Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Shared Link: The 'Avengers' of Singapore's game development scene just secured funding

Singapore-based game developer BattleBrew Productions has raised an undisclosed funding from Harish Nim, CEO of Emerio Corp, an NTT-Docomo affiliated company. Emerio Corp is a Singapore-based IT services company while NTT-Docomo is Japan’s largest mobile operator. 

BattleBrew will use the newly-raised funding to finish development on its first game, a free-to-play mobile game for the iOS and Android platforms. 

Ian Gregory, Strategic Director of BattleBrew, did not disclose much details of the game, but told e27 that it was a mobile strategy game. 

Founded early this year, BattleBrew’s team is an ensemble of veteran game developers from Singapore. Three members on the team, Benjamin Chua, Louis Cua, and Greyson He have previously worked at Ubisoft, developing triple AAA titles such as the Assassin’s Creed series. 

Others had cut their teeth in other renowned gaming companies such as Gameloft and Garena (now known as Sea).

...

To read more about this article, click here

Facebook Live Lecture on August 19th

I have been running a Facebook group for quite a while to help CEO/Founders/Producers of animation startup on IP Creations and Entrepreneurship in Animation. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EntreAnimation/ 

On the 19th August, Saturday this time. (9:30am Singapore time), I will be giving a Facebook Live Lecture on challenges faced and lessons learnt when starting out our own animation studio and also building your own IP at (Tiny Island facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tinyislandproductions/). Hope you find it useful.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

An announcement

We will be making an announcement for a major deal we have sealed this October at MIPCOM Cannes. This is a major chapter for our company as well as a new historical record for Singapore Animation Industry. It will secure our future for the next 12 years.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Things I learnt in my own journey. By David Kwok

The topic reminded me of something. Things I learnt in my own journey.

1) PERSISTENCY & RESILIENCE “No matter how hard others kick your butt. You must still remain in position." In Hokkien I call it "Pa Si Buoy Zhao spirit" - "打死不走的精神“

2) JUST DO IT Some words have to be erased from your dictionary. " Burn out, Don't know how to do, Cannot do" must all be removed. If you want to live, JUST DO IT. No time to think of anything else.

3) ADMIT YOUR FAILURE More than often we give excuses for our incompetency. I can't do it because I am not clever, I am not gifted, I am poor, I am not handsome blah blah blah .... Admit own's failure is important. Don't be embarrassed. Failure is ok. Making mistake is ok. No need excuses. Just reflect on why you fail and try to improve. Denying it will not make you learn. The more you fail. The better you will be.

4) DON'T JUST TALK. DO IT I meet people who "talk a lot but no action"

5) THINK THINK THINK BUT STILL NO ACTION! "Don't think until cow come home still no action!" The world will not wait for you. Analyse the situation. Ask yourself. What if you fail? That is all you need to ask. Can you still stand up and walk. If your answer is YES. Do it. Stop thinking anymore. The more you think. The more you are afraid and will not do it.

In our line, I meet many people going round and round in circles. Blame (Foreign talents) FT, blame govt, blame this blame that. Get Emo (emotional) said Burn out. No one will help you.

Like what Jack Ma said. Change yourself is easy. Change others is difficult. Blame here blame there is of no use.

If you cannot change others, change yourself.

If the situation do not change. And you cannot do anything about it. Adjust yourself to try another way to overcome the obstacles. Else you will remain stationary forever.

So to me "How do I build Grit in Kids?" Make them hungry. Use the situation to force their way out.

The problem we face now is many are not hungry. When Singapore face the next crisis, I am worry we might fall apart.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday, 21 July 2017

From idea to sketch to 3D!

From idea to sketch to 3D! Learn to sculpt your fun and awesome ideas into 3D sculpture in our Zbrush for Designers Class with Charlie Kim our Modeling Guru behind some of your favorite blockbuster features! Apply Now seats filling fast!

