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Larry Namer, President/CEO, Metan Global Entertainment Group/ President, FilmCapital.io

By Jules Lavallee

Larry Namer is an entertainment industry veteran with close to 50 years professional experience in cable television, live events and new media, Larry Namer is a founding partner of Metan Global Entertainment Group, a venture created to develop and distribute entertainment content and media specifically for Chinese speaking audiences in China and abroad. In 2018, the company launched the MGEG Film Fund I and serves as managing partner. He is also the executive producer on the recently announced feature film “EMPRESS," a new travel series for the China audience titled "Explore The World," and an executive producer of the new crime series "Nova Vita." He recently served as an Advisor and Chief Operating Officer of FanVestor. He is co-founder of the new lifestyle platform BTYKWN.com, along with Richie Rich and Mister D and in November 2021, he joined FilmCapital.io as president.



Mr. Namer is the Co-founder of E! Entertainment Television.

Mr. Namer is the Co-founder of E! Entertainment Television, a company now valued at over five billion USD, and the creator of several successful companies in the United States and overseas. Among those companies are Comspan Communications that pioneered Western forms of entertainment in the former Soviet Union and Steeplechase Media that served as the primary consultant to Microsoft’s MiTV for developing interactive TV applications.

He has recently launched BTYKWN (Pronounced Beauty Kween), a gender-free virtual makeup community.


Tell us about how you launched E! Network.

I was working for a Toronto based company building the big cable system in Los Angeles called Valley Cable TV. It was the first 61 channel two-way system ever built in the United States, and I was recruited to be the head of it at the ripe old age of 31. At the time there were not 61 channels of network content to put on it, so I called the studios and said I would air their trailers free of charge. We created a separate channel for trailers. When we did the audience surveys the trailer channel always ranked high on the list of channels that people enjoyed.


Chris Pittman, Guns & Roses, Saigon Designer, Sue Wong, and Larry Namer.


A few years later the Toronto company sold out and I was not about to return to cold weather anywhere so decided to stay in Southern California. My friend Alan Mruvka came up with this idea of doing "MTV of movies" and I said “wait a second, instead of standing up a VJ in front of music videos we can do the same with movie trailers”. Alan and I refined that idea and that started our thinking and eventually we thought we would become Entertainment Tonight 24 hours a day, but with a much hipper and modern presentation geared to a younger audience.

- The concept of E! was born. At first, we called it MOVIETIME but then changed it to reflect the broader content offering. We wrote a business plan and set out to raise money, but soon realized that just because we had a great idea it was very hard to get anyone to take us seriously. Only big media companies could launch TV networks and the thought of two individuals being able to was unthinkable at that time.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was that no one believed that a TV network could be launched outside of the well-established media conglomerates. It took us three and a half years to convince an investment group to give us 2.5 million dollars which was still far short of the 60-100 million media companies were spending back then. Being naïve, Alan and I said we will figure out how to make it work and I called a friend teaching radio, television and film at UT Austin and he sent us a bunch of young students to fill Summer intern slots. So, we launched with only 11 employees and a whole bunch of interns that were so excited to be a part of something new and next. Once we went live, we were proclaimed an overnight success.

Tell us about BTYKWN.

BTYKWN (pronounced BEAUTYKWEEN) is a fresh concept that really excites me for

many reasons. It is a true next generation brand in my opinion. BTYKWN is the first

ever gender-free digital community for makeup superfans. And it’s all about empowering

the younger generation to be themselves and continue to be confident in doing so.

Many kids feel like they don’t fit in-so BTYKWN.COM gives them that digital place to

engage in their makeup enthusiasm with other like-minded individuals that all want to

stand out. We have so much fun stuff planned BTYKWN, it is all very cutting edge.

Does BTYKWN has the power to change the planet?

As we focus in on the younger generation it certainly has the power to change the way

we think of gender norms and self-identity with BTYKWN. So yes, with some glitter and

glam we will definitely try our best to change the planet and the makeup industry

forever.

You have joined the AAPI Community on fundraiser for feature film, Go Back To Your Country, sharing personal stories of AAPI Individuals who have been victims of racist assaults and xenophobic hate crimes. What led you to this project?

For the past decade, I have been doing a lot of work in Asia (particularly China) and have gotten to know many people. I realized that they have the same hopes and dreams we do here in the US and while our governments may disagree on a lot of things, we have more in common than we have differences. I mentored several Asian graduate students when they were at USC and stayed in touch with them. One even made me godfather to her son which I take rather seriously. It appalls me to see her and her husband both working here in the US, paying taxes faithfully, gainfully employed, home owners, and basically ideal citizens who love this country, get heckled and abused by ignorant people who don’t have the brains to realize that this country was built by immigrants.


Dad and Larry. Courtesy of family archives.


Tell us about Go Back To Your Country and why this is important now.

This will be a feature length documentary about some of the ridiculous and unwarranted hate being spewed at anyone who even looks Asian regardless of their country or origin. It is designed to make people aware of the problem and hopefully they will join in the movement to put an end to this.

“APPI’s are being marketed but not part of the conversation.” Explain.

I think that particularly in America we confuse the acts of governments with the basic good of the people and our commonality. As a minority Asians seem to get lumped together as one ( they are not) and are not seen for the great contributions they make to our society and our country.


Larry Namer, Yang Mi, Paula Abdul.


What is your mission for your film?

I think a lot of people are very unaware that there is a problem and it is nonsensical. This film will bring awareness and hopefully mobilize people to call it out whenever they see if.

Who is on your team for the documentary?

Charles Tseng, Marina, Dr Jen Lee, Risa Morimoto are the primary folks but there are a dozen or so more that have jumped in to help. Thatch Namer (no relation) has donated a gourmet dinner at her San Jose restaurant for us to use for our fundraiser.

You can learn more here: www.gobacktoyourcountryfilm.com.


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