The groundbreaking. The stunning. The exceptional.
All start with a personal obsession.
TV Man Union was founded by a team of 25 producers and directors on February 25, 1970, to explore the possibilities of television and what the medium meant to each of them. It was Japan’s first independent TV production company. It has created TV programming in every genre from dramas and documentaries to quiz shows. It has also produced movies, music, and even works for the stage.
Every year, TV Man Union wins multiple prestigious prizes on the domestic awards circuit for TV shows aired in Japan. We’ve always produced programming with a global perspective. In the 1970s, when it was still rare for Japanese to travel abroad, our crews ventured overseas to film on location as we started making TV shows that acquainted Japanese audiences with the wider world. One of them was Discovery of the World’s Mysteries on the TBS network, which hit the airwaves in 1986. It’s still going strong almost 40 years later.
In 2003, we purchased the program format for the worldwide hit show Test the Nation from its Dutch creator Eyeworks. We pitched the format to one of Japan’s major broadcasters, TV Asahi, and produced the Japanese version.
Meanwhile, we expanded into the movie business with the production of the 1995 feature film Maborosi directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Many of the movies made by TV Man Union have been selected for international film festivals and netted awards.
We’re a Japanese content creator that is always connected to the world.
Ensuring Our Creative Our Independence as Producers
TV Man Union is a production creative team for of producers and directors. We believe that to be an independent produceras creatives, we should each be a proprietor as well. Hence TV Man Union’s producers creatives are also shareholders in the company. We’re each personally involved in the creative process, management, and ownership. The goal is to ensure our creative independence as producers. And forge a collective of producers and directors who respect each other’s ideas, beliefs, dignity, and creative freedom.
Safeguarding Our Creative Integrity
TV Man Union has its own distinctive membership system. There is no seniority or lifetime employment as at the typical Japanese company. Members all enjoy equal status as they each pursue what they want to do. We sign a contract with the company every year, and our salary is performance-based. That’s because we’re committed to being a team of professionals.
The members have come together as a team to establish a better environment for fulfilling their creative potential. Three principles are observed in running the organization: collective decision-making, equality, and division of functions. The following rules have been established based on these principles:
1. Policies on running the organization will be decided by the full membership at a general meeting.
2. The company’s principals, including the president, will be elected by the members every two years.
3. Members can choose their own projects and create their own work, without waiting for instructions.
How can we best safeguard our creative integrity? What form of organization is best suited to that purpose? Together, through trial and error, we continue our quest for the answer.
We value one thing above all else: having something to achieve. That’s the starting point of all we do.