Shared Link: One Animation’s ‘Insectibles’ Going Strong in Germany

Insectibles is shaping up to be the next big thing from CG studio One Animation (Oddbods), with the 3D HD animated series scoring top kids’ TV ratings in Germany. The show is a co-production with KiKA, Discovery and ZDF Enterprises. Despite stiff competition from shows on Nickelodeon, Super RTL and Disney, Insectibles came out on top of the charts in recent monthly figures for Q2 2017.


“We showed our faith in Insectibles when we took the decision to put the show in our highly popular 7pm daily slot. And our faith paid off, because now it’s one of the biggest shows in Germany, and the biggest kids’ show for the latest data available from April 2017.” said Sebastian Debertin, Head of Fiction, Acquisition & Co-Production for KiKA. “Undoubtedly two of the big pulls for the show are the cinema-quality 3D animation bringing the characters and storylines to life in a way we are used to in cinemas but which is not often seen on TV. Plus the ideas and adventures which the characters become embroiled in really engage the audience, boys and girls alike.”


Aimed at children aged 6- to 9-years old, Insectibles follows the adventures of a young boy named Zak, his whacky grandfather Gramps, and three bio-mechanically enhanced insects as they search to find pieces of the “Shrinkinator”: the crazy invention that shrunk our heroes before exploding during a failed testing phase. All the while they must evade the clutches of a maniacal Mosquito, her daughter, and a whole host of evil underlings.

...

To continue reading this article, click here!


We are hiring!

As part of the expansion plan, Tiny Island is looking for experience character TD / rigger. Interested please send the link to your resume and showreel to http://tinyislandprod.wixsite.com/tinyisland/contact.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

How To Bring Your IP from Ideas To Development

This is the entrepreneurship in Animation and IP creation master class we are running. It is supported by IMDA. After subsidy (SINGAPOREANS AND PR ONLY), you only pay $275 per part. If you are really interested and facing financial difficulty, let us know. We will help you. 

Part 1 is going to start in August. Let us know ASAP!



Shared Link: After Nonstop Games closed, its employees founded Mighty Bear Games; today it raised US$775K

Nonstop Games was a Singapore-based mobile games studio run by Finnish developers. Their hit game was strategy title Heroes of Honor. 

In 2014, it was acquired by Candy Crush maker King for about US$16 million. Two years later, Nonstop Games shuttered. 

But the journey for its employees did not end there. They pressed on, scouring the game development landscape for new compatriots to join their next adventure. Along the way, they recruited talents from renowned gaming studios such as Ubisoft, EA and LucasArts. 

With renewed vigour in their hearts and a hardy band of developers to boot, the Nonstop Games alumni roared back with a spanking new enterprise. 

They called it Mighty Bear Games. 

And today, Mighty Bear raised US$775,000 in a round led by Global Founders Capital, the venture capital arm of Rocket Internet. 


Mighty Bear will use the newly-raised financing to develop its new mobile MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game). Details of the game have not been disclosed. 

It is interesting to note that despite receiving offers from the US and Europe — two markets with long history of producing top rated games — the Nonstop Games alumni chose to, once again, base their gaming studio in Singapore. 

“One of the interesting developments we’ve seen is that Singapore-based studios are starting to gain traction with their own IP,” says co-founder and CEO Simon Davis, in an interview with e27.


To continue reading this article, click here

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Shared Link: We are on kidscreen

Tiny Island Productions has joined forces with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to develop a Chinese version of the Singapore-based studio’s sci-fi series Dream Defenders. 

The partnership will see SMG’s content distribution arm, WingsMedia, develop the series with Tiny Island by incorporating Chinese mythology and new characters into the re-imagined CGI series. 

Distributed by DreamWorks, the original Dream Defenders follows 14-year-old twins who are tasked with protecting the real world from nightmarish monsters after a magical portal is accidentally unlocked. 

To date, the series has been sold into 80 countries worldwide, including the US, where it recently made its Amazon Prime debut. US platforms Hulu, Discovery Family and Kabillion have also acquired the series. Internationally, Dream Defenders has aired in Europe on Planeta Junior and Super RTL, as well as in 19 Asian countries on DreamWorks TV.

