Peter Shiao // Ep 77 // Awakening Your Hero
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In 2018, Peter Shiao was having a massive moment in his career and poised to launch a 10-digit global investment fund with boldface global names that was the culmination of a lifetime of preparation in US-China collaboration. Three years and three hard pivots later, he would end up launching the company of his dreams – literally.
Peter Shiao is the founder and CEO of Immortal Studios that is building an all-media story verse dedicated to the martial arts fantasy genre known as Wuxia – starting from comic books. He is a serial founder in East-West entertainment and media ventures and has also led California-China cross-industrial collaborations across multiple industries
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Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan.
And my name is Maggie
And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals.
We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Maggie: (00:00:23) Hi everyone. And welcome to the Asian hustle network podcast. Today, we have a very special guest with us. His name is Peter shell in 2018. Peter was having a massive moment in his career and poised to launch a 10 digit global investment fund with bold face global names. That was the culmination of a lifetime of preparation. In a U S China collaboration three years and three hard pivots later, he would end up launching the company of his dreams. Literally, Peter shell is the founder and CEO of immortal studios that is building an all media story verse dedicated to the martial arts fantasy genre, known as Lucia, starting from comic books. He is a serial founder in East West entertainment and media ventures, and has also led California China across industrial collaborations across multiple industries. Peter, welcome to the show.
Peter: (00:01:18) Good to be here. Nice to see you guys.
Bryan: (00:01:20) Yeah. Peanut. We’re excited to have you to show. And before we dive deep into your childhood, I want to, I want to hop into, I want to tell you that Peter, before we go into deep into that, I want to cover your fascination with the story journey to the West, you know, cause that was also my fascination growing up. And one thing that keeps me motivated, I think about some time, the time too, how like the lessons I learned, I could incorporate that into my life.
Peter: (00:01:48) Well, who doesn’t love the monkey King of the monkey kingdom monkey. It’s just such a fabulous, fantastic way to get into Eastern fantasy mysticism. So all of his different journeys, I remember, um, growing up, I was a kid in Hollywood, even though I was born in Asia and I happened upon journey, the journey to the West. Um, Cartoon, which I just love, because you know, back in those days, you just didn’t see anything nation on television. The fact that I grew up reading it in its original form was just amazing. Um, of course later on as an adult, um, as I really got into Eastern philosophy, um, even doing things like managing the Sheldon temple brand, More movies, television shows. I really got an in-depth understanding of what was actually involved. So there’s actually a deeper reason why Johnny to the West continues to exist because it’s got. You know, a lot of it’s yours of alignment, that’s embedded into it. And that’s why I still love it even to this day. Cause in so many ways, our journeys as people or souls are very much like the monkey King, you know, like aren’t you girl getting worked until it’s also the life, the journey of an entrepreneur, right? From pure potential to somebody who’s to subdued. Um, and we’ll work things out until you can actually make it all the way, all the way home.
Bryan: (00:03:12) I love that. I love that. And for our listeners journey to the West is a very classic Chinese or not even Chinese, like Asian folktale. I’ll talk to him about the journey of money. Um, monkey King
Maggie: (00:03:28) watching monkey King. I would watch it every single day. And when my mother and my father were both like you watch too much monkey shame, childhood memory for me.
Bryan: (00:03:39) Yeah. Let’s dive into your, your childhood in some ways, you know,
Peter: (00:03:43) global. I mean, it truly has become global. And I think we’re going to see a lot more of the monkey King.
Bryan: (00:03:49) Yeah. I love that. Especially with your work too. I wouldn’t own be surprised if we see more inspiration from that.
Peter: (00:03:54) In fact, we design a whole universe. Um, that’s devoted to that really fantastical world is part of our model story first. And of course, we can talk a little bit more about that later, but you really want to know about my childhood. So let’s go.
Bryan: (00:04:09) I want to hear more about it cause we listened to other podcasts and we hear that your father is very inspirational, man. And want to hear about the kind of childhood that you had and the kind of impact that he made on you and your life.
