Bookie bets on ‘Paradise’

Kids' collaborators launch prod'n co.

Filmmaker Larry Clark and producer Stephen Chin have joined forces for Chinese Bookie Pictures, a production company that will launch with “Another Day in Paradise,” to film this fall. Clark and Chin previously collaborated on the controversial 1995 indie hit “Kids.”

Clark, a celebrated photographer, made his film directing debut with “Kids,” produced by Cary Woods. Chin, a Yale Law School grad, was VP and general counsel of Woods Entertainment and most recently served as exec producer of Fine Line’s “Gummo,” the directing debut of “Kids” screenwriter Harmony Korine.

“I feel strongly that I should be involved in all aspects of making my films,” said Clark. “I want to be an artist and be free to express myself; express how I see things and be free to put it out there for people to see — even if it is disturbing.”

No stranger to controversy, Clark’s photo album of youthful rebellion, “Tulsa,” is considered one of the seminal modern pictorial essays. “Kids,” with its raw portrait of teenagers, posed censorship problems in much of the world following enthusiastic critical response at the Sundance and Cannes film fests. In the U.S., distribs Harvey and Bob Weinstein of Miramax set up a private label to handle the pic following their failure to secure an R rating for the film. Produced independently for $1.5 million, it’s grossed more than $20 million worldwide.

“Another Day in Paradise,” from a screenplay by Christopher Landon, is based on the 1970s memoir of a young drug addict who falls in with an older professional thief who becomes his mentor and teacher. Set in Oklahoma, Clark is presently scouting locations in the Midwest.

“We finally secured all the rights to the material, so it’s premature to talk about the financial structure,” said Chin. “There is one key piece of money already attached and we’ll package the rest like ‘Kids’ with a combination of private placement and pre-sales. Larry’s reputation and track record will make it a lot easier to put together than most cutting edge projects.”

Chinese Bookie has several other projects in early stages. Both principals agree that the market for quirky, independent fare is less vibrant than it was five years ago. However, the company is commited to challenging material and feels experience provides them with an edge.