Top Western screenwriters form collective to create content for emerging media markets

December 2, 2013 11:21 AM

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Metan Development Group partners with legendary Hollywood storytellers to launch Metan Wen Zhi Ku, opening up new opportunities for Western TV/ film writers

Los Angeles - Metan Development Group (Metan) and a coalition of North America's top TV and film writers, have joined forces to launch Metan Wen Zhi Ku, a joint venture linking Western writing talent with transmedia projects for the China market.

Writers Art Eisenson and David Gittins head up a collective of the most respected writers from TV and film, who have signed on as part of Metan Wen Zhi Ku's talent roster, that includes Marilyn Anderson (“Murphy Brown” “The Jeffersons,” “Fame”), Michael Elias (“The Jerk,” “Head of the Class,” “All In The Family,” “The Bill Cosby Show”), Eric Estrin (“Cagney and Lacy,” “Miami Vice,” “Murder She Wrote”), Lynn Roth (“The Paper Chase,” “Nine To Five” series), Judith Parker (L.A. Law), Bob Shayne (“Magnum P.I.,” “Knight Rider,” “Hart to Hart,” “Welcome Back Kotter”) and Treva Silverman (“Mary Tyler Moore,” “The Monkeys,” “Room 222,” “Romancing the Stone,” plus many others who have worked on some of television's most loved shows including "Dallas," "Dynasty," "The Golden Girls," "Hawaii 5-0," "Happy Days," "Charlie's Angels," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Metan Wen Zhi Ku (which in English translates to “writing mastermind”) will have access to an unprecedented talent pool of over 2,000 writers, who in recent years were underutilized and faced age discrimination. They will now have a new opportunity to reinvent their careers, and be afforded the freedom to lend their expertise as storytellers for multi-platform projects in the developing China media market.

“When Metan first met with Art and David, we immediately saw an amazing chance to not only celebrate some of the entertainment world's most talented writers, but to provide them with new international opportunities,” comments Namer. “While China's media business is developing at a rapid pace, core skills of storytelling are lacking. We believe that Metan Wen Zhi Ku will fill this void.”

After the China market, the company plans to expand to other emerging media markets, including India, Brazil and Russia/CIS. In addition to writing, top U.S. writers will also be involved in mentoring foreign content creators in the art of storytelling. Writers will be compensated on a per-project basis, with additional opportunities for profit sharing.

“What writers do is structure emotional and cognitive experiences for other people. The fundamental premise of our collective is that humans have always used storytelling to make sense of life, and that writers' skills and perceptions become more elementary as we gain life experience," said Eisenson. "This joint venture represents a merger of the energies of visionaries and the ethics of those who believe in doing well by doing good.”

Metan Wen Zhi Ku's first project is a romantic comedy Web series to be set in China, Europe and South America.

Art Eisenson's television writing includes the mini-series “Beggarman,” “Thief,” and episodes and staff assignments on “What Really Happened to the Class of '65,” “Kojak,” “Eischied,” “The Gangster Chronicles,” “The Mississippi,” “Lucan,” “Shannon” and “High Mountain Rangers.”

David Gittins is the first Executive Director of the TV Writers Fund for the Future where he has been in position since 2012. He has written for British television, sold screenplays in the UK and Italy and has worked both in development and as an independent producer.

Launched in 2009, Metan is a venture created to develop and distribute entertainment content and media specifically for international markets. The company's founders are entertainment industry veteran Martin Pompadur, E! Entertainment Television co-founder Larry Namer, Amerilink founder Jean Zhang, and Russian advertising industry veteran Oganes Sobolev. Metan first launched in early 2009, and since then has made inroads in developing the media market in Asia.


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