To continue reading this article, click here

Monday, 26 June 2017

Shared Link: We are finally on Animation Magazine

A new partnership which aims to build “China’s equivalent of the Marvel Universe franchise” has been forged at the 23rd Shanghai TV Festival, with WingsMedia and Singapore’s Tiny Island Productions joining forces to build the “Starship MZ” brand. 

Last year, WingsMedia got the ball rolling with a sci-fi themed reality TV show, Starship MZ: 2049, which proved a national success. The expanded franchise will build on the show’s popularity, with Tiny Island coming onboard to create additional sci-fi content for Starship MZ which is inspired by its animated kids’ series, Dream Defenders. This will develop into fresh TV series, feature films, comics and more, adapted for the Chinese market. 

“By leveraging on WingsMedia’s vast experience and expertise, while tapping on China’s historical and rich legacy of art and culture, together we will bring China-made Science Fiction to the next level. ” said David Kwok, CEO of Tiny Island Prod. “We are very grateful to WingsMedia for this special opportunity.” 

Dream Defenders centers on twin siblings who use a supercomputer to zap into dreamworlds in order to protect the real world from nightmare monsters. The series has sold to 80 countries through DreamWorks, and screens on five platforms in the US alone — including Amazon Prime and Discovery Family. Other key international broadcasters include Super RTL, Planeta Junior and DreamWorks TV Asia in 19 countries.

To continue reading this article, click here!

Friday, 23 June 2017

We are on Animation World Network

WingsMedia Plans Ambitious, Collaborative Sci-Fi Franchise Expansion 

Tiny Island Productions will adapt and expand their ‘Dream Defenders’ animated series for the China market with a TV series, feature film, comics and an augmented reality experience, all as part of WingsMedia’s hope to grow ‘Starship MZ’ properties into China’s Marvel Universe equivalent.

To continue reading this article, click here

Dream Defenders on World Screen

WingsMedia & Tiny Island Tie Up for Sci-Fi IP

Shanghai Media Group’s WingsMedia and Tiny Island Productions have partnered for WingsMedia’s planned mega-franchise Starship MZ, which they hope to grow into China’s equivalent of the Marvel Universe franchise.

When Starship MZ launches this year, Tiny Island will create content based on its hit sci-fi kids’ animated show Dream Defenders that will lead to new TV series, feature films, comics and more, adapted for the Chinese market. Dream Defenders centers on twin siblings who enter dreams to protect the real world against nightmare monsters. Tiny Island is also working with fast-food restaurants on Dream Defenders-themed promotions.

“By leveraging on WingsMedia’s vast experience and expertise, while tapping [into] China’s historical and rich legacy of art and culture, together we will bring China-made science fiction to the next level,” said David Kwok, the CEO of Tiny Island Productions. “We are very grateful to WingsMedia for this special opportunity.”



Kwok explained how Dream Defenders has been adapted for Chinese audiences: “Somewhere in China, a city suddenly comes under attack by nightmare monsters based on Chinese mythology, such as the Dragon, Kirin and Phoenix. A pair of Chinese twins desperately sends out a distress call for help to Zane and Zoey from the original series, who reveal the secret technology to enter the Dream Worlds. Now these new Chinese heroes must race against time to save their friends and family from the threat of the nightmare monsters.”

Kwok continued: “To make Dream Defenders stand out globally, Tiny Island Productions constantly explores emerging technologies, from its initial broadcast in stereoscopic 3D on 3Net (joint venture 24/7 3D network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX) to creating augmented reality and interactive virtual reality experiences that immerse viewers in the Dream Defenders universe.

To continue reading this article, click here!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Top 10 Entertainment Entrepreneurs In Singapore

I am honoured, flattered and surprised to be nominated. It's been a long journey and we definitely has to work even harder to prove ourselves. Title is not so important but what I hope is we can create more jobs for our talents. Thanks for everyone's support.

To read the actual article, click here!

Dream Defenders on Business Times

HOMEGROWN animation company Tiny Island Productions will be penetrating into the hard-to-enter China market space and achieving a major milestone for Singapore's animation industry.