Peter: (00:04:21) Well, no, it’s a long story because my father, well, first my father, you want to know about my father right now. Well, I was born into this really traditional Chinese family and my father picked one of the big reasons is because my father is a martial arts fantasy writer. So he’s literally the only job he’s had ever since he was maybe 22, he became a selling author in Taiwan at age 22. There’s only had one job his entire life. He would go on to become one of the, I would say one of the four or two, depending on who you listen to. One of the top Marshall Marshall Moshe, his fantasy curators in the past hundred years. Um, there’s a saying in China, um, genial of the South and shall you have the North? So they literally carved it up into two great creators then of course, Jim Lewis shot is the condor heroes is, you know, it’s absolutely the phenomenal writers. So, um, because he was my father, he didn’t really just treat it as a profession that he w he was, it was his life. So in some ways I was raised in ancient China. I was raised in ancient China. And before I would, I would, I even went to school either in how to read his books. And he always kept a very sizeable library at home, not too dissimilar. Like a lot of my collection actually comes from him. I’m surrounded by books and I started collecting myself. So I was born into this really beautiful, mystical, amazing, very proud world. That was kind of the intro Marshall universe for people who like that kind of storytelling, you would know it’s a world of heroes and heroines. It’s a world where we’re at. We have infinite potential. We have really big stakes. Um, and of course that was very different from how I was my physical life. So the first nine years of my life, I was actually in Taiwan. And then my family immigrated. And then we went to South Africa and I lived in, in South Africa and then I lived in an African kingdom called Swazi land. And that’s when I was first aware of the concept that the world is actually a very diverse place. So from a kid who was in a completely kind of Asian or Chinese environment, I all of a sudden realized there was racism. There was diversity. Um, I was living in Africa as an honorary white. And why was that? And then after a brief stint through Europe, I got dropped in the middle of Hollywood. That was kind of the cross section of all the things that was, you know? Um, so as a, as a ten-year-old I landed in, in, in Hollywood. So I still to this day consider myself that I’m from Hollywood and this is where I kind of, um, One of my separate way, separate ways with my dad, because he stayed in ancient China, writing these books, and I became a spic skateboarder and fell in love with kind of just trying to be, trying to be a Western kid back back in the day. Um, so I have, I’ve had a very East West upbringing, you know, almost like two different extremes. Um, so to this day I still consider myself a Hollywood native because those were my, my formative years were spent in Hollywood.
Bryan: (00:07:36) Wow. I love that.
Maggie: (00:07:38) Yeah. And you mentioned your father for your father, you know, Lucia was a way of life for him. Did he kind of have any plans for you to take this as a career path or was it more of like him sharing a hobby with you?
Peter: (00:07:48) It was, it was. It’s really UV is so like a lot of people have different types of dinner, table conversations, our table dinner conversations, where we show our heroes and our guests are home or like fortune tellers or martial arts, masters and Chico masters. And so those were his interests. You didn’t try to. Yeah, I there, and in fact, he tried to talk me out of having a career in entertainment or media or content oriented. I think he also had the thing that, you know, because even though he succeeded, he was just one of the seldom very, very few that actually can actually make a living that way. So he wanted me to be stable and be everything that. His life didn’t afford him, but ultimately, um, I had my own path, but it wasn’t until much, much later until that our paths would converge. And literally when you read those stories, when, when you kind of read the opening, um, How I got here would wouldn’t be a series of pivots as an entrepreneur in that I finally ended up in the place that it ended up. It just felt like that was meant to be here. So it was not something that any of us could plan for. But I would say that starting from even 10 years ago, Uh, it started to become clear because for some reason, my life would always come back to these themes, even though I wasn’t necessarily trying to be here. I thought I was, I would be in politics.
Maggie: (00:09:18) Yeah. Yeah. That is incredible. And talk about your transition, just growing up in Hollywood. How, what was going through your mind at the time? I know you were super young, but just, you know, coming from China and kind of growing up in Hollywood, what was it like for you?
