The state of Asia’s film industry and the emergence of Transmedia



- Singapore - Hong Kong - Philippines

THE ASIAN SCREEN is an ongoing series of industry reports on the media and entertainment market in the Greater China & South-East Asian region by Haexagon Concepts, a Hong Kongbased creative think tank and transmedia workshop.


March 2013


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TRENDS IN ASIA Siggraph Asia 2012 Screen Singapore 2012 HONG KONG Heiward Mak and the art of Microfilm as advertisements Zombie Guillotines - A stealth Transmedia extension PHILIPPINES The Grave Bandits - 1st look CASE STUDY #1 Triad CASE STUDY #2 Galaman REFERENCES CREDITS/CONTACT


All texts and images (those in the reference section excluded) are material originally created by Haexagon Concepts and cannot be reprinted without the permission of Haexagon Concepts or the original content owners.

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In 2012, Haexagon Concepts participated in such events as Filmart, Barcamp HK, Social Media Week, Power to the Pixel, Marseille Webfest, Pifan NAFF Film Lab 2012, several Google+ Talks/Hangouts (including Sundance New Media Disruptors and others). Near the end of the year, the team also had the pleasure of attending SIGGRAPH Asia and Screen/ATF in Singapore just before working on the premiere of The Grave Bandits at the Metro Manila New Wave Film Festival. As games are becoming a bigger part of the entertainment industry (DFC Intelligence forecasts that the global market for video games is expected to grow from $67 billion in 2012 to $82 billion in 2017, including $10 billion and potentially more from Mainland China) and the special effects/CGI sector of the film industry, it was important for Haexagon to figure out what new developments existed in the tech and gaming industry worldwide and its influence over Asia at SIGGRAPH. Likewise, it was also important to conduct initial contacts with the existing quality SFX studios that excel in the region, as well as the artists and engineers working on the forefront of the Asian market. We will summarize some of the talks attended, technology tested, art appreciated and conversations undertaken, concluding with some of the findings along the way. At Screen Singapore, we also attended several talks on the state of filmmaking, coproduction and general media content, always bearing in mind the necessity of generating ideas, having conclusions and trying to forecast
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what is to come in the year 2013. With presentations from major international and regional players, Screen/ATF is rapidly becoming a date to reserve in the content sales calendar, as other conferences and events - like the International Emmy Awards and the MIPAcademy - now utilizing the platform to launch themselves as well. After attending both events, we took away important lessons, such as the importance of co-productions in the region and the great strides most U.S. and Chinese studios are taking to create strategic and profitable global partnerships, the growth of branded entertainment as the major trend (necessity) for marketing in China, as well as the implementation of Transmedia in Singapore (the MDA’s 360º grant scheme).


We also learned about the huge potential in untapped markets like Indonesia (the 4th largest populated country in the world with one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the region – 26%) and the Philippines (36% growth in the mobile market/smartphone market). Malaysia (29% growth in the mobile market), Indonesia had a big contingent of companies where smartphones account for 61% of the and speakers at Screen and a lot of gaming usage of mobile phones (therefore big content/ developers at SIGGRAPH. data consumers), is also another big potential With over 200 million internet users in market. the previously named countries (including With a 12% increase in 2012 with over Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and 600 $5 billion in sales, laptops and tablets are million mobile phone owners, the region also slowly making their way into everyone’s also aims to be a focus in advertising sales, lives. Digital content, as a result, is becoming content development and possibly transmedia a must-have for most users – Malaysian and productions in the years to come.


Siggraph Asia 2012
Courses SIGGRAPH Asia, as it has been similarly before, is an event mainly targeting professionals of the “computer generated world”, in which a focus is targeted at game development and its surrounding technology. Companies like Nvidia, Blender Foundation, Ubisoft, Pixomondo, Double Negative, MPC, Motorola Research, Yahoo! Labs, Adobe, Disney, Microsoft Research Asia and several universities either presented talks about their productions/products, technical papers or simply generate sales/ hires at the exhibition section. The event is divided by courses (specialized talks), technical briefs, poster presentations (technical papers), exhibitions (emerging technologies), art galleries and an exhibition section for the sale of technology, job searching/pitching and presentation of companies. During the four-day event, our team attended several courses. This section features a selection of the most interesting and thoughtprovoking of those courses while adding some information heard and seen during the event: Kanyuk and Laurence Emms from Pixar Animation Studios. This talk was largely focused on the render times, difficulties and achievements at Pixar from the beginning of their existence to the high-quality imagery achieved for Brave, their latest Academy Award-winning animated feature film. With the exponential growth of computer performance, the imagery that goes along with high-quality animations take hours, if not days, to render. To have a workflow that can help an artist bring his vision to the final film at an acceptable speed, Pixar has been developing technology like RenderMan and several other in-house modeling/simulation programs, Like their subdivision libraries and other plugins, some of these are even free to use. Having hundreds of animation artists and managers (called “Render Speed” and “Global Tech” Technical Directors) experienced in the Hollywood film delivery schedule and high standards of quality, Pixar explained that for every iteration of a film necessary (from pre-visualization to stereographic delivery), teams need to be built and trained in the art of time management, software and hardware blending (and research). In addition, they are always looking to hone their craft, particularly in artistic expressions. It was also great to hear that at Pixar, since everyone is always looking for different ways of trying to solve creative and technical problems, they have started incorporating tools used in project management, gaming and other fields (including Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, etc) in order to increase their output without losing quality.

Taming Render Times at Pixar: CPU & GPU, Brave and beyond – presented by Paul



Method of Induction of Basic and Complex Emotions in Video Games and Virtual Environments – presented by Erik Geslin from ENSAM ParisTech. This course revolved around showcasing how the ideas behind certain aspects of philosophy (A. Damasio, Darwin, Plato, etc) explain that the different types of emotions perceived by humans can easily be inserted, studied and even manipulated in modern gaming/simulations. By incorporating certain segments of the emotional intelligence (e.i.) of the human

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brain, Geslin explained that the motivation, empathy, selfawareness and social skills of gamers can be guided during experiments in virtual reality (total sensory mapping and stimulation) so as to trigger feelings of anxiety, boredom, anger, fear, etc, to achieve a flow (fluidity) in gameplay. Players can remain fixated in their favorite games by simulating real emotions perceived in their dayto-day activities, making them forget their “outer-world realities”. Going through several theories from various philosophers/ investigators, Geslin reiterates that for generating even more addictive games, programmers need to achieve the holy grail of gaming – have users think their sense of presence has blended with their illusion of placement (total immersion into the virtual world). Tests measuring cardiovascular, skin conductivity, encephalitic and facial changes are great ways for game developers to study their users’ behaviors. Showcasing examples like Dia de los Mortos and avatar creation and manipulation – Kara from Quantic Dream, it was presented that the more complex
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an emotional system is generated in gameplay, the bigger the connection (and repeated visiting) a player will have with a product.


