miramax’s “The Great Raid” and Fox’s “The Flight of the Phoenix” when they were interested in filming in China. Company is now in talks with a casino group looking to set up shop in the country, with distribs interested in opening their films there, reps seeking work for their clients and producers hoping to tap into new sources of financing. Close relationship with DMG will also benefit H2F, providing the shingle’s stable of actors, writers and directors with future opportunities in China. H2F reps thesps including Lucas Black (“Friday Night Lights”) and Ryan Pinkston (“Quintuplets”), helmer Rob McKittrick (“The Mask 2”) and scribe Chris Morgan (“Cellular”).