Using its original intellectual property (IP) Dream Defenders, a sci-fi kids animated series, Tiny Island will be working with Shanghai Media Group's WingsMedia on the latter's plan of mega-franchise Starship MZ, which the two companies aim to grow into China's equivalent of the Marvel Universe franchise.

This is part of WingsMedia's strategy for achieving science fiction (Sci-fi) IP.

Last year, Starship MZ: 2049, WingsMedia's original sci-fi themed reality-TV show, was a hit with the Chinese audience nationwide.

To continue reading this article, click here

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Tiny Island Productions will collaborate on WingsMedia's planned mega-franchise Starship MZ

Shanghai Media Group's WingsMedia launched a slate of new plans for strategic cooperation with its international counterparts at the 23rd Shanghai TV Festival. As part of its strategy for Sci-fi IPs, WingsMedia and Tiny Island Productions will collaborate on WingsMedia's planned mega-franchise Starship MZ, which they aim to grow into China's equivalent of the Marvel Universe franchise.


Last year, WingsMedia's original Science-fiction themed reality-TV show, Starship MZ: 2049 (S1), proved to be a successful hit with audiences nationwide. Starship MZ leverages on the popularity of the show and the national demand for science fiction content, as well as meet WingsMadia's goal to “Globalize and Export Chinese Culture”. When Starship MZ launches this year, Tiny Island Productions will be on board to create content based off its hit Sci-fi kids animated series Dream Defenders, that will lead to new TV series, feature film, comics and more, adaptated for the China market.

"By leveraging on WingsMedia's vast experience and expertise, while tapping on China's historical and rich legacy of art and culture, together we will bring China-made Science Fiction to the next level. " said David Kwok, CEO of Tiny Island Productions. "We are very grateful to Wingsmedia for this special opportunity."


Tiny Island Productions' Dream Defenders TV series, about twin siblings who discover a supercomputer that sends them into dreamworlds to protect the real world against nightmare monsters, has found international success. With Dreamworks as its distributor of the original series, Dream Defenders has been sold to 80 countries around the world and shown on 5 platforms in the United States including Discovery Family and Amazon Prime. In Europe, it has been show on Super RTL and Planeta Junior. In Asia, it is on DreamWorks TV Asia across 19 Asian countries.

David Kwok, CEO of Tiny Island Productions, shared how Dream Defenders has been adapted for Chinese Audiences. “Somewhere in China, a city suddenly comes under attack by nightmare monsters based on Chinese mythology, such as the Dragon, Kirin and Phoenix. A pair of Chinese twins desperately sends out a distress call for help to Zane and Zoey from the original series, who reveal the secret technology to enter the Dream Worlds. Now these new Chinese heroes must race against time to save their friends and family from the threat of the nightmare monsters.

To make Dream Defenders stand out globally, Tiny Island Productions constantly explores emerging technologies, from its initial broadcast in stereoscopic 3D on 3Net (joint venture 24/7 3D network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX) to creating Augmented Reality and interactive Virtual Reality experiences that immerse viewers in the Dream Defenders universe.


“Young audiences nowadays will not be satisfied with only watching a series on TV.” David Kwok explains, “In order to give the Chinese audience a better experience with Sci-fi content, we are constantly pushing the limits of new technologies such as VR to create a new form of storytelling and entertainment for today's evolving audiences. Together with our partner Presence Pictures, we integrated technology with creativity to create a unique experience for audiences that expands the stories beyond the TV series.”

“Imagine, after watching an episode, you can pick up your smartphone, slide it into a pair of VR goggles that cost only USD$5 in China, and dive into the world of the show to further immerse yourselves in the story. We wanted to make something audiences can easily jump into, anytime, anywhere, instead of requiring expensive and complicated computer-based setups. But this is not a 360 video. With the Dream Defenders app, when you physically look around, walk, run or jump in the real world, you will do the same in the virtual world. And when you stare and focus on the monsters, you can shoot at them without additional accessories. We are also allowing multiple viewers to simultaneously enter the same scenario, so that they can team up to adventure and fight alongside the heroes together. Audiences are no longer passive observers of the show. Now they are characters in the virtual world, and what they do will change the ending of the stories.”