Previsualisation: Assisting Filmmakers in Realizing their Vision – presented by Hock Wong from Dreamworks animation. It was great to see some of the imagery and visualization tools Previs artists use to realize a director’s initial contact with their vision during the pre-production process of their films. Wong explained the job of Previs artists and the qualities one must have to generate highquality products so directors and producers can easily calculate how to execute their projects. They sometimes even help with locking down necessary funding for certain parts of the development process. By saving time and money, as well as offering great tools to convince artists, directors, producers, financers, distributors, etc, Previs artists are becoming an increasingly necessary tool in the pre-production process in North America and some European countries.

“Previs artists are becoming an increasingly necessary tool in the pre-production process”


(genre, type, archetypes, exposition, character elements, etc), filmmakers have developed through the years certain triggers in the way they tell stories that game developers and animators must dominate if they are ever to have an engaged and emotionally involved audience/players. These are techniques that have been used for almost 150 years in film and for centuries in fiction. Lastly, just as script writers increase the stakes in a given story, developers must understand the basic principles of story so they can guide the attention and interest of users. Creating simple concepts/stories/experiences is no longer enough. They must actually study techniques used by similar fields to augment the interest in their work.

Story Structure for Programmers, Game Designers and Artists – This talk was more a “refreash-a-course” for the team, mostly to see where and which points would connect between the perception of story from game designers and filmmakers. Presented by Craig Caldwell from the University of Utah, the principles of storytelling were cut down into bite-sized bullet points, focusing mainly on plot, character elements and the structure of story. “A dramatic story is a character’s reaction to a sequence of connected events with surprises that build to a climax that result in a change”. By giving its audience the fulfillment of expectations


How research is changing our lives: MP3 and more – presented by Karlheinz Brandenburg, inventor of the MP3. We were guided through the creation of the MP3 by Brandenburg, including the problems and obstacles him and his team encountered along the way and the necessity of always


staying faithful to their principles. Initially going against the archaic world of the music industry, the MP3 was met with tremendous resistance from the “golden ears”, media execs, artists and scientists. However, the perseverance and the necessity of disruption in the field led to an almost seamless integration of the music standard in all of our lives. Starting out (and continuing) as shareware, and fomenting the principle that “everybody should have access to good software”, Brandenburg’s team strived to create something that would let the audience appreciate sound anytime and anywhere while maintaining a quality standard (though his product was free). “What our brain hears may not be what the signal actually sounds like (money doesn’t always gets you quality)”.

need to concentrate on audio, not just visuals, to completely engage an audience, and that a good entertainment production must always have an audio at a standard even greater than its imagery, as bad sound is an unforgivable mistake for creators. Brandenburg concluded his talk with a vision of the future of music – freer (Every time RIAA complained about Brandenburg’s work, more and more pirates appeared), with better compression standards, seamless digital integration and more profit for the artists (the last point being a clear wink at the audience); sound - less noise at work and home. Loudspeaker arrays built into walls and furniture to generate different environments; and general entertainment – theme parks, movie theaters, museums, live sound reproduction, homes that enjoy acoustic illusions (no sweat spot sound systems) to the point where people seamlessly blend their sensory perceptions into what is being showcased.

“everybody should have access to good software”

of Cloudpic. In this talk, Chuang presented his company, his evolution as a computer graphics and digital effects pioneer, as well as the state of animation/ computer graphics initially at PDI/Dreamworks and now at Cloudpic. Chuang went through the stages of computer graphics in the 1980’s (choppy, formulaic and shape-limited graphic renders), the 90’s (multi-sectioned objects, visually arresting composites and image manipulation techniques), the 00’s (the rise of the internet, the increase of interconnected pipelines and workflows, super complex shapes and animations) and the 21st century (multi-territory productions, seamless CGI/Film integration, real-time modeling and virtual reality caves), finishing off with his vision for the future of computer graphics specifically in Asia. With their experience in recruiting innovative thinkers in Asia, Cloudpic is changing animation workflows to around a thousand times the speed of normal productions, with Chuang having the objective of creating 90 minute animations daily. The ingenuity and technical research necessary for this was left to the

audience’s imagination, but the speaker showed us some of the images and processes that need to be changed in order to make that possible. Chuang also pointed out to fellow trendsetters in the Asian industry (like Original Force and CGCG) that companies in Asia, not being able to compete initially with the likes of Pixar or Dreamworks, should concentrate on generating their own content and creating products for specific, niche markets. Nevertheless, the speaker ended up pointing out that the huge delay existing in the Asian market compared to the United States was mainly connected to the problems in mentality existing in the region, where perfection and the absence of iteration, rule the M.O. of studios and computer graphic artists.

A fun little add-on to the attendees was that they surely
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The rise of computer graphics in Asia – Richard Chuang, CEO

“Cloudpic is changing animation workflows to a thousand times the speed of normal productions”

Other great talks were presented by Ben Grossmann of Pixomondo (on their Oscar-winning efforts in the making of Hugo), Daniele Bigi from MPC (The creators of the amazingly captivating creature effects and vistas from the feature film Prometheus), ILM (on the making of the Avengers, specifically the vivid effects the New York battle scene), award-winning special effects supervisor Paul Franklin from Double Negative (on the difficulties of incorporating imagery that seamlessly blends with non-CGI shots and the cost problems that 4K and IMAX workflows might bring to the SFX industry), and from Ubisoft’s George Torres & team (the makers of the game Assassin’s Creed). These talks mostly encompassed each company’s input on how their workflows managed to help generate great content without giving away too much information into how they actually create their products. Assassin’s Creed, nevertheless, to the audience was a great example of the incorporation of different fields’ principles into the gaming world while reaping the benefits they bring to your product. By adapting their development
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lines through the principle of agile software development (adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, iteration, and rapid and flexible responses to change), Ubisoft releases a patch or game into the Assassin’s Creed universe on a yearly basis, always incorporating lessons from previous projects into future releases.

Tech During the event, there were several talks devoted to presenting and explaining some of the technology showcased around the venue, as well as a poster section presenting technical papers. However, it was at the Emerging Technologies section that most inventions and probably future technologies shined. Some trends were easily identified: The integration and manipulation of iOS devices (including app programming and human/tab interfaces), the emergence of stereography and seamless visualization of 3D, haptic sensory devices and image stabilization/augmentation software, among others. These new technologies were simply mindboggling.

