It’s a step in the “write” direction as Mediacorp and Wattpad sign off on first word-to-screen adaptation providing national launchpad for promising new novelists
Singapore, 4 December 2019 – Mediacorp, Singapore’s largest content creator and national media network, has picked up its inaugural English-language scripted series sourced from Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories.
Both companies will collaborate to develop Wattpad hit Slow Dancing into a six-episode series under the umbrella of Mediacorp’s ongoing Lights. Camera. Singapore. showcase of Singapore storytelling across mediums like movies, musicals and now, the written word. Slow Dancing was conceptualised by a Singapore-based 25-year-old woman who writes under her preferred pseudonym Noelle (@Hepburnettes).
Formalised today at a contract-signing ceremony at the 2019 Asia TV Forum & Market, the project is part of a deal to develop Wattpad works for Singapore screens, a partnership previously announced in April this year. This alliance is aligned with Mediacorp’s mission to create compelling content by tapping talent from creative communities beyond broadcasting, and serves as a springboard to nurture next-gen storytellers.
This collaboration marries Mediacorp’s production prowess with Wattpad’s editorial expertise and data-driven approach to identifying stories for screen. Deploying data gathered by Wattpad, the companies aim to earmark exceptional entries from Singapore scribes with the potential to resonate with cosmopolitan consumers. Slow Dancing is a bona fide global blockbuster, boasting more than 9.5 million reads to date and nearly 400,000 votes from fans all over the world, with author Noelle (@Hepburnettes) having amassed more than 243,000 followers and 45.7 million reads from her 17 story submissions on Wattpad.
Noelle, Wattpad author of Slow Dancing, said: “I’m thrilled and very privileged to be a part of this collaboration between Mediacorp and Wattpad. I hope that this new venture will give more visibility to aspiring Singaporean writers, regardless of the medium in which they write in.”
Audiences can anticipate a drama series adaptation of Slow Dancing that hews true to the novel’s narrative and its universally relatable themes of love, longing and loss. Arising from the aftermath of a catastrophic car crash that has temporarily blinded the billionaire Kaden, the plot centres on plucky protagonist Isla, who has been smitten with the suave swain since his mesmerising masterclass on slow dancing at her sweet sixteenth soiree. In the present, Isla attends to the ailing Kaden with a dose of deception – by banking on his blindness to pose as his partner.
Tasked to transpose this thrilling tale to Singapore screens are the best-in-class in behind-the-reel talent. With production by Mediacorp Studios slated for March 2020, the series will be spearheaded by supervising executive producer Tan Wei-Lyn, whose assorted accolades include Best Singapore Soap/Telenovela at the Asian Academy Creative Awards for the longest-running local longform drama Tanglin in 2018 and the ongoing domestic longform drama Kin in 2019. Also onboard is head writer Lillian Wang, who has worked on numerous television series like the aforementioned Tanglin as well as Faculty, the Best Asian Drama recipient at Asia Contents Awards 2019. Wattpad’s Aron Levitz and Eric Lehrman, producers of the international sensation and People’s Choice-winning film After, and Hulu’s Emmy-nominated hit Light as a Feather, will also produce the project.
Dexter Ong, Head of Asia, Wattpad Studios said: “With a page-turning mix of mystery, suspense and romance, Slow Dancing has built an international fanbase, connecting with readers all over the world on Wattpad. We’re thrilled to work with Mediacorp to turn the story into a series that can find new fans everywhere.”
Sapna Angural, Head, English Audience, Mediacorp said: “This deal demonstrates Mediacorp’s dedication to the regular reinvigoration of our content, this time via the way we source for stories that speak to our shared Singapore spirit. The production of Slow Dancing with Wattpad signals the start of an exciting endeavour to equip fledgling writers with a launchpad to make their mark, at home and beyond.”
Poised to premiere in August 2020, Slow Dancing will be streamed on-demand for free on Mediacorp’s digital entertainment service Toggle (to be renamed meWATCH from January 2020); as well as made available on Mediacorp Channel 5.
Communications Specialist, Mediacorp
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