MR Chalermchatri Yukol On The Importance Of Quality Content
No doubt the name Yukol will be familiar to those with an interest in royalty and the Thai film industry. Coming from a family steeped in the local movie business, MR Chalermchatri Yukol, or Adam, is following in the footsteps of his father, legendary movie director Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol, as is his sister, producer and director MR Srikhumrung.
The ambitious 33-year-old Adam is already something of a veteran in the industry. A graduate in film and television studies at Bond University, Australia, he is the producer and director of numerous silver screen features and television series and gives special lectures on the media at Chulalongkorn, Thammasat and Bangkok universities, among others. He is also a board member of PPTV HD Channel 36 and president of media companies FukDuk and Bison Idea.
One of his latest roles is that of programme director at PCCW OTT (Thailand), where he is in charge of the content that is aired on VIU, an OTT over the top online streaming platform. Positioning itself as a hub for Korean and local entertainment, VIU is known for providing a range of series and variety shows from South Korea and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as original local content, much of it live, through a partnership with GMM25 Workpoint.
Joining VIU a year after its launch in Thailand, Adam says, “I enjoy getting ahead. It’s like when you’re on a highway and you manage to outrun the other cars—I like to be out front. I think VIU is like Seabiscuit, the famous racehorse. We started off slowly—slower than the other OTT streaming platforms, but with a better understanding of what the market wants we have caught up. The important thing is to have good content. Good content will bring like-minded people together, so viewer demographics don’t really matter. It’s about creating a community—VIU-ers, we call them,” he smiles. “We listen to what they like and give them what they want. For instance, faster and better subtitles, and series that can be streamed into smart TVs. That’s the key: we lead with content and hold a two-way conversation with viewers.”
Ever busy, the young creative also continues his work as a director and has recently remade the South Korean film The Classic. “Actually, people don’t realise my career began in online media before moving to traditional media. The good thing about that is that I can use what I know from the online creative process and apply it to traditional media. I’m passionate about work. I get up and go at it until I need to take a break to eat. Then I work until I need to sleep. I work hard because I don’t know what else I could do. When you work, you have a purpose in your life. You might ask about work-life balance, but I don’t need that balance. Work is my therapy, it entertains and excites me,” he says.
As for other activities, Adam finds a unique way to enjoy them. “If I feel like diving, I might make a film about diving. If I want to know about a historical event, I make a film about it. When you’re a filmmaker, you get to play god of your own creative world. You can travel anywhere and talk to anyone to get to know about your subject, and you get paid for being creative. What’s not to like about that?”
See also: British Designer Jet Shenkman Loves Thailand And The Feeling Is Mutual