The following are some of the technologies showcased at SIGGRAPH and their possible implications in the entertainment market (Asian and worldwide):


Second Surface: Multi-user Spatial Collaboration System based on Augmented Reality – virtual collaboration is extremely popular presently in the iOS universe and the tablet interfaces available in the market. By using AR image recognition technology, Second Surface allows users to place three dimensional drawings, texts, and photos in relation to pre-existing, real life objects while

sharing a users’ creativity to other devices connected in the same location. The system generates an alternate reality for the creator that allows him to communicate through “present imagery” and generate new and imaginative ideas through the collaboration of his colleagues. Second Surface is developed at MIT Media Lab. being


Backward Compatible Stereoscopic Displays via Temporal Psychovisual Modulation: With the reemergence of 3D film projection and 3D gaming, several concepts have appeared in the marketplace to


resolve viewers and developers’ problem of having to adapt their entire film collections/games into different 2D and 3D versions. By creating their own Temporal Psychovisual Modulation (TPVM), the team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and McMaster University created an interesting interplay between high refresh rate optoelectronic display, signal processing and psychophysics to generate a 3D image and its 2D version simultaneously on a single display. This 3D to 2D backward compatibility of every display, if well-developed and incorporated into mass-produced products like TV’s, film theaters, exhibits, may increase the adoption rate of stereoscopic projection and diminish the amount of side effects of 3D visualization. Viewers will have the option of seeing a 3D image when they desire or revert back to a 2D image if necessary. Like the TPVM, the 2x3D: Real-time Shader for simultaneous 2D/3D Hybrid Theater project was also presented as another possible solution to the 2D/3D mix of visuals in the same projection.
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The system works by generating a projection in which a stereoscopic 3D left-eye image is shown as the 2D image for viewing with the naked eye. Meanwhile, the righteye image can be seen through a polarized filter, hence enabling the user to watch the projection without glasses as a 2D image and with glasses as a 3D one. This technology is being developed at Kanagawa Institute of Technology.

showed great potential to what is to come in the imaging industry, simply enticing us at Haexagon with all the possibilities it will bring to projects in the future. The Fuwa-Vision is being developed at the National University of Singapore, the Interactive and Digital Media Institute in Singapore, the University of Electro-Communications in Japan and at Ars Electronica Gmb.

Fuwa-Vision: An autostereoscopic floating-image display: Following the project described above, Fuwa-Vision is an interactive display for multiple users that doesn’t require glasses or any other mechanically connected components. By projecting autostereoscopic images midair, the machine provides a blend between our surrounding reality and a 3D object. Of course, a “no glasses needed” stereoscopic screen with possible user interactivity is the holy grail of present projection & imaging technology for anyone involved in the entertainment industry. Although still in the development stages, this device


Mixed Reality Mirror Display – Under development by Dai Nippon Printing, this mirror combines a two-way mirror and a display to let the viewer see digital superimpositions of objects in the image reflected. This technology aims to make every mirror a possible display. It also has the potential of incorporating the visual spectrum of digital technology into every day-to-day object with reflective surface, making it a mutational surface.


natural reading eye movement detection is being created at the University of Tokyo in association with Sony Computer Science Laboratories. This eye-tracking device can recognize natural gaze movements during reading in real time with extremely high accuracy. With the soon-to-be released Google Glass, more and more companies are hoping interactive internet-enabled eyewear devices will be the new gizmo that revolutionizes people’s interactivity with their surroundings. This type of glasses, for example, can help a user read a sentence written in a foreign language, while automatically recognizing the user’s eye movements and translating what he’s reading in real time. Looking towards the future, this type of defined visual substitution can be measured and

NaturalEyezer: interaction system


This based on

“...companies are hoping interactive internet-enabled eyewear ... revolutionizes people’s interactivity”

adapted to almost anything around us by incorporating augmented reality into already existing devices like the NaturalEyezer.


Haptic Editor: The haptic editor presented at SIGGRAPH is another step into seamless interaction with digital objects. The objective of the project is to permit the user to feel the texture of digitally projected objects through a 3D interface (position tracking eye-glasses) and a feedback enabled pen. By guiding the pen above a texture, the user receives a mechanical movement, increasing its pressure more or less depending on the rigidity of the digital object. The Haptic Editor is being developed at the University of Tokyo and the Keio University.

Sound Perfume connects a pair of trademarked glasses into an Android/iOS device through Bluetooth and its developed app, generating a specific sound and smell (manufactured and released through the backend of the glasses, through some engineering ingenuity) for everyone you meet that has the same device. This creation of a “sensory tag” of other people can be triggered whenever you communicate with them, or simply if you desire to remember them through photos or other visual aids. The implications of said device for Alzheimer’s patients and children with learning disabilities are potentially revolutionary. Of course, like with every invention ahead of its time, other stranger opportunities may also arise.

wi-fi/3G enabled device that has Cryptone installed, then sending to the audience whatever visual or auditory element they wish to broadcast. By transmitting sound IDs (at frequencies between 17kHz and 20kHz) to every audience member, the app is then also enabled to generate different IDs, creating either random or programmed screen visualizations to accompany the artists performance. This simple connection between the artist and the audience can potentially bring great auditory and visual concepts for future events.

content. In its fifth edition, the event ultimately ended up fomenting dozens of conversations, ideas and possibly future acts of cooperation between attendees by introducing so many different fields of content and experienced artists, programmers, engineers, filmmakers and animators under the same roof. Some of the conclusions at the event were encouraging for content developers in the region, though some, as always, were also worrisome when compared to the rest of the world. Even though several bigbudget Hollywood feature films were presented, analyzed and dissected over the four days, not a single Asian film was exhibited at SIGGRAPH. Of course, Double Negative, ILM, MPC, Pixomondo and several other international studios have offices in Singapore and some around China with several hundred artists working for them. However, the reality is that most “internationally visible” productions that go through them are American-funded productions with little or no dramatic, visual or even monetary connections to Singapore, China or Asia. The shift

Findings SIGGRAPH Asia, as expected, was an immensely informative experience. Initially, we saw it as a barometer for the state of the Asian market in terms of SFX studios, gaming development and animation films. Through careful analysis after its conclusion, we realized it was also an important source of input in regards to the technological possibilities of integration with Transmedia


