New co-production models for Asian animation studios debated at HKFF

– Anil Wanvari

What are the new models for co-production for animation studios in Asia? Well, that was the question raised at the HK Film Festival session which had four specialists from Hongkong, China, Singapore and France respectively.

Well, the key theme that came through was that while culture is very localised, the increasing trend should be towards producing content which appeals to global audiences. “It was American culture which dominated the world and the world of animation at one time because it was all pervasive,” said Hong Kong based Sanrio Digital CEO Yat Siu. “It’s no longer the same and thankfully so. Today Japanese animation is becoming a part of the global culture too. It has gone from becoming a cottage industry to mainstream; it has become a culture of sorts.”

“One model that worked for us,” said French studio Teamto president& CEO Guillaume Hellouin. “We produced our last animation Zack and Zuick with a south Korean animation studio it’s quality was world class as good as in Hollywood. We told them we will write and direct, we will share the animation part. To show to the global audience we have to share culture and work cross nationally. The advantage is the more you produce globally, the more you get a vision of the world.”

“We have to have international themes,” says Shenzhen based IDMT chairman Jin Guo Ping. “We don’t understand western culture, they don’t understand, our culture and our humour. We will have to find ways to understand each other.” His company produced the mega The Mobius Strip.

Singapore based Scrawl Studios executive producer Wong Chi Kong says: “The internet is offering a great way to work on coprods. You can make in 3d or 2d. Currently, it is 2D flash which is popular on the web; in the future you could have bandwidth to permit 3D. The world is our playground. The internet offers a great way to do collaborative work.”

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