We had the good fortune of connecting with Peter Shiao and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peter, how does your business help the community?
In our media driven world I believe that any time a content producer intentionally makes choices for the benefit of their audience, however that is defined, it is an act of positive social impact. My company, Immortal Studios, recognizes that stories, ideas, images and characters shape our perceptions and realities either positively or negatively.
For us, it is about telling stories that awaken the inner heroes of everyone we touch, and then empowering them to heed their inner voices. If it happens that our stories have legs – then the impact can happen on global scale.
Also, as a company that is focused on the genre of Wuxia (martial arts-fantasy), that is natively Chinese, another contribution that is important to us is the representation and inclusion of Asian culture and faces to global culture.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My company, Immortal Studios, is “rebooting” the timeless genre of Wuxia (martial arts fantasy) through our own interconnected storyverse that is bringing together all the varying influences of this genre. These stories are first published as comics from a mixture of adaptations from my father, Shiao Yi’s, extensive body of work as well as my own creations.
Although there are many wuxia stories out there, our effort is unique in that we are modernizing the genre by depicting our current world as the backdrop with a diverse range of voices. At the same time we are also going back into the themes of heroism, empowerment and spirituality that are the founding ideals of the genre that has been obscured as of late. This, together with a shared universe approach between all the stories makes us quite unique.
Outside of our vision, mission and creative approaches – I am equally proud of our strategy and business model in bringing the best of Silicon Valley and Hollywood practices and technologies together. Ultimately, we are building a nimble company that through prototyping and the use of comics as a minimum viable product (MVP), is changing how franchises are made while engaging our users in every aspect of the whole process from story, behind the scenes to ownership of the company.
It is a little mind boggling to think that we have an opportunity to write a new chapter in this unbroken Wuxia tradition, and can help re-introduce it to the world anew.
Personally, the opportunity to posthumously collaborate with my father from stories that I literally grew up with, and to step up myself with my own reflections and ideas on what these stories could mean for our world is a sacred honor.
Even though this is a new venture, it feels like it is something that I have been readying myself for my entire life. It has been an adventure of a life time personally and professionally to get to this point when we are now publishing these stories that have been swimming in my head for so long.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much here and I’d start with the Pacific tour from Kanan road, take it from the 101 to PCH, up to Point Dume complete with surfing, hiking, and end with drinks at The Sunset Restaurant all within 100 yards of each other. Take PCH down south again, stopping at Joffrey’s, Nobu in Malibu, stopping to meditate and visit the Self Realization Lake Shrine where some of Ghandi’s ashes are kept (and the Pavilion of the world’s religions), and then to Venice to get a slice at Abbot’s Habit after going to a drumming circle. There is the whole downtown scene – especially the Arts District, theater row to visit many of the old grand venues, catching the view of the city from atop the balcony of City Hall, hot pot at Shabu Shabu House in little Tokyo, drive into Boyle Heights across the LA River Bank, and finish off things with a down home dinner at Chinese Friends Restaurant in Chinatown – and catch a glimpse of the studio that Bruce Lee taught at on College Ave. Historic Hollywood is yet another favorite haunt. A walking tour of Hollywood starting from the Cinerama Dome, to the Casa Blanca style McDonalds restaurant, up Vine Street, westward on Hollywood Blvd to catch all the kitsch and underbelly of this town, feasting on lamb’s kidneys at Musso & Franks, walking over to see the handprints Chinese Theater, a sprint up the hill to catch a nighttime concert at the Hollywood Bowl, capped off with a view of the LA skyline from the Griffifth Observatory. There really is so much – but I will let it go at this for now. LA’s rich texture and fabrics are to be savored experientially. It is literally a different world between every exit off the freeway.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I give the shoutout to my father/mentor Shiao Yi who shared his love for Wuxia (martial arts-fantasy) with me, taught me the value of vision and then the spine to stand for that no matter what.
Immortal Studios, Inc.