Sound Perfume: Building positive and memorable impression during face-to-face communication - this device was one of the “funnest” and most mind-boggling products with amazing potential at SIGGRAPH. Incorporating the power of olfactory and auditory memory,
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Cryptone: Under development by Motoi Shimizu at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, this device enables interaction between performers and audiences with Inaudible DTMF sounds. Specifically, it enables an artist to synchronize their audible performance with any


of these big western studios to Asia is important for the development of the industries around them because they employ local artists and develop the need for a higher standard of visual entertainment, but a certain dose of care needs to be taken so as to augment the potential of said collaborations as much as possible. There is a growing creation of animated and gaming content in short form and in interactive form in the region, but as the selection of the Animation Theater (Showcase of selected short-films) at the event attests to, most of this content is either set apart for being of lower quality compared to other western fare, or it is simply misunderstood by a general audience. Although there are largely popular animated features, TV shows and games being developed in Asia, the reality is they seldom attract a wider audience outside the countries in which they were made. Another strange finding is that though more games and gaming experiences are being developed with Asia in mind due to a potentially high profit gain in the region, the reality is that gamers have started to complain that
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those international releases are simply too easy to play. This is a byproduct of the oversaturation of the market and lack of originality in some of the newer offerings worldwide or that they have very few cultural identifying elements due to the fact they are made by western creators. We also found that although a multitude of highly innovative creative tools exist in the market (most even being developed in Asian countries like Japan, Korea and Singapore), most content creators (including filmmakers) choose to not use them, instead continuing to perpetuate the use of outdated, “battle tested” technology. By not making use of certain tools (the absence of Previs specialists in the region, for example), content creators distance themselves from the highly competitive international market. In some cases, they are even being surpassed by less evolved countries. Furthermore, with the rapid evolution of games and game-centric technology and its seamless mimicking of filmmaking emotional connections as well as more evolved business models

and higher user retention periods, filmmakers need to keep up with rapid trends so as to augment their space in the attention of the viewers. Transmedia, in this aspect, is a necessary solution to the presented problem.

“over the four days, not a single Asian film was exhibited at SIGGRAPH”


Screen Singapore & ATF 2012
Following SIGGRAPH in Singapore this year, we also attended Screen Singapore held in conjunction with the Asian TV Forum & Market (ATF) at the Marina Bay Sands. Much like Hong Kong’s Filmart (usually held in March), Screen/ATF closes out the sales & entertainment events’ year with a blend of regional and international conferences (called ContentNow), market, networking opportunities and gala film premieres. This year, the main film showcased was The Last Tycoon, which served as opening film. This is Haexagon’s first year at the event as a company and as the representative of a local (Singaporean) partnership during the 4 days. We attended several talks and meetings with the objective of testing out where most content producers, creators, buyers and sellers stand on the present reality, their findings and experiences from past mistakes, achievements and the future potential of the region. During the event, phrases like “Go beyond Television”, “Unlock the Future” and “It’s where you need to be” were commonly heard/read,
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demonstrating the grand push by the Singaporean government (MDA’s) to make Singapore the next great media hub of Asia. Further in this section of the report, we’ll mostly concentrate on topics touched on during ContentNow and the exhibit section of the market, bringing together opinions and facts from people like Sanfor Panitch (president of Fox International Productions), Ahn Taeg Ho (Managing Director of Future Strategy at MBC), Rebecca Yang (CEO of IPCN), Yu Dong (CEO of Bona Film Group), Greg Basser (CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group), Jonathan Olsberg (chairman of SPI), Michael J. Werner (chairman of Fortissimo Film Sales), Shekhar Kapur (award-winning director & producer) and others.

during the event, divided into two sections: Co-Production principles and the Chinese Market (with the example of Bona Film Group), and Market Possibilities & Trends (with a focus on the South-East Asian Media Market).

and even bad experiences to present (complain about, Looper, being the freshest wound in that fight) in the hope of others being able to learn from their findings and help the Asian market move towards a bright future. A given example from its ContentNow’s talk was Fox’s vision of the future, in which American strategic partnerships are struck to increase the appeal of local (Chinese, India, etc) films in its domestic market. China, with its enormously increasing market (41% growth

ContentNow was mainly divided into sections focusing on Co-Production Principles and feature films, television, branded the Chinese Market entertainment & social media and co-productions between U.S. & Co-production as a topic at European productions with PanScreen Singapore was the coupAsian/”Pan-Chinese” partners. do-jour, a topic that everyone The following is a report seemed to have something to say of important points we learned about. Everyone had input, ideas on how to change the principles


just in 2012) was also a big part in the Co-production talks during the event. In China, a film’s theatrical gross accounts for 98% of studio profits - a very different revenue model from the rest of the world (where it lays at around onethird). Everyone in the panels and in the audience were constantly trying to figure out how to best educate and be educated on the interests, qualities and necessities for the market and for cooperation between everyone so as to become a part of the growth. Despite a WTO memorandum of understanding on audiovisual products between China and the United States, there’s always a certain dose of complexity and unpredictability when it comes to co-productions. Rules change (in both government and private enterprises), quotas are to be respected, film ratings and classifications may be difficult to comprehend, box office external profit percentages are capped at 25% and creative materials are often censored or limited. Despite great potential in the Chinese market (for example, China has increased its cinema count from 1,000 to 13,000
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between 2001 and 2012), China isn’t the next gold rush that many producers would like to think, but rather a country that is working hard on making its film industry and its content creators even bigger players in the global market as opposed to just being people to be taken advantage of. These challenges shouldn’t detract filmmakers from cooperating with China as the common benefits in future co-productions between Chinese producers and any other willing country can be tremendous as its market continues to grow. According to Ernst & Young, expected box office earnings from China are to surpass those of the United States by 2020. Despite the various horror stories, there are good examples of co-production successes. For example, look at the bilateral cooperation between Hong Kong and China, as well as the production for Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. These two cases should offer most American studios positive models for synergy and bilateral cooperation in future endeavors. Another enlightening example presented at Screen Singapore

was from Bona Film Group. Already China’s largest share-holding film distribution company, CEO Yu Dong strives to increase the number of co-productions with the West and aims to become the number one global film studio in seven years. Specifically, Bona is aiming to break its profits down in this fashion: 30% from local productions, 50% from co-productions with Taiwan & Hong Kong and 50% from co-productions with western companies. Nevertheless, co-productions in Asia shouldn’t just be between China and the US. There are other

valuable markets in Asia, especially growing markets in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia), as well as existing power players like India and Japan.