Peter: (00:09:36) Well first, I mean, there was, so there was definitely a transition. I think there was, um, there was a transition, there was a language country transition, but just to correct that I was, I was born in Taiwan, which is kind of different from, from China, but don’t identify as Chinese American. So, um, The language was different. The customers was different, frankly. Um, I was a little disappointed because I thought America was supposed to look like Disneyland. Really. I had traveled to, you know, I’ve been to France, I’ve been to Paris. I’ve been to London. I’ve been to all these great capitals in the world. And I landed in the States. It’s like, wait, I thought this was, um, It was kind of a fun environment because Hollywood had a really, really fast crowd that I instantaneously bonded with. So these were like the music people, these were, um, the musicians, there were the rockers and it was kind of a really interesting place. Or I, I kind of, um, was comfortable and there was also a very diverse place there wasn’t, there’s a lot of people, I think a lot of Asian Americans had this very homogenous experience, but. I was, I was probably one of the most diverse places on earth. I met people from Korea. I bet people from our media, I met, you know, I met lots of West side Jewish friends. I had Latino friends. I had gang bang. I had gang banger friends from all types of races. So it was an incredibly diverse place that I just kind of thrived on. And, um, so I actually was able to formulate a lot of my own ideas about diversity and multiculturalism. Um, but other than liking all of those things, I was basically checked out as a student. I was, you know, I hated school.
Bryan: (00:11:30) Yeah. I mean, it’s really awesome hearing about your story and your perspective, everything. Cause you have such a. Enrichment life, you know, you’d have to travel the world and see, see everything. The most ironic thing is, and, you know, Disney land is actually in those LA so weird. Um,
Peter: (00:11:47) it would take me two years after coming to America that I would go to Disneyland. I remember first time I went to Knott’s Berry farm thinking that I was going to Disneyland,
Bryan: (00:11:59) but yeah, I’m kind of curious about like some of the stuff that you’re working on before and mortal studios, you know, I know you had such a. Long history of helping other organizations, politics and everything. I want to hear about like, That transition in different areas of your life and what led you to creating mortar studios,
Peter: (00:12:17) which I, um, but Moreno was kind of, um, I’ll just start roughly that, you know, I, um, when I graduated from college, my, my first love and commitment was in public service. Hmm. So, so I actually had the chance to be mentored by the mayor of Los Angeles. Then mayor Tom Bradley, who had just, you know, through pure luck and circumstance, I had a chance to work in his administration, which transpired into, um, Working lobbying for the city of LA after I graduated. So it was just one of those. This is a time when there was nobody who looked like me in politics, nobody who looked like us, you know, it was kind of a fluke. And I went to Washington DC and I had a chance to work on Capitol Hill as a, as a, as a very young man. And, um, I decided that I was going to come, come back to LA and eventually seek electorial office. So I came back and, um, I worked in. I worked for, um, Asian American legal advocacy for the Asian-American legal center. This is right before the, the, the LA riots. So there’s a lot of racial tensions and I got involved in doing community based mediation between African-Americans and the Korean grocers. Um, and, and also there was a lot of racial tensions around. So I was actually trained as a federal mediator when there was brewing tensions, even sometimes between the cribs and the bloods, we would be called in to provide like real, uh, mediation. So then I had a chance to go to the state Capitol. So I worked, I actually born into politics. You know, I’m going to kind of. Cut down my story a little bit, just long story short. I was ready to run for office. Um, and then I had a big awakening that number one, I didn’t want to wear a suit seven days a week. Number two, for some reason I wanted to tell stories. Then the realization came, I was running the California Senate committee on the entertainment industry then. So I was literally pointed to. Key persons in charge of making laws in relation to the industry that I saw, all my, all my political bosses, there were some of the most, the heavyweight politicians of our time. They had a really hard time getting their message out, even being in politics. What I experienced with Ashley was not being powerful, was being powerless. Part of it is, it was so hard to move public opinion. And the only place that I saw that happened was through storytelling. I just felt like there is a, there is an ease. When, when you share a story, you can actually move someone’s emotions. So after a long. Soul searching process. I gave up my suit. I said, you know what? I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I’m going to join to the entertainment industry and that furthermore, I didn’t want it just to do it. Um, on an, on onshore in America, wanted to go to China. I want to go to Asia and experience this other side of me. So there was this kind of this roots thing. So. That turned into a 20 year career where I would eventually launched seven companies, half of them in the entertainment and media businesses, I’ve learned to be a movie producer. I learned to be, um, to run investment funds and in the entertainment business, I learned everything about marketing technology. How do you run studios? I sold a few of my screenplays, so I deserved a Hollywood dream. And from, from basically, um, Just having an