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Saturday, August 10, 2013

[Mingpao Weekly Issue 2335] The fight for Charmaine Sheh's contract

Credit to KuangaiTVB BBS
TVBC 3 Tactics to Snatch People
Huayi Brothers Shows Determination with HKD80 million

Charmaine Sheh 2 years management contract with MediaQuiz has expired in March this year. Due to the TV market disinterest in raw leading actresses, plus lack of established ones in Mainland China, Charmaine has been the target of many artiste management companies since early this year. Among them, Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG Film & TV Production) was rumoured to entice her with a 2 year contract worth HKD40 million. However, Mingpao received news that Mainland China numero-uno production company; Huayi Brothers have entered the competition with the offer of HKD80 million, but the main requirement is a 6 year long contract. Turn out there’s another party, TVB China (invested by TVB) together with CMC & SMG who are offering sky high price in order to sign her as their 1st managed artist. 

In the recent years, TVB has been experiencing the shortage of siusang and fadan, especially fadan (leading actress). Departing from TVB as their ‘biological daughter’ in 2011, Charmaine maintained her popularity and remained a favorite leading actress among Mainland China production companies. Her previous TVB such as [War & Beauty], [Beyond the Realm of Conscience] and [Can’t Buy Me Love] also garnered very good ratings in Mainland China. In business point of view, there’s a lot of market potential. Compared to TVB current batch of leading actresses, Charmaine is more profitable filming in Mainland China, and the steadiest one. By estimation of nearly HKD300, 000 per episode, she can earn around HKD10 million in Mainland series with average 30 episodes. According to sources in Mainland China, Huayi Brothers is interested to sign Charmaine. Not only they are offering HKD80 million for 6 years contract, they will be arranging for her to film quality movies with A-list Mainland China actors. This means she can develop career in both film and television. This offer is considered the best selection in terms of development prospect.

On the other side, TVB joint venture with CMC and SMG; TVB China (TVBC) has been seeking potential artistes in Mainland China after its establishment late last year. Charmaine is their foremost target and they have been contacting Charmaine for discussion. Apart from sending their Mainland China representatives, TVB executive Virginia Lok also took part in the contract discussion.

Working in TVB for many years, Charmaine have a good relationship with Virginia Lok. In June this year, Virginia celebrated her birthday earlier and Charmaine also attended the party. As TVBC is a joint venture in Mainland China, the terms offered to Charmaine are also vastly different from TVB management contract.  TVBC was rumored to offer HKD50 million for 3 years contract. According to sources, TVBC wanted a win-win situation; first they can retain Charmaine to continuously film TVB series and not losing talent over to other Hong Kong tv stations such as HKTC and nowTV etc. Even though Charmaine has left TVB for 2 years, no current fadans can replace her status. Therefore for grand productions, they can partner their biological daughter with Charmaine as double leads.  On the other hand, by signing Charmaine as their 1st managed artiste, they can use her as their prime example while negotiating with other artistes.  TVBC is determined to snatch talent, apart from the attractive offer price; their short contract term is also a selling point. They only request Charmaine to sign with them for 3 years. At the same time, HKFA winning actor Tony Leung Ka Fai has agreed to film TVB series to be produced by Eric Tsang early next year and Charmaine was locked as the leading actress.  High price + Short duration + Opportunity to collaborate with Tony Leung; TVBC is determined to win with these 3 tactics. As both companies have been liaising with Charmaine since early this year and have their pros and cons, it is difficult for Charmaine to make a decision.

Discussion over half year

Being beckoned by two major companies, Charmaine can only pick one. What is her biggest factor in consideration? Which company stands a bigger chance in signing her? Charmaine expressed: “Actually my contract with ex-company has expired in March this year. For the past half year, apart from taking rest and refresh myself, I am carefully considering my future path and I did liaised with some companies. Without doubt these two companies (Huayi Brothers & TVBC) offered the best terms and they have both waited for so long. My biggest considering factor is the duration as I do not want to sign for long term. There’s too much pressure plus I’m no longer young, I do not wish to be tied down for long period.

Questioned about Mainland China sources indicating that Huayi Brothers offered her HKD80 million for 6 years whilst TVBC counter offered with HKD50 million, Charmaine said: “That’s too exaggerated. Both of them offered good terms, hence it took me such a long time to consider. Please give me more time to think about it, I do not wish to drag so long either.” You’re requesting for short contract period, your intention is to find love and get married? “You can say so; after all I’m a girl. Signing 6 years contract means I might lose out other things.” From Charmaine’s reply, it seems that she is leaning toward TVBC offer. Was it because of TVB investment, it is better to work with someone familiar? “I really need more time to consider, I think the decision will be made soon. Of course TVB having a part in it means more familiar condition, but my direction have not changed, which is to develop career in Mainland China. In fact their expansion strategy in Mainland China should be a considering factor.”

The reporter contacts TVB executive Virginia Lok to ask whether she is acting as the middleperson to persuade good friend Charmaine Sheh in joining TVBC? At this Virginia Look seems to have a card up her sleeve and laughed: “I wish so, but a lot of companies also wished to sign her. (How high are the chances?) Haha, of course we really want to. Actually she still have remaining per-series contract and still considered a TVB artiste. However, since she’s no longer TVB managed for 2 years, we really want her back. (Offering HKD4, 50 million?) HKD4, 50 million is really a lot, but we cannot reveal the actual amount as we have not reached that stage. Money is not the main factor; I believe that relationship, company, network and confidence are most important.”

Do not repost. 

p.s. The article didn't indicate RMB or HKD, so I assume it's HKD since Mingpao is HK based. Though there's nothing to lose and much more to gain, if it's RMB since the currency exchange rate is higher, hehe.


1 comment:

Funn Lim said...

Fight... to the DEATHHHHHHHH

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