May 4-2016
When you work based on passion, your craft would simply be enjoyable: Sparky Animation, CEO, Kok Cheong Wong

Since its establishment in 2006, Sparky Animation has gone out to become a reputed name in the animation industry today and has produced some remarkable animation content. Known for its quality and on time delivery, Sparky Animation has turned out to be one of the most sought after animation companies in Asia.

Sparky is an animation company that established itself in 2006. Projects that they deal in, come in a wide range of genres, mostly with an International appeal. The company is experienced in handling co-productions/co-investments, work-for-hire and creation of original content.

They have been consistent and competent in delivering good quality work, precisely on time and have a team each in Singapore, Malaysia and recently in India.

Sparky Animation founder and CEO, Kok Cheong Wong (KC Wong), shares a few thoughts about his company with AnimationXpress. He’s the main person who has waded the company through a successful run, for the past ten years to what it is today.

“We have started operations in Chennai, India as of October 2015. We have serious plans to potentially grow the company to a considerable size, for the long haul, but we are more inclined towards the recruitment of dedicated talents who hold real production experience,” says KC Wong about his plans for India. “Besides being a full-fledged animation company, we also have a dedicated gaming department which focuses on game development for some of our properties. The company also plans on imparting some of our management skills, systems and knowledge to the team in India, in order to manage the production pipeline effectively. We aim to inculcate the team with such traits, in hopes of promoting an international appeal to our Indian counterpart.”  

Sparky Entertainment KC Wong

Sparky Animation, founder and CEO, Kok Cheong Wong (KC Wong)

Starting out as a startup, Sparky Animation has so far produced many shows, some that are already being or soon to be aired on the world’s best broadcasters such as PBS (USA), Disney (UK), TVO, NBC and many others. The shows include co-production projects such as Dinosaur Train, outsourced service projects such as Doc McStuffins, Direct-to-DVD features like Veggie Tales: Huckleberry, and even series’ for TV and the Internet namely, Freej Quiz Show: The Book of Riddles.

With these many shows under its hood, the question of how they’ve managed to wade the company from a startup to where it is now, arises.

A humble KC Wong says, “It is a blend of everything. Hard work, detailed analysis of the market, identifying apt resources, capability of acquiring and marketing work, a good financial backing and the constant effort to maintain professionalism. 

There is always a need to strive for the best, but plan for the worst. This is where a solid financial backing comes in play. It is imperative to strike a balance between IP investments and service work. IP investments tend to promote higher returns with service work, although we don’t get to enjoy the back-end profits, they certainly do lighten the load from our daily costs.”

KC Wong believes that there’s a growing potential for animation studios in South East Asia. Over here, there’s the advantage of hiring affordable resources from a decent pool of talents. As far as productivity and creativity are concerned, there are a handful of studios in SEA that are comparable to the likes of players on the international platform.

Sparky Entertainment team“The culture and practices in South East Asian countries give them more exposure to interesting epics, myths and ancient manuscripts, which gives us an equal standing in creating interesting concepts.”

Many animation production houses eventually plan to venture into producing a feature film. Sparky Animation too has business plans for that, however “it will take time, as we need to carry out meticulous planning in terms of an artistically aesthetic appeal and a viable business proposition, for the theatrical feature, especially since it will be our first venture.”

KC Wong further elaborates and goes on to mention that for an animator to lead a successful career in this field, he/she should know their job well. More specifically, animators should be proficient in the software they work on and should be able to address issues and glitches easily. Of course, it comes with experience, but the constant urge to acquire knowledge will help them get there faster.

Creativity and observation are a couple of other important factors. He further adds that any good animator should know how to strike a balance between artistic demands and business practicality. The artist needs to be conscious in terms of genuinely believing the rationale behind what needs to be pushed, and what needs to be held back, based on the show’s requirements and not on the artist’s personal preferences.

The animation field, by itself is a stressful field, with enormous work to be churned out in close deadlines, which can hamper creativity to a certain extent. “There is no work without stress. However, at Sparky we look to identify and recruit only those who are extremely passionate towards the field,” adds KC Wong. “When you work based on passion, your craft would simply be enjoyable. The more you enjoy your work, the less stressful you feel.

In addition, as long as the artists have a strong support system from the company (from the executives, management and production teams), stability and the knowledge that their job is secured, it’ll definitely boost their confidence and this will transform their stress into a positive energy instead.”

Where there is a positive approach, there is always an opportunity for success and with that lesson for the budding entrepreneurs, KC Wong wishes luck to the artists and we hope he achieves greater heights with his new studio in India.