idea. And with the closer I got into it, the more I realized also as an entrepreneur is really about, I really cared a lot about representing, not just for political reasons, this, this, the, um, Asian. People, but I, I really fell in, I’ve always in my own different explorations as I go spend more time and I evolved a lot more in my own personal exploration. I really became a student of Eastern culture and philosophy and spirituality. I felt like really fell in love with a lot of these classical ideals that I think it’s. It’s so disowned by this modernity. And I really felt passionate about it as an equalizing force to extreme West, you know, westernization, which I think has taken our world to the brink of destruction. I don’t blame it on the Westerners. I think it’s a philosophy of, of, of growth at all, costs of not taking a balanced approach, not taking an intuitive approach. So it’s really the counterpoint to that. And, um, and, and, and, um, And the kind of entertainment that actually embodies these ideas has been, Lucia has been the Marshall hero’s genre. Um, and, um, everything I learned about brand-building everything I learned about building a studio, um, and how hard it is to, to really get content with Asian faces and ideas, front and center of it. Um, coupled with what I understood about the genre that. There’s a worldwide fan base for it, but not a home for, and then my lessons in technology and prototype being an MVP, they’d meet to really appreciate, um, how you can be very disruptive in today’s entertainment and media circles by taking the lessons of, um, Silicon Valley, such as the minimum viable product. So I put all of these things together and I eventually would form, um, in Marvel studios, which is basically. Taking the playbook out of, out of how Marvel was able to do it, which is to build an iconic, um, brand cause today’s the most successful entertainment media companies today stand for something. They stand for a psychographic, they represent a certain fandom. So you’re not trying to go from one product to the other without any kind of conductivity. So. We’re putting it all together. So it just felt like, wow, this is, I now realize they are running immortal studios. Um, I’m just, you know, one year until this latest incarnation is like, wow, it was brilliant. I was made to do this. I was born to, to build it. And there was a reason why my father gave me the lessons and, and, you know, there’s 20 year foray in all aspects of media, culture, politics, entertainment, technology, um, Including five years off walking and trekking through the Himalayas. This gave me a certain perspective that I really believe in and dying to share it with the people who care about these kinds of stories through the immortal story versus,
Bryan: (00:18:54) yeah, I love that. So a lot of good takeaways from this, you know, and just hearing about the pivots that you made along the way, it gives us a lot of inspiration because you know, a lot of us out there, especially in the Asian house. So now we’re feel like, you know, once we start a career, once you pick a path. You know, we had to stay at the path the whole time. And if, because we don’t have experience at other things, we kind of tend not to do because it’s like a psychological, we’re kind of afraid that we want you to want to do something that you might fail. Then your case is like, you know, your, your journey is much longer than most of us. And to hear that your pivot and resulted in you living this way. Fulfilling awesome career in life. It’s so inspirational for us to hear and you know, it just, it just reminds me of the fact that you just have to overcome what we think that we can’t do. You just do it, the things that we know for the things that we know we can’t, uh, well, the universe sort of helps you in some ways, right. But the units are to just kind of push it to and helps you gain more momentum. The more you want to do something that’s amazing. And hats off to you, Peter.
Maggie: (00:19:51) Yeah. I just wanted to point out that, um, I think it’s super important that you mentioned that your first love was in politics and it’s okay for anyone to pivot because although, you know, you made that pivot from politics to film and media and entertainment. Um, you found your second love, and I think, you know, you can have both, you can have two different laws, you can fall in love with two different industries, but it’s okay. To leave one for another one. And, you know, I think that it’s really inspirational, how you mentioned that, you know, you were in politics and you did get a chance to work on some, um, some of the entertainment industry and you realize that there was magic and storytelling. So it sounded like there was a seed planted from when you were working in politics, kind of, you know, honing you into the entertainment industry. And when you were teaching yourself how to like build a studio, how to produce, was this all self-taught or did you have like a mentor and a team.
Peter: (00:20:45) I have had so many different mentors, you know, from industry Titans who literally just took me off the street and, and really extended themselves. Then I think we’re all, um, beneficiaries of people who championed us and believed in us and supported us, um, even before we even saw that potential in ourselves. So even to this day, when I, when I have the chance to really just be there for somebody or stop and give somebody 30 minutes, Um, or even more, or you see something in, um, you know, you just really choose to make that investment. So I was definitely the beneficiary of that. And I continued to be, cause even, even as you move along, we still need to be championed. You know, you still need people who are gonna believe in you. Um, there’s still going to need just people to give you a Pat on the back when you least expect it.