“China isn’t the next gold rush that many producers would like to think”


Market Possibilities & Trends Other major takeaways from Screen Singapore and the Asian Television Market:

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Feature films should be seen as long-tail investments; immediate returns on capital should not be the only type of financing model. Slate deals for studio pictures, with periods longer than two-to-three years (specifically, feature film strategies created with future developments of the market in mind). Cashback options from government entities for feature productions, mimicking the Australian market’s 40% cashback policy to foment international productions to migrate to the country with bigger benefits. Transmedia government funding schemes. The MDA’s 360 grant scheme was an example presented. Developing local distribution platforms. Toggle, Youku, and others will become major players in the worldwide content platform business. Government programs are being created to entice creativity, specifically to attract local and foreign productions and studio investments (e.g. Pinewood in Malaysia; ILM, Dougle Negative, Disney and others in Singapore, Fox in Hong Kong, etc) Releasing films earlier in Asia to fight local piracy and increase the visibility and expectation of international film releases and sales. Iron Man 3, for example, is being released in Singapore and China concurrently with (or possibly earlier than) the United States. The necessity for completion bonds on feature film productions. Creative committees to go through all output from studios, learning from Marvel Studios and their Marvel Universe feature films. 3D tablets - Samsung and LG leading the way – with China being the biggest supplier of 3D technology worldwide. Branded entertainment and content is a must for every brand aiming to release their product in China, with 360º marketing campaigns a must for total user and client integration while not being dependent on a given platform (Weibo, QQ, Facebook, WeChat, etc). Indonesia has the third highest number of users on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but this high number is mostly comprised of young student males, a notoriously difficult market segment to advertise to. Price decrease on 80% of set-top box made in China increased the impact of pay TV in Indonesia tremendously, making the service providers (Indovision, TelkomVision) major players in development and acquisition of content in the country.

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Indonesians don’t really get American humor and dramas, giving Korean and Japanese series a huge margin for expansion on normal TV. As a contrast this distancing of U.S. content doesn’t happen on pay TV services. There are less than 700 theater screens for 250 million people in Indonesia, a potentially enormous market. With the lowering of mobile phone prices (largely due to Huawei’s increasing market share in the market and cheaper alternatives to the iPhone), advertising in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries is booming, with people shifting from smaller to bigger screens on their phones (easier to advertise on). Cooperation between production companies and digital distribution platforms is a must in the Southeast Asian entertainment market, as worldwide distribution becomes a bigger reality for many smaller companies while dividends outweigh the drawbacks. A clear example of this is MBC’s aim to internationalize its products by cooperating with Youtube and its partner program instead of fighting against illegal uploads of their products on the platform. The increased interest of the American studios and entertainment entities in Asia can clearly be identified by the first-time acceptance of projects and nominations at the International Emmy Awards. The presence reflects the increasing quality of content created in the region, with nominees hailing from Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

● ●

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If there’s one label that can be put on young writer-director Heiward Mak, that word would be prolific. At just age 28, Mak already has under her belt three feature films as director (in addition to eleven music videos), one film as editor (Scud’s Amphetamine), and four other feature films as co-writer. In recent years, she also directed several short films (or microfilms, as pop culture has dictated), including one for the Hong Kong International Film Festival’s Quattro Hong Kong project and one for RTHK.

Heiward Mak and the art of Microfilm as advertisements
In 2012, Mak also took on two microfilm projects that served as advertisements: One for the newly opened PopCorn mall in Tseung Kwan O, and one for electronics maker LG’s washer-dryer campaign. Unlike her microfilms for HKIFF and RTHK, these microfilms were released in several parts over a period of several weeks, effectively qualifying them as web series. (MTR Properties) wanted to attract people from other areas in addition to people in the area. As a result, they decided to brand themselves as hip and attractive for the whole family, especially young people who are willing to spend money. In addition to the shops themselves (which includes a brand-new cinema with an Agnes B. cafe and other well-known chain shops), the advertising agency hired Mak and her production company to produce a total of three microfilms, each telling a story that may happen in the mall. Each microfilm covers a simple, relatable theme: romantic love, friendship, and familial love. They are only connected in that they all imply that PopCorn is where things like chance romantic encounters, reunions between longlost best friends, and the strengthening of the family unit can all happen. Modern gadgets like tablets and smartphones, hip social media like Facebook, and urbanite activities like moviegoing and lounging at modern cafes can all be seen in the films. To appeal to the wiser, more cynical viewers, there is no explicit mention of

The Popcorn Project and the Importance of Branding Developed over the past decade, the Tseung Kwan O area in the east end of the city (considered East New Territories) has become the new affordable metropolis of Hong Kong. However, due to its proximity to the city (There’s only one tunnel through the hills into the area in addition to subway access), commercial development in the area has so far attracted only local residents. With the PopCorn mall, the developer
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the mall until the very end, when the tagline “Infinite stories begin at Popcorn” appears and the film invites people to “like” the mall on Facebook. The microfilms were a success: The first two films attracted over 200,000 views each on Youtube (fans uploaded them on other Chinese stream sites as well), the third film saw 68,000 views, and the full 15-minute version currently has 25,000 views. The mall’s oft-updated Facebook page also currently has over 10,000 likes – weak compared to extremely popular malls like Telford Plaza (25,000 likes) and Langham Place (64,000 likes), but strong for a mall that has only been in business for eight months. It should be noted, however, that Mak’s films were only the beginning of the extended branding campaign. The marketing team continued to brand PopCorn as a place for hip, young consumers by holding pop music performances (including visiting artists from overseas) and uploading clips of those musical performances on their Youtube page. The mall currently only has 950 subscribers, but their 71 videos have already attracted over 650,000 video views.
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LG and the web series In the second half of 2012, Mak was also commissioned by Korean electronics maker LG to make a series of microfilms to promote their latest washerdryer combo. Unlike the PopCorn shorts, which were made as three separate microfilms with three different casts, Wanna Yet Give You More is actually a three-part web series telling one story. Since the product LG and Mak are branding is a home appliance, Mak decides to tell a story about a young musician who moves out to live on his own and his worrisome mother. The series is aimed at a generation of young Hong Kongers raised by middle-class parents and dependent on them for daily chores like laundry, making them consider what happens when they try to seek dependence without the necessary tools and skills to do so. The washer-dryer thus becomes a symbol of home, familiarity, and a reminder about the importance of keeping in touch with your family. Within five weeks of its release, Wanna Yet Give You More attracted over 34,000 views for the first episode, over 16,000 views

