Greg Coote Heats up DragonSlate (Exclusive)

Malaysian venture to use new rebates, ramp up int’l production

Greg Coote forms Malaysian JV, DragonSlate
Patrick Frater

HONG KONG – Greg Coote, former CEO of Village Roadshow, has established a film and TV production and finance company in Malaysia.

The new DragonSlate Media company is a joint venture with local producer Leon Tan, who last year delivered big budget animation feature “War of the Worlds: Goliath.”

DragonSlate expects to make use of Malaysia’s new 30% production rebate system, the Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios and hopes to have two features go into production in 2014.

The company has also secured a partnership arrangement with Malaysia Venture Capital Management, a venture capital fund backed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance. The fund will provide development finance to DragonSlate.

It will be co-managed by Coote and Tan, who also heads the Malaysia-based Tripod Entertainment animation, post-production and production company.

The Malaysian government and its investment agency have spent much of the past two years trying to build a production and finance infrastructure, such as the rebate scheme, to support its investment in the new shooting stages in the south of the country. DragonSlate is among the first international entities to set up in Malaysia since the studios opened and its output is expected to be significantly bigger than the typical Malaysian movie, which is made on a budget of less than $250,000.

DragonSlate projects will typically be English-language pictures squarely aimed at the international markets and made with appropriate budgets, Coote told Variety. Coote is currently weighing up independent sales and studio relationship routes to market.

“We at MAVCAP recognize that DragonSlate is not just a financially-sound investment – it will help fuel our creative industry’s aspirations to engage new markets, new partnerships and acquire new knowledge and expertise,” said Jamaludin Bujang, CEO of MAVCAP.

“Malaysia has dynamic and hungry filmmakers, award-winning expertise and talent, and a conducive environment to nurture a world-class film and TV production hub, backed by both public and private sectors. I’m thrilled to be part of this new venture to fully realize this great potential. The world will be surprised and impressed with the film and TV projects coming soon from DragonSlate and its Malaysian colleagues,” said Coote in a prepared statement.

Based in Los Angeles, Coote was previously chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, the finance entity which backed over sixty 20th Century Fox movies, including “Avatar.” He is currently is a non-executive director of NYSE-listed Bollywood distributor Eros International, chairman of US distributor China Lion, and chairman of the ScreenSingapore convention.