Maggie: (00:21:35) Absolutely. And that goes a long way, for sure. Definitely. So you’ve had, you know, seven different, um, companies that you started. I would love to know just, um, the growth between those, those companies and, you know, leading up to starting a mortal studios. How did that kind of prepare you, um, in terms of, you know, starting a mortal studios and what type of challenges did you go through in those transitions?
Bryan: (00:21:58) So we’ll want to start one company and be like, I’m done. Yeah,
Peter: (00:22:03) I feel like I’m kind of, it’s like the entertainment or the movie businesses in affliction. And I think of entrepreneurial-ism as an affliction because I’m the kind of entrepreneur that when I get attacked, when I get very attached to solving a problem, or it usually comes in the form of a vision, you know, it’s, it’s like an affliction. It’s an attachment to an idea that just won’t leave you. So I have this rule of thumb that if I think about an idea every day, almost night and day for 30 days straight, it’s like God’s way of telling me, Peter, this is for you. If I don’t hit that passion, then I won’t do it. And it just so happens that I was able to get there with seven ideas, but they actually, what I, what I realized in hindsight is that our experience is built on top of each other, including especially the failures. Like, I, I would say that some of my, my most I’m talking about put her failures and, you know, like just complete wipe outs, you know, just I’ve had, I’ve had, I’ve had those as well, but it’s just like learning how to get up and learning to like pull yourself back up and believe in yourself again. Um, Does not make lethal mistakes and you myself. I see it as really building, you know, but I would say that fate also has some hand in it because things don’t always happen the way that you want it to. You know, one of my technology companies, we had a shot to be, um, to be YouTube two years before YouTube came along, you know, had we made a certain market window, um, you know, two weeks out in the market, two weeks laid out in the market. Made our series B evaporate, which caused a whole series, you know, a chain, a series of chain of events like that. I was not responsible for the first internet bubble. So that was not something that actually I could, I could have impacted, but those larger forces, you know, like you started off reading, talking this podcast that there is a career high, like in 2018, I was literally on top of the world. I was, I had come to this point in my career. I become a portfolio. Um, Kind of, I was running more of my holding company, you know, I had, I had several companies, um, that I was actively managing, but I didn’t require a full-time commitment to them anymore. So I was able to really up-level myself and I was climbing back into being an impact player, um, between States. So I had a chance to really put together this multi-billion dollar investment fund with some of the biggest political and business names to do large scale infrastructure and transformation on investing across multiple industries. So that in the us China trade war hit. Even with our political support on both sides of incredible levels within, within several months time, all the money that was raised and the investment projects that were put together, we had to return it. Well, I had, I’d made a decision that it was no longer doable. So like who would have thought something like that, that Donald Trump would come along and disrupt, um, this large vibrant cross border kind of activities that I really devoted myself to doing. So that was like the first. Thing out of my control. So I, then I focused on my, my, my holding companies. I had, I had a studio which would later become immortal studios, but by then it was more focused on, on doing movies in the Le in the Chinese language space. And then I also had a Hollywood production company that was focused on, um, uh, different, you know, global projects between Hollywood and China. And within one year’s time, the trade Wars would trigger, um, strong policy back policy backlashes from China that would render that company completely. It was wiped out by, by a change of, in the political environment. So again, who would have thought. There’s no way that I could have predicted. So all of the, all of our hardware assets, our IP, all of our projects, our contracts, I had to, I had to basically write down that business to focus on mortal. So. And when I focused on early stage Memorial, then the policy environment would change in China, such that, and all of three of my major business partners, which were the biggest media companies in China, they went bankrupt or they wrote down their, their, um, commitment to the industry. So that business was no longer available. Then I had to make a decision what I was going to do next. So this is when I took what was the original idea of Memorial studios now? Um, you know, I have spent my life savings trying to salvage and getting to this point that I had to basically write down significant assets and investments of time and energy. And then I took that little idea back to the U S um, and then I would, I would come home. I’m like, my dad would, would pass away. No due to cancer. So when I found out he had cancer to saying goodbye had basically less than two months to say goodbye, and this was. The time when I started to formulate an idea to take this inkling of the Marvel studios, to build a universe for, for this Lucia content, the story verse that what I’m doing today. So, you know, from, from 2018, thinking that I would be a, you know, incredibly transformational fund manager. Into running these different assets into running a content company in China into coming back to the States, losing my dad, um, and then acquiring his library, putting together the funding, ready to launch a mortal studios in the beginning of 2020 with some major backing again, and then have it all pulled away because of COVID.