for the second episode, and over 11,000 views for its final episode. While the web series format is still very young in Hong Kong, it seems that Mak has found the best way for the format to find footing in Hong Kong: In advertising. It is, after all, a major industry in Hong Kong, and likely the most innovative industry in a city where innovations in the entertainment industry are few and far in between. The best way to bring web series to the mainstream is not with the oligopoly that is Hong Kong’s mass media, but rather with advertisers who are willing to pay a small amount to try something new. However, the words “web series” seem to have trouble picking up support in Hong Kong. In a fastmoving city with attention-deprived youth, the words “web series” may be asking for too much of a commitment on the part of viewers. This may be why advertisers/ producers/content creators prefer to continue using the popular term “microfilms” even for a web mini-series like Wanna Yet Give You More. The only way this can change is for one web series to find popularity, which would then give way to other real web series that are not afraid to label themselves

as such. However, that has yet to happen in Hong Kong. Note that Mak is not the first director to create web series in Hong Kong. In the early 2000’s, created several short series that were meant to be shown on their online platform. Despite their popularity on other formats (mainly their subsequent VCD releases), the platform wasn’t financially viable due to the subscribers-only restrictuons, and (which then became the Now TV broadband television provider and ceased producing original dramatic content.

“advertising... a major industry in Hong Kong, and likely the most innovative industry in a city where innovations in the entertainment industry are few and far in between”


Zombie Guillotines – A stealth Transmedia extension
On Christmas Eve, 2012, a new microfilm called Zombie Guillotines was uploaded on Youtube. The film seemed to have come out of nowhere, slowly spreading through Facebook. Before its release, the film was only promoted as the latest work from the production team behind the Fresh Wave Film Festival award-winning short Gwangong VS Alien, about a giant version of the popular Romance of the Three Kingdoms character defeating an alien invader after a robot from Mainland China fails to do the job. Slightly less ambitious, the 9-minute Zombie Guillotines short follows a group of people stranded in a barbershop during the zombie apocalypse who decides to fight back with makeshift guillotines. Made for only HK$60,000, the film featured solid production values (including some impressive zombie make-up effects and a wellmade action finale) and even stars Celina Jade, a professional model and actress who has acted in several feature films. However, no one seems to know who financed the project for director Alan Lo and writer Nero Ng as the credits didn’t point to any specific financier. Its release date does offer one clue: The film was released on Youtube several days before the theatrical release of The Guillotines (In the film, its magazine ad inspires the characters to create the weapon), though there’s no explicitly expressed relation to the film at all. Was this just a coincidence, or is this a sly attempt at a transmedia extension for The Guillotines? In a recent article on the film in style magazine East Touch, the creators revealed the answer. Lo was a staff member on the post-production process of The Guillotines when he got the idea for the short. After pitching it to production company We Pictures, Lo got the approval to shoot the film (The company and a highlevel We Pictures staff are both credited in the “Special Thanks” section). However, Lo explained that the film’s HK$60,000 budget was actually entirely paid for by convenience store chain 7-11, and the corporation’s only condition was that one of the characters must wear a 7-11 uniform at all times. According breakdown in to the budget the article, all the actors appeared for free, while more than half the budget went to equipment rental and miscellaneous production costs like transportation and catering. The entire process, from We Pictures’ approval to its Youtube launch, took two months – including three full days of shooting and two days of reshoots. This may explain why the promotion for the film’s launch began only about a week before the release date. Nevertheless, in the one month since Zombie Guillotines launched on Youtube, it has attracted over 85,000 views. Ironically, if each viewer paid a HK$60 ticket to see it (roughly the average Hong Kong movie ticket price), Zombie Guillotines would have already out-grossed The Guillotines’ Hong Kong box office’s gross (the film also did disappointingly in the Mainland Chinese box office). Even though the ending of the film teases future installments, the film’s creator tells Asian Screen that the team plans to follow a more traditional plan of securing foreign festival play for Zombie Guillotines rather than work on any additional installments. As a microfilm, Zombie Guillotines is a bona-fide success. It captures a pop culture trend (zombie stories) and delivers a likeable microfilm that is actually funny, gleefully fun and generally well-made for its genre. In other words, the team has created a film that captures people’s attention and actually makes them want to keep watching in the future. However, it is nowhere nearly as successful as a transmedia extension. The main problem is that the connection between The Guillotines and Zombie Guillotines is never made clear. Those who don’t know about We Pictures being the producer of The Guillotines would never get the idea that Zombie Guillotines is supposed to make you want to see the other film. In the end, more people will come out with the assumption that Zombie Guillotines is just a spoof riding on The Guillotines rather than the branded entertainment it really is. As a result, The Zombie Guillotines should be filed as another nice try at creating a transmedia campaign in Hong Kong, albeit a failed one.

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In November 2012, Haexagon Concepts (HC) was commissioned to conduct the social media campaign for the premiere screenings of the Filipino zombie feature film The Grave Bandits at the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). It is the first step of a sophisticated transmedia campaign developed by the film’s producer Vanessa Ulgado and HC’s Marco Sparmberg during the 16th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival - Network of Asian Fantastic Filmmakers Lab 2012. This is a campaign that will unfold throughout 2013 while the film moves through its various stages of theaterical run, festival circuit and home video release.


The Grave Bandits - 1st look
Having decided that the central platform connecting all social media aspects of the seven-day campaign would be primarily Facebook and secondary Twitter (both platforms are the most frequented social networks in the Philippines), initial steps for the management of the Grave Bandits’ Facebook Page were developed. The MMFF screenings were scheduled to be at the Glorietta 4 cinema, a large shopping mall complex in the heart of Makati City, one of the central areas of Manila. Makati City is home to the biggest cluster of active Facebook users in the country, hence the platform was key to build and engage a new audience base in order to direct them to the screenings. The team initially developed a strategy encompassing the creation of several A-B tests (an experimental tool
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generally used for web development/ marketing) developed inside Facebook to figure out what type and participation of audience would be interested in The Grave Bandits. These tests helped us understand the demographic pulse, gained followers on the page, and showed us preferences of the growing audience. A dedicated webpage was set up ( where interested followers could watch the new MMFF cut of the trailer and subscribe to upcoming news. The page was launched in conjunction with an internet press release that was featured on several genre blogs like The A-B tests were the selected approach so HC could, by utilizing the vast possible audience base existing in modern social media (and specifically Facebook), determine how best to identify


the Click Through Rate, the most suitable audience for the posts during the planned event, the drop off rate, and other fundamental elements for future stages of the general transmedia strategy. Soon, HC was able to precisely target content to specific demographic groups. At the beginning of the campaign, the audience base showed an overwhelming majority of male fans due to the film’s genre. Over the course of the test runs and the subsequent campaign, HC managed to create a more balanced demographic with an almost 50-50 ratio of male and female fans - highly irregular for this type of film. In addition to running the Facebook Page for The Grave Bandits during the 1.5 months of MMFF screenings build-up and the event itself, HC also developed three other Facebook Pages and Groups to test out possible variations of the initial campaign (visual tests and upload/A-B tests) and future iterations of the campaign. Eventually, these pages will be used to build up the next generation of audience as the film heads to a nationwide
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theatrical release in April 2013. These additional pages created a community around the concept of Pinoy Zombies. On the other hand, they also constitute an affiliate brand that will be featured in later stages of the main campaign. In the beginning of December 2012, The Grave Bandits was rated R13 without cuts by the local censorship authority. Hence, the target demographic for the film shifted from 18-to-24-year-olds to 13-to-18. A substantial amount of fans was established from this shift, and most online interactions with viral attributes came from this particular group.

