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Friday, 10 August 2007 06:05

Venturing into the unknown East

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The final speaker for the first session at X Media Lab was Shekhar Kapur , who as well as being a noted director of films including Elizabeth and the soon-to-be-released The Golden Age (both with Australian actor Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth) is also one of the founding partners in Richard Branson’s Bangalore-based Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation. That group has already involved collaborations from director Guy Ritchie and musician David Stewart.

Kapur says he loves the idea of the unknown, hence is moving his attention into new media forms in order to explore unknown territories for content creation. He also described the rise of the important of the East as a place for the generation of new ideas and new opportunities in media, something that Western companies need to wake up to, as more and more Asian consumers become connected to broadband networks.

Kapur is also putting together a US$1 billion fund to support the development and integration of Asian media businesses to take advantages of the latent consumer demand for multi-platform content.

“It will be a breeding ground for the next Google, and to do that we need a billion dollars to create the ecosystem,” Kapur says.

He says content makers also need to work harder to find the culture of the new delivery systems that are being created, rather than just recycling existing format.

“Entertainment is the emotional interface between content and technology,” Kapur says. “It is very hard to predict the business models, so we have to predict the social behaviour, and through that the business models will come up. The business models will come out of the consumers, and you might hope to catch them for a while.”

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