Original Elaborate Works are the Vitality of Animation Companies
-- Experiences of Hangzhou Animation Companies Creating Elaborate Works in 2018, II
This year, the Hangzhou animation industry has created a number of "elaborate works of the year", and made "created in Hangzhou" stand on a higher international stage.
In October, the National Radio and Television Administration issued a circular on recommending excellent domestic TV animated films for the second quarter of 2018. