FOUNDER & CEO, ORB MEDIA GROUP
BY SHERRY DEAN CURRERI
Unity for the entire planet is the bold concept behind Peter Shiao’s new entertainment company Orb Media Group. “What we’re developing is a new type of entertainment studio, one that is built on a foundation that utilizes the most innovative trends in technology in the world today. Our vision is to bring together the Western world that is characterized as the U.S. and the Eastern world that is defined by China. By the blending of these two cultures, we will create a perennial society that represents the best of both worlds.”
The founder of Orb Media was born in Taiwan and raised in California by parents from Mainland China. Shiao’s focus for his company’s future is to integrate all things that are Shaolin, the 5th century Chinese Monastery famous for its association with Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin Kung Fu, and Zen (Chan in Chinese) Buddhism. “We have multiple movies, animation, games and lifestyle products in development. Now our goal is to build an entire ocean of content within this one institution. Currently, one of the movies we’re producing is about the story of a Shaolin monk, who exits the temple and enters the world of American Mixed Martial Arts fighting.” It’s a project that personifies Shaio’s vision for his company.
Creators at Orb are working on a 3D application for Shaolin Kung Fu to teach the martial art discipline in a very accessible way. “Now people will be able to practice a minute of Shaolin Kung Fu each day. There is a lot of fanfare, legend and mythology around these legendary techniques. We’re putting them into a modern technological setting, where people can utilize and gain the benefits from incorporating these methods into their daily lives. There will be social games that allow for massive multiplayer online role playing. In addition, we’re looking closely at the virtual world and pulled from Shaolin’s 1,500 years of history in dealing with the mind, the body and how to do things in such a way that bring them together in a more cohesive manner.”
Shiao comes to the world of entertainment from a varied background. His distinguished resume includes working for former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. It was at this time he became a community organizer in South Central Los Angeles, prior to the tragic riots in 1992. Later, he consulted for the California State Senate, serving on committees dealing with the entertainment industry, rebuilding the Los Angeles community and looking towards the Pacific Rim for business opportunities. “I trained as a mediator and partnered with the Federal Justice Department to provide mediation to help defuse the racial tensions that were brewing in L.A. at the time. The idea of harmonizing, bringing divergent sides together is exactly what I am now in the process of undertaking.”
After leaving politics, he tapped into his gift of storytelling, following in the footsteps of his father Shiao Yi, a well-known martial arts fantasy writer. In 2002, Shiao founded Celestial Pictures and began producing his first films. He quickly became recognized as a pioneer in the now white-hot world of Hollywood- Chinese co-productions, by chairing the first U.S.-China Film Industry Summit, first in 1995 and again in 2010. Then in 1998, an- other career milestone occurred for this industry visionary with the release of Restless, the first official U.S.-China co-produced movie.
The overall motivation for Shaio’s success is to “produce films that will enhance your well-being and increase your sense of joy and satisfaction with everyday life. And, provide alternatives that aid in your ability to stay present, healthy and functional. We’re in the midstages of incorporating these holistic practices into re- petitive game play that we will be known for around the world.”