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Mediaplex puts plan in Motion

Production unit nabs industry interest

The launch of Motion 101, the production arm of major studio Mediaplex, has been followed with interest by many in the Korean film industry.

As a sister company to heavyweight distributor Showbox, the firm is likely to assume a key role in Korea’s content sector, with a goal of producing four to five titles per year.

Jeong Tae-sung, who on Aug. 1 officially moved from Showbox to become COO of the new company, said the creation of Motion 101 reflected a desire by people at Showbox to become involved more directly on the creative side.

The company has three production teams, headed by Ma Sang-jun, formerly Showbox’s head of local film investment; well-known producer Kim Young; and producer Kim Hyung-cheol, formerly of iPictures.

Financing and distribution of Motion 101’s titles will be overseen by Showbox.

Jeong said there will be a strong international mindset at Motion 101. “At Showbox we co-financed the Chinese-language ‘Red Cliff,’ the Japanese-language ‘Pacchigi! Love & Peace’ and the English-language ‘D-War,’ but with Motion 101’s international projects we will much more involved in the creative process.”

Jeong’s first three projects will be a big-budget sci-fi blockbuster, a high-concept local comedy and a Japanese-language feature.

“The Fist,” currently slated to start production in March, is an action-drama directed by Park Kwang-hyun, whose debut “Welcome to Dongmakgol” was the top-grossing feature of 2005.

Budgeted in the $10-$15 million range, the film is set in a futuristic “Blue City” where a young boy with no fighting experience becomes wrapped up in a cycle of violence.

Also set to start shooting in the spring will be an untitled comedy about a 50-year-old mother who goes back to high school to earn her diploma. The film is budgeted at $3 million and casting is “close to being confirmed.”

Meanwhile a third, untitled movie based on a Japanese manga will be shot in Japanese, with an eye to targeting two markets at once. “We considered shooting a Korean-language adaptation, but I think in this case there is more value in aiming at the Japanese market,” Jeong said.

Still at an early stage, the project will be further pursued by Motion 101 and a Japanese partner in the Asian Film Market.

Company also is looking at three to four other projects in development, including English-language projects that would be made with a U.S. partner.

“We’re very interested in pursuing other international co-productions, so we will be busy during this year’s market in Busan,” Jeong said.