After watching 23 pitches from Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, India and China at the Asian Animation Summit, the departing delegates had plenty to reflect on concerning what they had achieved and learned during the 3-day event in Jeju Island, South Korea.
In one inspiring presentation by Guru Studio’s Frank Falcone about how to ensure content is successful globally, producers were advised to be brutally honest and follow their instincts if something isn’t working, and not try to tick all the boxes, lest they end up with something that is just bland 50% gray.
Another illuminating talk revealed the story of how the series Super Wings was developed. From concepts created by both FunnyFlux and Little Airplane, the scripts were written first in English by Little Airplane’s writer’s room, the writers sitting in on the voice records. They even tried to get authentic children’s voices from the regions portrayed in the show, another example of the attention to detail that Little Airplane is famous for.
Many of the delegates were pitching shows for the first time – Amy Park of Korea’s Big Pumpkin bravely related the complex back story to her show Tobix, whilst also explaining the tie-in to a construction toy range that can create millions of different characters.
There was also a huge variety in the types of shows presented – Bloody Bunny from 2Spot Communications in Thailand had a darkly cynical take on a post-apocalyptic world where all humans had been turned into dolls, starring a bipolar sword-wielding toy rabbit. In contrast, Naughty Nuts from Korea’s Mostapes was just full-on wacky comedy that made the whole audience laugh out loud.
All the pitches got honest and constructive feedback from industry luminaries such as Sarah Muller from CBBC, who said AAS was “a wonderful opportunity to network and make lasting business partnerships,” and DHX TV’s Sarah Haasz, who thought it was “a great platform to have access to producers and broadcasters.”
At the end of the day, it was all about the business. CJ See, Inspidea’s popular Director of Sales, took advantage of the summit to forge new deals, saying that “AAS enables a lot of collaboration between Asian companies. It’s always been very successful for us.”
Just as Cartoon Forum is an essential event for European producers, the Asian Animation Summit has become indispensable for both Asian producers and those from further afield who want to work with them.
Andy Blazdell is the CEO of CelAction, an animation software development company based in the UK.