The story begins with a movie called 四大天王 (Heavenly Kings), which is a Hong Kong-based movie produced by semi-famous actors about semi-famous actors starting a boy band. It’s a touch satirical. (It is also actor Daniel Wu’s directorial debut.)
The boy band itself is half-real, which means that they did go out and perform, but the songs are satirical and purposely horrible (I think?). I can’t quite figure out how much of it was just a fancy marketing vehicle for the movie.
Boy band and movie aside, the team (pictured above) have also decided to start a social networking sites to “promote artists” in Hong Kong, enlisting the help of one of the Rotten Tomatoes co-founders.
Even though it’s never explicitly defined, their use of the term “artist” seems to fall closer to the Hong Kong usage (actors/actresses or singers) rather than the broader dictionary definition.
For example, on the boy band’s last performance, they cited 16 axioms:
We are worried about our future
We have 300 directors, but only 30 films
So many singers, where are the bands?
Music is not just KTV
Quality productions will win back our audience
We need to innovate, not copy and follow
Hong Kong needs to keep its identity
Care about Hong Kong, Care about the entertainment industry
A healthy creative environment requires diversity
Invest in our future
Without independent productions, the mainstream will not progress
Support Indie music / indie films
Unfortunately, the social networking site, Alive Not Dead, just seems like another MySpace clone. Despite what they say, the pitch seems to be: Look! Famous artists are on here! You should join too! (There is a profile picture for Jet Li on the front page.)
And the project? So far, it still looks like the plaything of a group of well-connected people in the industry, but only time will tell if it takes off.