Tiny Island Productions has plans to tie up with fast food restaurants for Dream Defenders themed promotions where food-packaging boxes for meals can be folded into virtual reality goggles. It hopes to make Dream Defenders easily accessible to the mass audience so that they can be part of the story's evolving universe.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Company BBQ party! part 2

Tiny Island 🌴 is all about our people. It's the people that is what we have been fighting for. Wonderful time with our production partners from Fremantlemedia, Dan Clark Company and Shellhut Entertainment.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Company BBQ party!

Production meeting and fun with our production partners from Fremantlemedia, Dan Clark Company and Shellhut Entertainment.

 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Best gift ever by David Kwok

Yesterday we received a hand written letter from a 12 year kid from New Jersey, USA thanking us for producing Dream Defenders. She hopes that we can make more seasons in future. This is the most precious gift that we have ever received from making the series. It is more valuable than any awards we have ever received from the series. This is a reminder why we are in this business. I am so deeply touched and the feeling is nothing can ever replace in this world.

Marking New Chapter in China

Next Monday 12th June 2017, together with our major Chinese Partner, we will make an announcement at the coming 22nd Shanghai TV Festival 2017. This will mark our new chapter in China. Dream Defenders has come a long way. After reaching out worldwide in 80 countries, we are finally reaching our final and last destination. CHINA 🇨🇳 Thanks to our Chinese partner for this support. Else we will never come this far.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Recent Chinese Trade Show

At most western trade shows, you can arrange meetings in advance.
At a recent Chinese trade show that I went to (one of the largest trade, outsourcing & investment event for IP - tv/film, animation, games, comics, toys etc) if you are new, you have to work way harder. It's like you are a fan hunting for the autograph of the superstar. (Get the scan of his WeChat account so that you can get in touch with the top executive from the biggest companies. They hardly read their emails)
The best part of the game is you do not know who is the superstar. So you need to do your research. Try to find out which talk your superstar is attending. It could be a press conference of a series they have invested in etc. Or pay attention to the host at the event. Normally the VIP sit in front. They are part of the evaluation panelist for project being pitched. The host will announced who the VIP are. Once the event is over, you need to go straight to him asap as many will do the same. Or during networking, walk around, trying to hijack into others conversation.


At the one to one business matching, I was told that Chinese companies do not like to have a schedule of appointments every 30mins like what we used to do in Western market. So it is really like a market place. You walk from table to table to look for the buyer. (They will put a badge on the table) You do not know which company (buyer) is there at the table before hand. And the buyer is different in the morning and afternoon. So you need to walk around. When you see a good buyer, you need to circle around the table like a vulture. Once you see a vacancy, put your yourself on the seat immediately ha ha. Else someone else would.

If you are shy, you might end up going home empty handed. I felt uneasy at first. But there is no choice. In order to survive, one must seize every opportunity. Once you get the attention and interest, do your best as this is the only chance to impress them.
Coming to China is really a good training for survival.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Shared Link: DREAM DEFENDERS VR BY TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS, SINGAPORE

Dream Defenders, an original IP created by our partner, Tiny Island Productions, Singapore, has reached out to 80 countries around the world and broadcasted on five channels in USA alone. This year, Dream Defenders VR app was launched, allowing audiences to continue to explore the adventure in the show’s Dream Worlds.

To continue reading this article, click here!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

China Market Intelligence on Animated Film 2017

This is what I gathered from my recent trips to China. I started going to China 2 to 3 years ago. (All numbers below is in USD.) 
Typical Animated Feature Film Budget is below USD$2M. Especially those animation coming from TV series. (This is on the safe side to recoup.) 
For those with budget close to 7M probably targeting at higher quality and aiming for a box office at least close to 60M. 
Those who dare to push the budget at 10M need to have past track record of box office beyond 100M like Monkey King: Hero is back. USD$153M 
Current there are about 100 animated films in China in production or raising funds. They are paying a lot of attention to IP and globalisation. How many will make it to the cinema, still a question. Guess the bubble will eventually burst. That is why opportunities is in the next 2 to 3 years.


