China’s maiden ‘Big Brother’ shot on Endemol Shine India’s sets

MUMBAI: The Indo-China memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was signed between the two countries while Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China earlier this year probably showed its first practical prominence as Endemol Shine shot China’s maiden Big Brother season in India.


Big Brother’s Indian adaptation - Bigg Boss is shot in Lonavala, which is in the outskirts of Mumbai. The sets in Lonavala are erected at a factory leased by Endemol. However, the set, which was used to shoot for the first ever Chinese edition was that of the Kannada version of Big Boss. It was on these sets, which were rebuilt to suit the international version where Chinese contestants dramatically fought to win the first ever title.


Endemol Shine India, which has a rich experience of producing eight seasons of Bigg Boss so far with the ninth season set to launch in October, facilitated the Chinese branch of the production house with a 400 member crew. There were 40 representatives from China and together they executed the first edition of Big Brother China, which will be telecast by online platform Youku Tudou.


This is the first time in the show’s global history that it will beam on a digital platform. China’s Youku Tudou platform garners traction of 580 million unique visitors every month and was the ideal choice to showcase the show in order to get maximum eyeballs.


According to sources close to the development, the planning was going on for a very long time and the two counterparts held rounds of talks before the final execution. The decision to shoot in India under the guidance of experienced people who have been associated with various editions of Bigg Boss was primarily to use the infrastructure and expertise, which will eventually result in huge cost savings.


The Chinese team brought in their creative directors, story editors, and remote camera operators, whereas the rest was executed by the Indian crew. The huge lingual differences within the team comprising members from the two respective countries were erased by translators. “Most of the communication were happening in English,” a source present on the sets of Big Brother China in India informs


According to a senior official in the production fraternity, the two most populous country of the world shaking hands to execute an entertainment project is massive boost for the media and entertainment industry. “I hope this is just the beginning and we have many more such collaborations going forward. Such associations are rejuvenating and certainly a matter of pride for the industry,” the official said on condition of anonymity.


In India, Bigg Boss 9 is set to unveil soon on Colors and the show with Salman Khan as the host is eagerly awaited. “It was not the Bigg Boss India sets, which were used for the Chinese edition shoot. The India set is exclusively used only for India edition,” said a source close to the development.


Endemol Shine China managing director William Tan, Youku Tudou senior director Amy Shundong Xu, Rebecca De Young, who was once a producer of Big Brother UK and Endemol India CEO Deepak Dhar were amongst those spotted around the sets. Big Brother China shoot got over on 18 September, 2015 and the Chinese team will be flying back immediately.

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