- Malaysian producers have potential for global scalability
- Animasia and Sasbadi collaborate to leverage on augmented reality
THE Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)’s Kre8tif! Conference & Content Festival 2017 kicked off its sixth year on Aug 9. MDEC expects the two-day conference to attract more than 500 participants from Malaysia, South Korea, India, China, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.
This year’s theme ‘Emotion In Motion’ was chosen to reflect the passion of the industry in bringing their vision to life while continuously perfecting their art forms.
The conference will see leaders in Southeast Asia’s animation, broadcast and content creation industries sharing knowledge and opinions on the latest trends and innovations in the creative scene and digital technology.
“Kre8tif! will initiate discussions around the latest technical insights, future-shaping trends and best practices that will help the industry identify where it stands today and where it is headed,” said MDEC vice president of Creative Content and Technologies Hasnul Hadi Samsudin.
A booming industry
Market research agency Research and Markets shows that about 90% of all American television animation is produced in Asia. This has propelled the growth of an enormous industry that first began in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and is now thriving in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and China.
According to MDEC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood, the more than 220 creative studios in Malaysian have made a vibrant local animation industry, translating to close to 10,000 jobs in the creative and technical areas of the industry, and generating a revenue of about RM7.6 billion (US$1.8 billion) to date.
“Beyond that, our creative industry is so important for us because our creative IPs [intellectual properties] are really making waves in the world. Having IPs that can scale beyond our shores into the global market is a great achievement by this group of creative and passionate people,” she said.
MDEC through MSC Malaysia has seen significant performance growth in the Creative Content cluster, one of three key industry clusters identified as shaping Malaysia’s IT landscape. The cluster, which includes animation, gaming and creative content, recorded its highest growth in export sales last year, with a contribution of RM1.17 billion (US$396 million), of which RM567.86 million (US$137 million) is attributed to animation and various form of production.
The opening day of the conference also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysian animation studio Animasia Studio Sdn Bhd and book publisher Sasbadi Sdn Bhd regarding their intention to collaborate on marketing Animasia’s award-winning animated television series Chuck Chicken.
The locally-produced animated series about the adventures of Chuck Chicken, who runs the number one security service in his land, has gained global popularity and has been licensed to major international broadcast networks, such as the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, and is featured on major satellite and provincial television networks in China.
The collaboration will allow Sasbadi, which has been in the book publishing business for more than 30 years, to produce, publish, distribute, market and sell printed materials and sub-licence publishing rights to third parties on a worldwide basis.
According to Sasbadi Holdings group managing director Law King Hui, if the MoU yields positive developments, Sasbadi will include innovative technologies such as augmented reality and embedded games in its Chuck Chicken line of books.
Law explained that the collaboration will allow Sasbadi to take advantage of Animasia’s successful IP and enable Animasia to leverage on Sasbadi’s proprietary technology, which includes AR.
“The 21st century is an era of collaboration, and when things are moving so quickly we should not waste time reinventing the wheel. The collaboration will allow us to export the IP in a different medium, in this case in a book that leverages on AR, and push it out into the world. We really hope that we will be able to realise the full potential of Chuck Chicken,” said Law.
Yasmin said that Malaysia’s creative content industry has come to a point of maturity as evidenced by a number of global players, but added that remaining industry players who have not reached that point must understand their potential for creativity and global scalability.
“The collaboration between Sasbadi and Animasia is a prime example of MDEC’s aspiration for local studios to diversify their IPs beyond traditional interpretations,” she added.
She said that to become truly successful on a global scale, local players not only need creativity and passion, they also need business acumen and a certain savviness, which MDEC is ready to coach them in.
Hasnul revealed that a pain point of the industry that prevents producers from scaling up to potential is quality: “A lot of producers still don’t understand what quality means.”
He said that MDEC through its annual MSC Malaysia Intellectual Property Creators Challenge tries to educate producers on what they need to do creatively and in business to gain international success. “We are taking steps to ensure the quality of what our producers produce reaches global standards.”
MDEC also helps producers reach global markets by showcasing local content at international conferences and conventions, such as VidCon and the Kidscreen Summit
The Kre8tif! Conference & Content Festival 2017 takes place on Aug 9 and 10 at Cyberview Resort & Spa in Cyberjaya and is followed by the Kre8tif! Content Festival, which is open to animation aficionados and the public on Aug 11 and 12 at the TSI Sports Arena, Cyberjaya.
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