screenings. One day before the screenings, the HC team flew to Manila to support the film’s promotion booth at the cinema lobby. The booth features authentic zombie puppets made by the film’s special effects makeup artists, as well as a show display for the trailer and additional web content. HC assisted by RealLifeConnect’s mobile photo solution with which audiences could directly upload and post their pictures from the cinema onto Facebook. The zombie puppets were highly popular and almost every passerby took a photo.

As video content turned out to be impractical and un-engaging for users due to the spotty mobile network or low broadband connections in the Philippines, a posting routine with photos was deployed. Weekly zombie voting contests or the “weapon of choice” Fridays became highly popular, as they were picked up and shared by other Filipino film pages on Facebook. HC also developed a However, due to the graphic “Pinoy Zombie Survival Guide”, nature of our zombie theme, which was gradually released online and eventually used as Facebook did not allow all the print flyers during the MMFF content that was created to reach

users. Despite this minor setback, exposure on social networks was tremendous. Fans turned their Facebook profiles into the zombie photos, posted their group pictures on their friends’ walls or used them as cover pictures. Overall, photos were the center point of all activities and word-of-mouth. Later, we asked fans to tag themselves on the official pictures uploaded to the Facebook page, and that ignited another round of virality. The statistics show that during our test and build-up phase, the viral effect was fairly low. However, popularity sky-rocketed during the period of the screenings, when the online and off line communities were brought together via onsite interactions and real-time connections (Fig.1). Evidently,


Fig. 1
is located at the top level of the shopping mall, whose developer also owns the theater. The lobby has a roomy snack counter and arcade game space that sees a frequent stream of visitors, especially those of our target group 13-18-year-old. The foot traffic was high, and our booth with eye-catching zombies and special light effects was Fig. 2 strategically placed within the lobby. By the end of the MMFF screenings, HC managed to build up over 1300 followers on Facebook with a very limited amount of resources. Now, this number might not be a spectacular one, but it is a sustainable one. A Facebook page can easily gain five-digit numbers in page likes via a continuous fire of ads and sponsored stories, but those likes are easily lost once the funds run out to maintain such This success was also rooted in peaks. Nowadays, users “unlike” the location. The Glorietta 4 cinema there was a direct correlation between the social media strategy and the tickets sales. In fact, Twitter conversations resulted directly in ticket sales. However, it needs to be said that social media alone is not responsible for these sales. Instead, the success should be attributed to a mixture of targeted and interlinked online/off-line strategy (which included social media).
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pages on a daily basis. The Grave Bandit’s fan base and the in-build viral effect show a small test we ran in early January 2013 where a single post triggered a fairly high spike (Fig. 2). The Grave Bandits not only gained an audience and added IP value during the transmedia campaign started in late 2012; it also garnered industry recognition. As the first genre film to enter the MMFF New Wave section (traditionally the domain of arthouse productions), it disrupted the festival market in the Philippines and took home the Best Feature Film and Best Director awards at once. Why? How? Because it is backed by a large audience community. All this clearly displays the power of transmedia. Admittedly, this is a small project at this early stage, but

it already shows where producers and audiences are headed. On the other hand, all this is unlikely to happen with a different topic, as the theme of zombies is currently very popular in the Philippines and the global pop culture as well. At this point in time, transmedia projects always need a local flavor and orientation. The more precise campaigns are targeted to local aspects and customs, the more effective they are. Crossing cultural and territorial borders is an inherent virtue of the concept of transmedia, as is its unifying nature on the media and on a story level. However, content producers, storytellers and their audience have to become fully acquainted with this new format before such a project can be brought to the next level.


Case Study #1

In recent years, the Hong Kong film industry has concentrated its efforts on making co-productions with Mainland Chinese production companies, which means Hong Kong filmmakers are forced to play by Mainland Chinese censorship rules. One of the taboos in Chinese cinema is the depiction of gangsters, who must be depicted as villains that always get their comeuppance in the end. As a result, the industry that once produced popular triad films like As Tears Go By and the Young & Dangerous series suddenly stopped producing these films in recent years.

Chinese: Year: Director: Producer: Cast:

紮職 2012 Daniel Chan Yee-Heng Ng Kin-Hung William Chan Wai-Ting, Patrick Tam Yiu-Man, Michelle Wai, Derek Tsang Kwok-Cheung

Produced by Ng Kin Hung, Daniel Chan’s Triad was initially sold as an edgy update on the triad film formula. According to the director himself, Triad was written after an extensive period of research and even includes real-life triad rituals that would automatically earn the film a category III rating (no one under 18 admitted) because any film that shows real triad activities is deemed unsuitable for minors under Hong Kong law. The film also features William Chan, a pop idol under the management of Emperor Entertainment (one of the co-financiers of the film), in a tough gangster role that would change his clean idol image. More interesting, however, is the film’s advertising campaign. In addition to pushing the film’s restricted rating and realistic depiction of triad activities, the marketing team also attempted a transmedia extension for the film. A pivotal part of Triad involves ambitious young gangsters William (William Chan) and Kin (Deep Ng) squaring off to take the leadership position in a triad election. The film’s marketing team extended that element of the story into other media platforms, including

a Facebook page devoted entirely to the election. In addition to things like posters and photos of promotional events, the Facebook page also included original content such as a video news report designed to resemble something local newspaper Apple Daily might produce, campaign testimonial videos featuring the stars acting in character voicing their support for one of the two candidates, and even fake tabloid magazine stories about the election. In the end, the page attracted over 1,500 likes within a month - not bad for a Facebook page entirely in Chinese. In addition to the Facebook page, the transmedia campaign also included William Chan’s appearance in a long-running triad comic series, as well as a series of election posters plastered around Mongkok district, one of the hotbeds for triad activity in Hong Kong. The film also got additional free advertising when the ads reportedly led to the real triads calling in threats directed at Emperor Entertainment.