Bryan: (00:28:03) Yeah, that’s tough.
Peter: (00:28:05) So. It was like, it was like five or six body blows within, within months of each other. Um, so, but I’m not, this is not supposed to be a sad story, but I think this is what happens in life. And this is what entrepreneurs, when you have a dream and when you really put yourself out there, this is, those are the kinds of things that we’re up against. But the beauty and the magic of this story is like, Because, because I’ve all of these different pivots and transformations that I became super crystal clear about what it is, you know, that we have an opportunity to do. And, you know, I didn’t expect COVID to happen. I didn’t expect that all of a sudden people who look like us to be under attack, we didn’t expect to be pariahs in my own country, but this is also a time of awakening of inclusion and that. By virtue of what we’re doing, which has the opportunities to represent Asians on, on global scale and popular culture. And entertainment is like you with a heroic and intrusive theme. It’s like, how cool is that to be able to serve that? So that was kind of the. And that’s the kind of the market opportunity, not just even, it’s a human opportunity that we’re just so honored to be leaning into. So it was like through this series of pivots and these things that got me to this point. So my story is pivot, pivot, pivot again, and try it again. And you know what, somehow through all of these influences and parents, I, I got to do something that I felt like I was meant to do.
Bryan: (00:29:41) Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Very very touching story, you know, and you basically described the entrepreneur journey in a nutshell, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a tough journey and it really, he tests is as you really want this in your passion. And obviously like, you’re very passionate about your work. And I think it reflects through the story that you just told, you know? And I think that it’s a, it’s a great. Let’s do a reality check for all of us is sort of think of as they’re going through our own journeys and you know, is this entrepreneur journey in the right path for us and on top of that, you know, in city, right.
Peter: (00:30:18) I bet you, you don’t have a choice. Yeah. You have a choice, but. When you’re looking at it and just like, I feel like that’s where these are amazing because you know, you’re called by something.
Bryan: (00:30:32) Yeah. It’s a tough journey. Even for us too. Like some days you wake up and like, why wouldn’t you do this herself? But some days it’s just like, it’s the best rewarding thing ever, because you’re seeing an impact that you make in the world. You’re seeing your vision come true. You’re pushing you out a new reality, which is the most rewarding thing. And I know you’re building a universe. And immortal studios. Can you talk quickly a bit about your characters that you created a universe that you’re going to create or have created because you want to learn more about that, be able to support you in your vision?
Peter: (00:31:01) Well, First of all for Rashaan lovers, there’s actually like four or five different sub genres that people like, whether if you like Bruce Lee or you’ve like you’re into the karate kid, that’s more grounded kind of thing. Or you like a crouching tiger, hidden dragon where the powers are more fantastical or you’re kind of in an immortal world or you’re in a journey to the Westworld. Well, what I’ve done is I’ve actually put together a story verse. Filled with different characters that are interconnected, that represent these four big quadrants that historically have never been put together like this before. I’ve also acquired my dad’s entire library of 63 books that has thousands of characters. So I often say like on our team, we have the former editor in chief of Marvel now. The head of publishing from DC. So we’ve actually, we’re able to bring these guys like the industry Titans, but I always say to them, look, you guys have nothing on what we’re doing at Memorial, because we have thousands of characters. We have the 63 titles, and we’re basically now readapting these stories with a modern backdrop, because one of my biggest beefs about these kinds of stories is that you often think that always happens in ancient China and ancient Asia somewhere. It has no bearing for the modern world where it’s like, we’re going to change that. No, we’re basically readapting these stories for a completely brand new audience. So I’ve created a few stories and I’m in the process of adapting my dad’s. And by the time, you know, two years from now, we would have launched 10 different series. That’s going to lay the foundation for everything else that we’re going to do in movies, television games, immersive themed, entertainment, and lifestyle. So. Really labor committed to using these stories, to awakening the hero. And everybody we touch is I think it’s really about that. But our journey is going to be a lot more specific on how you could pull yourself up, how you can believe in yourself and how to follow your dreams. Um, so those are like the lessons that I’ve learned along the way, because, because without it, I would have been, I would have been falling. So in some ways I’ve kind of. You know, I’m living, I’m living proof that you can do it.