Reference: 
40M to 60M is considered to be decent box office. Below this number means performance not too good. 
Potential box office is close to US. Which is close to USD$400M. 
In 2016 - there seems to be a chance to hit 40M to 60M 
In 2017 - the numbers seems to drop. Average about 6M 
E.g China Animated Films (Targeted China Market) Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds - Box Office $76,630,780 (Has done well on tv series) 
GG Bond: Guarding - 
Box Office $6,503,093 
Foreign Animated Films (Probably requires huge marketing dollar) http://www.boxofficemojo.com/intl/china/yearly/… 
Zootopia - Box Office $235,591,257 
Kung Fu Panda 3 - Box Office $154,304,371
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/intl/china/yearly/… 
Sing - Box Office $31,379,920 
The LEGO Batman Movie - Box Office $6,372,757 
Kubo and the Two Strings - Box Office $6,114,589 
A lot of interest in Anime content. Tencent is investing a lot in such IP. 
Your Name did very well in China. Box Office $83,678,210 
Other potential investors include Alibaba Youku, Wanda, QiYi, Alpha etc



Most people feel safer to target at pre school content for feature. Which is very different approach in US. Most of these films are of lower quality and lower budget. It is tapping on their tv series publicity.
6 to 12 not easy as most kids are busy studying. 
They do have an interesting market where it is not easy to do it overseas. This is the youth market. From 13 to 26. Your IP should probably involve life style, music and computer games market. 
One unusual thing in China. I thought the stereoscopic 3d market is dead. There still seems to be a demand in Chinese Cinema. Until when, I do not know. For now, it still seems quite hot. Every movie must be in 3d.

The main TV Station in China. CCTV




Saturday, 13 May 2017

Visited StarMaster

StarMaster - A very interesting company that I have visited in Beijing. We have known each other for a few years. Their growth has been tremendous. They have very clever and unique strategy to grow their IP. Their comic site has more than a million fans.





Meeting Aaron Zhou by David Kwok

6th May 2017

I am so happy to be able to finally meet Aaron Zhou. 周迅 Aaron is one of the founder of Big Big Sun. 大千阳光. He is the 1st Assistant Director & Animation Supervisor for the China's Box Office Record Breaking Animated Feature Film “Monkey King hero is back”. Their pre production work is amazing and they are currently working on a Animated Trilogy. Previously, he used to be the key member of Original Force Beijing before starting his own 160 men team.




Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Precious opportunity by David Kwok

It was not easy I must say. I am glad that eventually I have made it here. It is a good beginning to build a relationship. Thanks to the executive from Wanda Media who has given me this precious opportunity. I am very grateful.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Friday, 5 May 2017

Met the top executives from Wingsmedia

Fortunate to meet the top executives from Wingsmedia. All these years, they have been very supportive to us. Wingsmedia is part of Shanghai Media Group. SMG (The organisation that has invested in Oriental DreamWorks) Wingsmedia help to globalise China IP. They also help to bring in foreign IP into China.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Some miracle coincidence on newspaper: written by David Kwok

This newspaper mentioned a promising young man from NYP in his final year whom I do not know at that time in 2003. Next to his news, it summarised a big part of my career. It talked about the second animation company I worked for which was my turning point of my career. It mentioned about the first animated series Simeon Rex we worked on with a batch of great friends (Who are now pioneers working in major companies in the industry). We finished the episode with no pay for 6 months, hoping to use the episode to save the company. The article also mentioned the animation association SAC I have been running since 1999. Eventually, I hired this promising year man from NYP during his grad show. (Not knowing he is the guy in the papers.) 


He was one of the top student at his time. Over the years, we fought for good and bad times together and became best friends. This promising young man is now my VP for production. The second in command in Tiny Island. He is now a father himself just like me. Many years later I found this newspaper and was shocked to see many years ago, he was mentioned just beside my news. At that time, we did not even know each other. It almost feels like the newspaper show signs that we are destined to be in this journey together someday. This promising young man is Ang Chwee Hock. Thanks for being part of my journey.