Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Actor Jackie Chan Opens Management Office in Santa Clarita, California October 2007

SANTA CLARITA, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- International superstar

Jackie Chan opened JC Culture USA, his first United States based management company on Friday, October 19, 2007 in the City of Santa Clarita.

Chan announced his new venture during a press conference at Santa Clarita Studios. City of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Kellar, U.S. Congressman 25th District of California Buck McKeon, California State Assemblyman 38th District Cameron Smyth and Chairman of China Film Group Han Sanping, welcomed Chan, recognized his accomplishments, and wished him success.

JC Culture USA, a branch of Chan's Beijing operation, will expand the actor's brand, produce, and co-produce entertainment outlets. Chan believes he will be instrumental in helping develop meaningful relationships with entertainment executives in America and China, while promoting more co-production between the two countries.  

Chan chose to establish JC Culture USA in Santa Clarita because it continues to be one of the most business and film friendly cities in California.

"Santa Clarita is a business and film-friendly city with a high quality of life and a soaring economy. We look forward to growing our business here," said Carrie Wang, C.E.O. of JC Culture USA.

During the conference, Chan was presented with the "Sino-American Cultural Exchange Ambassador" award, and awards commending him for his entertainment and philanthropic achievements.

The conference also included the introduction of senior executives from China Film Group, the largest and most influential state-run film enterprise in China. China Film Group and JC Culture China are presently co-producing Jackie Chan's TV reality show in Beijing, "The Disciple."

Chan has appeared in more than 100 films, most recently Rush Hour 3. He has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is well-regarded in Hong Kong for his philanthropic efforts.

Just 30 miles from Los Angeles, Santa Clarita is home to more than 8,000 businesses and several prime time shows like HBO's "Big Love," CBS' "The Unit" and "NCIS," and FX's "The Riches." Santa Clarita is a prime location for business and was recently designated one of California's newest Enterprise Zones. The City was also heralded as one of the most business friendly cities in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the best place to live in California by CNN/Money Magazine, and one of the state's top 25 retail markets by California Retail Survey.

New York Times Article on Fusion New Year Concert 2007


Let’s Put on a Show for China

Published: April 19, 2007
IT was a smash hit. Boffo! in Hollywood English. Bang ji le in Mandarin Chinese. It was a television show watched by possibly 600 million people worldwide in February at the Lunar New Year in China, ushering in the Year of the Boar.
The show featured talent from China, Tan Weiwei and Li Yuchun, two winners of China’s Super Girl contest — a competition that attracts a far larger audience than “American Idol.” Jackie Chan, the Hong Kong martial arts superstar who is also a singer, was in the lineup. As were Kanye West and Gnarls Barkley from the United States. A-Mei from Taiwan sang.
The international stars were brought together over two nights at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas to do the show, which was recorded there and shown the next night and for five more nights in China by Hunan TV.
It was the kind of collaboration that in the past might have been achieved only by vast multinational entertainment companies working with Chinese government ministries and the State and Commerce Departments in the United States.
But the show was put on by AOB Media, a small two-year-old company, with employees in Pasadena, Calif., and Beijing, assisted by independent digital film and music video producers in Santa Monica.
“People did not believe this would actually happen,” said Nelson Liao, founder and chairman of AOB Media, one of a group of companies he has started over two decades.
“Marketing companies here and in Las Vegas didn’t want to accept my job,” said Mr. Liao, who was interviewed at AOB headquarters in Pasadena. “They thought it would be a waste of time, that I would default.”
Yet the show went on and was a success and now AOB Media will do shows featuring Chinese and American entertainers again and again, said Carrie Wang, the chief executive. “We are going to put on a show in September and another for the U.S. calendar New Year, and in 2008, we will again have a show done here in Los Angeles for the Lunar New Year with artists from East and West,” Ms. Wang said.
The Fusion division of AOB Media, which stages the shows, has a contract to produce extravaganzas for the next four Lunar New Years.
Ms. Wang was interviewed on a brief visit to California from her base of operations in Beijing, where she supervises 120 employees and nurtures partnerships with the giant Citic Group (formerly the China International Trust and Investment Corporation), Hunan TV, China Central Television and Red TV, which distributes entertainment on buses, taxis and transit systems in major cities. Hunan, CCTV and Red are government-owned, like all broadcast media in China.
In a career of more than a decade, Ms. Wang has led marketing and management efforts at many trading and development companies in China. She is a Chinese citizen who has a residence near Pasadena.
Colleagues at AOB, which has 25 employees in the Los Angeles area and a number of contract relationships in the entertainment industry, credit Ms. Wang’s connections in China with making the Las Vegas show possible.
“It was an incredible achievement; we put the show together in nine months,” said David McKeon, executive vice president of AOB Media. Mr. McKeon is a Los Angeles native who worked in telecommunications in South Korea and Hong Kong before joining AOB and producing a concert last year in Taiwan.
Those nine months, however, were the culmination of more than 15 years of steady business effort, Mr. Liao said, an evolution that holds object lessons for other companies, large and small, that are eager to do business in China.
Mr. Liao, a native of Taiwan, came to the United States in the early 1980s and earned a master’s of business administration degree from the University of New Haven. He first went to China in 1990 as a marketing representative for American companies in pharmaceuticals and other industries. But he soon got into a joint venture in construction materials with Citic, the state-owned conglomerate that runs 45 companies. That changed his status in an interesting way, Mr. Liao recalled.
“From that time, the Chinese say I’m a real person,” he said. “Before that, they say, ‘You’re not real because you’re a briefcase company — you can run away anytime.’ They want you to commit to a long-term relationship.”
The connection with Citic led Mr. Liao to found one of his companies, AOB Commerce, which raised money in the United States to lend to Chinese entrepreneurial companies.
“In China there is no financial industry yet — no venture capital and no inventory lending for small business,” Mr. Liao said. So his company provided a loan brokering service to fill the need.
In 1994, he met Ms. Wang, who among her other activities managed Chinese entertainment artists. Over time, they conceived the idea to add a media company to Mr. Liao’s diverse holdings and started AOB Media in 2005. “China will open up to the world’s media,” Mr. Liao said, “but for right now government control is most sensitive to media.”
Kyle Jackson, a digital film producer, who designed and produced the Las Vegas show for AOB, said that Hunan TV temporarily kept the Gnarls Barkley segment off the air because one of the musicians had tattoos on his arms. Ms. Wang practiced some diplomacy and the Barkley segment was restored.
“China is different from most other countries,” said Christian Swegal, a music video director and associate of AOB Media who helped line up the American talent for the Las Vegas show through the William Morris Agency. “It prefers contemporary Chinese music to global pop stars. You don’t find American and global entertainers featured on radio and television. Everybody thinks China is a big money market, but that isn’t the case.”
Big companies are eager. MTV, part of Viacom, has been in China for years and is co-producer of an annual music honors show with CCTV, the state network. The News Corporation has its Star TV satellite service broadcasting in China. Walt Disney has ambitious plans, including theme parks and a Dragon Club updating of its old Mickey Mouse Clubs.
The promise is there, but it requires long-term planning — as AOB Media’s success attests. The Lunar New Year show was more a cultural breakthrough than a money-making one.
“The show cost $1.3 million to put on,” Mr. McKeon said, and the company hopes to break even through a share of advertising revenue from Hunan TV and cellphone excerpts that are being prepared. “It was an investment to establish trust.”