Bryan: (00:33:18) Yeah. I’d love that. And it might be a weird request, but we want to request to be a character. And so your universe it looks like me.
Peter: (00:33:31) Um, I think we talked a little bit about this and one of the things that we’re really excited about leaning into is representing the diverse range of Asian faces experiences. Aesthetics. You know, because it really takes more than one part, two part three part four part five part. It really takes like a whole story verse. It takes, this has taken us thousands of years to get to this point. And one of the biggest beefs I have with being underrepresented is because whatever you come out with has the responsibility of making everybody happy, which is just not possible. Well, if you consider that the world is 60% Asian and that if you look, if you rely on mainstream Western press to think to look at it, you would think that it’s about 1%, which is kind of a dangerous thing. If you think about it. Um, not just from a political or cultural point of view, it’s just that people are severely, um, it’s not reflective of realities. Is that reflective of where the world, what the world really looks like. And that’s a very, I think that’s a very important thing. So.
Maggie: (00:34:36) Absolutely. I just wanted to thank you for sharing that. I think, you know, about what we were talking about before, how we’re in such a difficult time. I think it’s, um, pretty much needed for us to have these, you know, stories and comics to refer to, to kind of like. Like you said reawaken and their inner hero. Right? Because for the kids that are out there, and even if they aren’t kids for anyone, who’s just a reader for them to find inspiration from these stories. It’s just so important to see people who look like them, right. Is just so inspiring. Inspirational, because we don’t see that all the time. And we definitely need more of that. Um, which is why I want to learn about like the creative process that you go through to kind of like bring these stories to life. And if there was like one specific inspiration, whether that’d be like a thing or a person that really was inspiration behind a mortal studios or these stories overall,
Peter: (00:35:29) well, it’s both, you know, my, my father obviously has been a massive inspiration because he taught me. The ropes through reading him, um, traveling through these ancient mountains of China. And, you know, I’ve had a chance to work directly with the top where you’re amongst of the Shaolin temple, which is where the come through was born. And I’ve had the benefit of working directly with a lot of real profound masters who are extraordinary. So they’ve all inspired me. So I’m treated like, like fiction. I treated it as reality. I treated it as truth. Um, so it’s just really, you know, it’s the consequence of it, all of these different experiences. And then when I sit down to create a story or I’m adapting a story that it just kind of, the inspiration just comes. Um, and now it’s, um, now it’s also collaborating with it with a tremendous team that we’ve assembled of. Other writers, other creators and artists and visualizers. So all of it really coming together, I would just give a pitch for, for the comic medium, because I come from traditional entertainment. You know, it, it sometimes takes, well, first of all, most movies, people develop, never get made, you know, If you’re lucky, if you make 5% of the movies you actually develop. So 95% of the other stories, you’ll never be seen, they’re still born. They’re sitting in a pile somewhere and they’ll never be made. It’s incredibly frustrating. And then the ones that get made takes takes you 10 years. And if you’re lucky, millions and millions of dollars and so many different chefs in the kitchen, but the purity of, of going to this comic as a minimum viable product is that, you know, the ideas that I had last year were already down in the market. Yeah. So the beauty of that, and, uh, in the, in the process of doing this, uh, I’ve actually become a creator of my own, right up until this point. I just been a producer or a CEO, but, um, in fact, the book that I wrote that I adapted from my favorite book written by my father called Chronicles of the Memorial sportsman, I was just launched on Kickstarter. Um, we use Kickstarter as a way to activate our initial fan base. So it was launched two weeks ago and it was funded within the first day, announced, trending to be a popular a comic. And I’m also very proud of the fact that this comic starts stars an Asian, young, Asian man in a time when you don’t see these kinds of faces, not just for Asian kids, but I think it’s very important for me that. That other people who are not used to seeing Asian faces in Harati and main parts, um, get used to that as well. Cause I think that’s part of what we want to share, not just for our fellow Asians, but we want to take the message to everybody. I’m also very proud that I first started with starring an Asian woman. Um, yeah, so it’s for the representing, and it’s not just a racial thing. It’s also a gender thing. It’s a psychographic theme, you know, so we’re very proud of the beginning that we’ve had and we’re still, you know, incredibly young. So, you know, we’re, we’re basically two stories than two are probably a hundred story universe. So my hope and goal is that, you know, five years, when we sit down and have this conversation, we’ll have theme parks by then.
