Matchbox ventures into Asia
Matchbox Pictures has quietly launched a production offshoot in Asia and is already working on several projects.
The operation is being run by Steven Gilfeather, executive producer, Matchbox Pictures Asia, who is based in the Singapore office of Matchbox’s parent NBCUniversal.
“The aim is to grow the business strategically to create new IP for international export,” Matchbox MD Chris Oliver-Taylor told IF.
“We are being careful, working on several commissions while we work out the broader future, taking advantage of NBCUniversal’s resources.”
Gilfeather reports to Matchbox's Melbourne-based director of unscripted content Kylie Washington and overall to Oliver-Taylor.
The Singapore production team is working with Christine Fellowes, MD Asia Pacific for Universal Networks International and Scott MacKenzie, VP channels.
Its first commissions are producing three bulletins per week for E! News Asia and, for the same broadcaster, a half-hour documentary on Filipino film and TV actor and musician Piolo Pascual, which will go to air in late September..
“We are in negotiations for a co-pro with a major Asian producer for an 8-part scripted series and we are also working with Diva (an Asian cable and satellite channel owned by NBCU) and CNBC to produce another documentary series to air later on this year,” he said.
Gilfeather previously worked for ActivTV Asia, where he directed E! News Asia specials, and he was a series producer on The Biggest Loser Asia.
Oliver-Taylor is attending the ContentAsia Summit in Singapore next month to spread the word on Matchbox Asia and to confer with broadcasters in the region.