This could be said about Benetone Hillin Entertainment, an international production company based in Los Angeles and Bangkok that’s creating a new business template for international production. Created by the merging of Thailand production companies Benetone Films and Hillin Entertainment USA, Benetone Hillin is now into a one-stop shop for everything production related in the United States and Asia. The international production and servicing company relies on the strategic partnership of Santa Monica-based President of Production Daemon Hillin, who oversees the company’s domestic arm, and CEO Rachvin Narula and COO Kulthep Narula, the brothers who operate Benetone Films in Thailand.
Shooting in foreign countries can be a daunting proposition for producers unfamiliar with local laws, incentives, crew and equipment availability or weather conditions. Benetone Hillin can allay fears as it exudes fearlessness to bring international production to Southeast Asia and making the experience positively unforgettable. Along with Benetone Films, the company has line produced over 75 feature films and 600 TV commercials, and its professional team and services put producers at ease by making the production process easy and comfortable. Benetone Hillin Entertainment also understands the complexities of shooting. The company can handle range of productions from multimillion-dollar projects to smaller single-camera interviews. It also knows the best incentives and how to manage them in various states to give filmmakers the maximum value. The company can put together the best professional crew for each job to ensure that filmmakers can complete projects within budget and on time.
Hillin is very passionate about his work with Benetone Hillin. Formerly involved in finance and real estate, Hillin lost everything when the market crashed and this led to him taking a different career path. “I came to L.A., slept on a wooden floor in a small apartment and put my feelers out there,” Hillin recalls. “I had a real estate investor come to me and say, ‘Hey, I want to be in film and TV and I don’t know what to do.’ So he gave me a big chunk of money on a handshake and said, ‘Let’s do something.’ I ended up buying my own camera package, my own sound package, and then I made my first documentary about roping around. I later came to the conclusion I have no clue what I’m doing. So I went to go work for a producer for free for three years to understand how to package a movie, how to sell a movie, how to raise funding for a movie, what makes a movie work, sellable and interest people to come in and join your team.”
When Hillin felt ready to do the job, he formed Helin Entertainment through which he met the professionals at Benetone Films on a mutual film project, The Stranger in Paradise. When the production was set to shoot in Thailand, Hillin was brought in to explain the equity side of the filmmaking process — and this was the start of their great partnership. “We have the same way of thinking and the same energy, respect, dignity and honor,” says Hillin. “A lot of it has been about a handshake and having trust, and from that we formed Benetone Hillin Entertainment. [It’s] probably one of the best days of my life.”
Benetone already had a reputation for being a very strategic business, and it was gearing to elevate the company to the next level. “Benetone has been around for 12 years, and we also have a great partnership with almost every equipment rental company, soundstage and postproduction house for producers,” explains Rachvin Narula. “We have branched out in producing our own projects. That’s why we got involved with Daemon. We are very rare. Not very many companies do what we do by producing and providing production assistance.” Hillin also sees the company’s novelty. “What we have in Thailand I haven’t found it anywhere else,” says Hillin. “I’ve made movies all over the United States, and the best time I ever had making films was in Thailand. [There’s] been flooding, [so] we have been under meters of water and [the Thailand crew] have been so cool, calm and collected in how they handle every situation. I’ve always been able to deliver on time and on budget, and my actors have always been super happy. It’s been an incredible experience.”
Benetone Hillin Entertainment currently manages 50+ people from all areas of the production process in Thailand. When a producer or director wants to shoot in Thailand, Benetone Hillin can handle any logistical issue in question, including locations, equipment, stage space, government issues, hotels and more. The company will facilitate everything from prep to actual physical production. With such assured services offered to filmmakers, the future is limitless for Benetone Hillin Entertainment. “We are really looking to do bigger and bigger budgeted films, like my favorite movies The Lord of the Rings and Gladiator,” says Hillin. “We’re talking epic. In order to get there, you have to be very efficient with what you have in order to progress to the next level. Right now we are very happy where we are, but we are definitely looking to grow.” For more information on Benetone Hillin Entertainment, visit www.benetonehillin.com.