Bryan: (00:38:56) Yeah, I love that. Not that.
Maggie: (00:38:58) And congratulations on your Kickstarter. amazing. Yes. Um, and you know, obviously the Lucia genre has a storied history in the East and has had a past and present influence in the West. How do you ensure that you continue to maintain, um, that influence as well as to like elevate it and modernize it during this time?
Peter: (00:39:22) Well, first of all, I think it has to be authentic because, because I am, I’m also a martial artist myself and I’ve learned, and I know enough to know that I don’t know anything. But even, even within it, cause right now martial arts or Lucia is almost created by people who are, who liked the genre, but they’re, they’re taking their notes from say something they saw that was made in the seventies, or, you know, they’re inspired by another film. There’s nothing wrong with that. But like we take our, we take our inspiration from the legends, from the source material, from the practitioners themselves, from the, from, you know, the, the. The real practitioners and solid ideas and going back to like the founding ideas of how these come to be. So we’re bringing it into a real authentic point of view that I think is very much missing. That’s why people were saying, Oh, it’s chop Saki. Or they give it a lot of pejorative names, but they don’t know that it’s actually, it’s an incredibly bottom. You know, it’s an incredibly aspirational, beautiful philosophical, romantic, um, transformational body of knowledge and work. That is life-changing. So that is really our perspective. And, and I think, um, during this moment of darkness and transition for humanity, everybody is looking for an immediate driven world. We get our meaning. We get our energy from stories and media. Okay, but which media companies really going out, doing, thinking of that, you know, I want to tell stories that inspire people’s souls. I want to tell stories that would transform you, you know, that would give you a hiking and support you and give you kind of a roadmap to unleashing your own dreams. Like that’s my vision for, for the Lucia that we’re telling for this this moment. And that’s why I think we can be incredibly compelling in the public square of ideas today.
Maggie: (00:41:16) Amazing. I love that answer. And Peter, we have one last question for you, and that is what, what advice could you give to an aspiring entrepreneur and how would you advise them to reawaken their hero?
Peter: (00:41:30) Um, why not? I think that simple one is just a really, really to give yourself permission to dream, you know, really believe in yourself, go out there and try it. And try it. And, uh, I would say, uh, and surround yourself with amazing people who believe in you, who are going to support you. But first you just have to give yourself that and you just have to give yourself permission. To go out there and to be bold, to dream and to not worry about how it’s going to happen. Because in my experience, as a, as a, as a Chinese Chinese kids would have no political friends who didn’t even know how it was going to get into politics. It was just really believing that somehow was going to happen and daring to in Pelzer long enough for, you know, the world to catch up.
Maggie: (00:42:20) Amazing. Thank you so much, Peter. And how can our listeners find out more about you and, uh, mortal studios online?
Peter: (00:42:26) Um, for people who like what we’re doing, I would say go to our website, immortal-studios.com. If you’re interested in backing our projects, go to Kickstarter and look for Chronicles of the immortal swordsman. I’m also known as intern futurist on Insta. Um, those are, I think, enough handles.
Bryan: (00:42:47) Yeah. Awesome.
Maggie: (00:42:49) Well, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today, Peter. It was amazing.
Bryan: (00:42:53) Thank you, Peter. Appreciate you. And I’ll see you around and especially on clubhouse.
Peter: (00:42:59) Thank you for this time, by the way. I’ve never talked about this pivot, pivot, pivot, pivot again. So that’s, um, that that’s all brand new. So thank you for letting me process my life in this, in this special way today.
Bryan: (00:43:11) Thank you, Peter. You’re definitely inspiration to all of us. Appreciate you
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