Palma Pictures' Mike Day & Chye Yee Chow Bring Spain to the Orient
Delivering their idyllic sunsets and production services to the Chinese market, Palma Pictures have signed Chye Yee Chow as an International Producer to bring their Spanish offering to Shanghai.
Discussing the market for production services in China, Chye Yee, and CEO of Palma Pictures, Mike Day, talk Spanish comfort, trust and expanding the team. So we find out a bit more about the face of Palma Pictures Shanghai.
LBB> Mike, why did you want to expand Palma's reach in Asia?
Mike Day> We have had a territorial focus for many years now and regularly shoot with clients from over 20 different countries on an annual basis. These projects are hard won, but our long term approach of establishing permanent offices in specific destinations pays dividends. Having expert producers on the ground in cities such as Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Reykjavik and now Shanghai shows our intent. We have worked on a handful of Chinese projects in the past years and hope to build on that.
LBB> What is the market like in China for location services and production in Europe and particularly Spain?
Chye Yee Chow> Chinese film makers have been shooting in Europe for a long time. However this is mainly dominated by countries like France, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the UK. Having spent my last 14 years in Shanghai, shooting in Europe is not something new to the industry. However, Spain is relatively new to the market and I think there are opportunities there that some film-makers might not be aware of.
MD> The Chinese market is a fast growing one and currently sits just after the US in annual global marcomms spend. There are certainly opportunities for those companies prepared to take the long term view, as it can also be a hard market in which to gain traction.
LBB> What is the Chinese market looking for when seeking overseas production and locations?
CYC> It has to start with the comfort level that the production services can provide to them. They have to understand their needs and, of course, be able to deliver a great job. Once that’s established, the comfort level will then transform into trust and that can go a long way.
MD> China is a vast country and has an incredible diversity of locations within its own borders. However Europe has a typically different feel, which can often appeal to a certain kind of creative. Ultimately it is all about providing the perfect backdrop for telling that particular story and then enabling our clients to do so.
LBB > What do you see for the future success of Palma in becoming a location hotspot for the Chinese market? What can Palma offer that will give them the edge?
MD> We work hard to ensure we have the best folk in the market available to shoot projects for our clients, whether they be full-time or freelance.
The access to this talent, fused with the cost competitiveness created by our large owned inventory of equipment - as well as our Chinese smarts in terms of language and know how that comes via our dedicated Shanghai office, will stand us in good stead with our Chinese colleagues.
LBB> Chye Yee, your last role was in editing and post production. What drew you to working in production services?
CYC> I started my career in advertising doing production - some of my best experiences and crazy stories happened during my production days! But in time I moved onto other things and it wasn’t until I was given the opportunity to start up ATTIC that I re-entered the industry. When the chance to work with Palma Pictures came up, I was instantly reminded of my great production days. This role is from a totally different perspective to what I did before and a real challenge. Palma’s offering is so much wider than just advertising.
LBB >You started up a boutique editing house in Shanghai in 2008 (ATTIC) – How did you go about growing and expanding the business from scratch?
CYC> I was working with a great team and it was with a collective effort that we established ATTIC. We lived by ‘underpromise, overdeliver’ and that seems to have been a good mantra. Again, it goes back to the ‘trust’ that I was speaking about earlier. The business grew and expanded because clients trusted us with their projects.
LBB > You’ve had some exciting roles – even as floor manager on who wants to be a millionaire in Malaysia. What was that like?
CYC> That was a very long time ago and I went into it totally clueless as that was my first ever TV production. It turned out to be fun and very challenging working in an environment where the director and producer were in a separate room. and it’s all on you to work it out with the host, the audiences and the multiple cameras. My most vivid memory of it is how cold the studio was!
LBB > Chye Yee, you’ve travelled a lot. What is your favourite city and why?
CYC> It all began a few years back when I decided to visit at least one new destination a year. It has been pretty successful so far and all the travelling has been amazing. To pick a favourite city is really tough but I can see myself living in New Zealand. I don’t have a particular city in mind – I feel like I could live anywhere in New Zealand. I am going back to Argentina again soon to spend more time indulging in its vast landscape. I want to visit Iceland again but this time in the Summer.
LBB> You’re a certified advanced open water diver. How did you get into that?
CYC> I was only certified last year, and I did this in my home country, on the Sipadan Island in Malaysia. Friends had been coaxing me into it for a while but I’ve always been afraid of fish. The texture of them makes me uncomfortable and they are so unpredictable in how they move. So when they asked me to go along with them to Sipadan, I knew I was going to have to push myself to overcome that fear. I went for it and it was absolutely amazing! I only have about 50 dives under my belt but I am really lucky to have dived in sites like Sipadan and the Maldives.
LBB > You say that you love to catch up with TV series in your spare time. If you could have worked on any TV series which would it be?
expects you to say Game of Thrones or something in this situation but for me, it
has to be Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched every season of it and I don’t care what
anyone else says, I absolutely love it
Mike Day is CEO of Palma Pictures and Chye Yee Chow is International Producer, China,
Genre: People , Strategy/Insight