This column about small-business trends in California and the West appears on the third Thursday of every month. E-mail:

Found this 2007 Las Vegas Review-Journal Article

Ring in the New Year 

Concerts mark Chinese lunar celebration 


Taiwanese popster A-mei performs tonight, as well as rockers Mayday and Shin Band and singer Jackie Chan.

It's the most celebrated event in the world, and it's coming to Las Vegas, a town that needs no excuse to party -- hey, the sun came up today, let's do a shot.
Commemorated by more than a billion people, the Chinese lunar new year is a massive celebration.

This year, the festivities are coming to Vegas with Fusion, two nights of concerts at the Aladdin Theatre that pair some of China's biggest pop stars with their American counterparts.
Tonight, Asian performers take the stage, among them Taiwanese popster A-mei, rockers Mayday and Shin Band and singer/actor Jackie Chan.
Tomorrow, Fusion features U.S. radio staples Kanye West, Gnarls Barkley, Lupe Fiasco and others.
The show will be broadcast in China on the Hunan television network, where it's expected to draw an audience in the tens of millions, perhaps more.
Televised Chinese new year's events have been in Australia and Europe in the past, but this is the first time something like Fusion is coming to the States.
"Las Vegas is a very popular destination for China," says Dan McKeon, vice president of marketing for AOB Media, which has helped put together Fusion. "They really believe in luck and making sure that the gods are on your side, per see. Las Vegas is kind of the symbol of the American spirit."
Tonight's Fusion headliner, Jackie Chan, is a symbol of this East-West crossover, a famous actor in America who has also established himself as a popular singer in China.
"Jackie Chan is one of those bygone performers that we used to have here in the early days of cinema where they actually put together song, dance and acting," McKeon says. "He's really a jack of all trades. We brought the concept to him of bringing together American and Chinese entertainment, and he just fell in love with it."
Another big Chinese draw is singer Li Yu Chun, who recently starred on "Supergirls," a Chinese equivalent of "American Idol."
"They had 400 million viewers watch the last episode -- more people than in the United States and Great Britain combined," McKeon says of "Supergirl." "She is huge. And we anticipate about the same viewership."
For the American acts on the bill, Fusion provides a chance to get exposed to the mammoth Chinese audience, a largely untapped market that U.S. artists are beginning to crack.
"Kanye West just came back from China -- he's got a huge following there," McKeon says. "They're all excited about getting into China."
AOB Media has a four-year contract to put on Fusion, and it's set to become an annual event.
The event's off to a promising start: This year's installment is as outsized as Las Vegas itself.
"We wanted to do something that's never been done before," McKeon says. "We wanted to bust down the doors and just say, 'In America, we can do it as big as possible.' "