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One of the most important elements in a transmedia campaign is persistence, and that is the one thing that the Triad team unfortunately did not follow through on. While traditional marketing continued on social media sites like Weibo and the Emperor Entertainment Facebook page, the election angle of the campaign literally stopped after the film’s opening on November 15th. While this may be due to the film’s weak opening, a competitive weekend in cinemas, and negative audience word-of-mouth, the marketing team’s sudden conclusion to the transmedia campaign after the film’s opening also led to a failure in attracting the necessary attention to keep the film in cinemas, thus playing a part in the its quick departure. Nevertheless, the Triad case should be remembered as a major step in the use of transmedia in Hong Kong cinema. Experiments

rarely succeed on their first tries, and despite the flaws in the campaign for Triad, it is an excellent example of how Hong Kong filmmakers can expand their story universe beyond the film for audiences. The silver lining is that there is now case of a transmedia campaign that many can learn from. Ideally, that will lead to bigger and better Hong Kong cinema transmedia campaigns in the future.

“one of the most important elements in a transmedia campaign is persistence”

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Case Study #2

Johnee Lau was just a student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design when he came up with Galaman, a Hong Kong superhero whose power is hidden in his armpits. “Superheroes like Superman and Ultraman have to raise their arms when they fly,” says Lau, “And I always noticed how they would all show their armpits. So I wanted to create a superhero that’s hidden in it.” What began as a two-minute graduation project has become a web series phenomenon. Two years after Galaman’s humble beginning, Johnee is well on the way to expanding his Galaman project into an animated web series empire with Minimind Studio.
Over the course of a year and a half, Minimind Studios, which currently has a total of three content creators (the other two will eventually also create their own original animated series as well), has attracted over 7,000 subscribers and over 750,000 video views for its Youtube page. Thanks to its popularity among Hong Kong netizens, Johnee has since brought the characters of his award-winning series out of Youtube and into ads for UA Cinemas, local cram schools and even a chain of mini-storage facility. Of course, the concepts didn’t come overnight. Influenced by American flash animation series Happy Tree Friends and various short Japanese web series, Lau created his cast of “grotesquely cute” (A term Johnee coined himself) characters from the very beginning. Being a design student, designing the characters is actually one of the easier steps in the production. Instead, the scriptwriting process takes the most time for Johnee, who draws inspiration for the show’s heavy barrage of Cantonese verbal humor from interacting with people as
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Chinese: Year: Director: Writer: Cast: Studio:

GALAMAN 2011~ Johnee Lau Johnee Lau n/a Minimind Studio

a sketch artist in an artists’ market. Even though the way Johnee writes – especially in his use of emoticons in both Galaman’s subtitles and our written exchanges on social media sites – reminds one of a typical Hong Kong netizen who spends his days on local social media sites like the Golden Forum, he considers himself as simply a recluse and an observer of that world. With the exception of voice acting (Johnee’s friends does it for free), Johnee handles every aspect of each episode’s production on his own, which means he can only do so in his spare time. As a result, each episode of Galaman takes about nine months to produce. In addition to Galaman, Johnee also began a new series called The Eunich, a parody of hit TVB drama The Confidant, in late 2012. In just one month, the first episode of The Eunich has already attracted over 350,000 views of Youtube, far eclipsing the view count of Galaman. Johnee says The Eunich is the first step of his plan to create different web series based on different styles of character designs Galaman being the representative of “grotesquely cute”,


for example. In addition to the advertisements he produced with the Galaman characters, Johnee has also expanded the Galaman universe with ancillary products such as smartphone decorations and USB flash drives in order to help expand the revenue stream for his studio. Johnee admits that expecting profits would be thinking too far ahead right now. With only him and his two partners managing the company’s operations, Johnee admits that making enough money and having enough time to keep Minimind Studio alive are his current goals.

The Eunich and Galaman both feature a large amount of local pop culture references. Even though Johnee recognizes that many of Hong Kong’s web series (both animated and live action) are often a way for politically active young artists to express their views and poke fun at the government, he admits that he’s more interested in entertaining his audiences than making political satire. Making something that connects to local audiences is one of his main goals, but at the same time, Johnee also makes a conscious effort to appeal to overseas audiences by taking the time to translate his difficultto-decipher Cantonese slang

into English subtitles on his own. In addition, Johnee has already submitted Galaman to various web series festivals and other film festivals overseas, and he was part of the Asian Filmmakers Lab in the 2012 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. As part of the Hong Kong web series community, Johnee truly believes that Hong Kong web series creators will get their day in the international web series community. As one of the forerunners of that community, Johnee is paving a path for young aspiring animation creators. However, Johnee has a word of advice for those who wish to follow in his footsteps: “Once

you start your own company [like myself], you’ll find yourself dealing with many, many things that have nothing to do with making animation. That’s the price of trying to start your own company, and it’s something you should be prepared for.”

“audiences are hungry for Hong Kong-produced films that are made to be appreciated by Hong Kong audiences”

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Popcorn campaign (MTR Malls):
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Facebook Youtube Facebook Youtube Facebook Youtube Facebook Youtube Facebook Youtube Minimind Studio Facebook Youtube

LG campaign:


Zombie Guilotines:


The Grave Bandits:

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Report Lead: Kevin Ma Diogo Martins Supporting Analysts: Marco Sparmberg Juergen Hoebarth Illustration photos:
(pages 1-12,19) Diogo Martins, (pages 15,26) Marco Sparmberg (pages 21,22) Poster artworks to the film “Triad” Copyright © 2012 Emperor Motion Pictures and are in no way owned or copyrighted by Haexagon Concepts. They were only used for critique and commentary purposes and fall under the fair use doctrine. (pages 23,24) Artworks Copyright © 2011-2012 Minnimind Studio - Johnee Lau (pages 18) Poster artwork Copyright © 2012 Paperboat Pictures - Vanessa Ulgado

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We are a creative think tank and transmedia workshop based in Hong Kong. We create new forms of immersive experiences for the entertainment industry by means of new media, mobile technology and the internet. We build a client’s audience for socially interactive products that will further engage and amplify their users into faithful content advocators. While developing creative and high quality projects/entertainment franchises, Haexagon Concepts is implementing a common usage of Transmedia in Hong Kong and in the future, East Asia. Haexagon Concepts | The Asian Screen #2