Hollywood producer Steven Paul has teamed with Thai real estate mogul Pimol Srivikorn to launch movie production company Good Times Films.
The company will focus on film production in Thailand with annual output of 2 or 3 movies per year. All will be shot in English. Movies will be jointly financed by Paul and Srivikorn and be made with fully financed budgets of $3 million-$50 million. Some are likely to be structured as co-productions with Chinese companies, in which case Good Times would provide up to 20% of the budget.
Distribution, including in Thailand, will be effected through the multi-territory deal between Paul’s SP International and Sony Pictures Releasing that was signed earlier this year.
First up will be the previously announced “Born to Be Ghosts,” which will shoot from early 2016 predominantly in China and partially in Thailand and be directed by Patrick Alessandrin (“District 13: Ultimatum”). “Born” is a $35 million thriller being produced by SP International and China’s C2M Media Group (“Wedding Invitation”.)
Paul (“Tekken,” “Baby Geniuses”) is currently producing Scarlett Johansson starrer “Ghost in the Shell” for DreamWorks. He also operates an international sales business, a visual effects company and talent and literary agencies.
Srivikorn hails from a politically connected family with interests stretching from carpet manufacturing to significant real estate holdings in central Bangkok, including the Intercontinental Hotel. Srivikorn, who is also a board director of budget airline Nok Air and has connections to Thailand’s leading cinema chain Major Cineplex, was previously a producer on Paul’s “Tekken 2.”
He says that the establishment of Good Times will help project a good image of Thailand to the world and help the country’s crucial tourism industry.
The co-production angle also plays on the growth of the China market and the booming Chinese travel industry interest in Thailand since 2012 hit Chinese movie “Lost in Thailand.”
Thailand is a hub of filmmaking in South East Asia, boasting a nexus of studios, post-production facilities and skilled crews that work on local, regional and incoming international productions.
South Korea’s CJ Entertainment recently struck two separate production pacts in Thailand, one with Transformation Films, the second with Major Cineplex.
Data released last week by the Thailand Film office showed production levels recovering this year after a record in 2013 and a disappointing slump in 2014. In the first five months of 2015 three foreign feature films had shot in the country and the value of production spending by foreign audio visual productions (including TV, music videos, and documentaries) at THB1.58 billion ($47 million) had reached over 80% of last year’s total.
Crew is now in reported to be in Thailand for Dimitri Logothetis’ “Kickboxer” reboot, which stars Dave Bautista, Jean Claude van Damme and Thai actress Sarah Malakul Lane. Other international feature films expected to shoot in Thailand this year include Stephen Gaghan’s “Gold” for Black Bear Pictures, and Marc Forster’s “All I See Is You” for SC International.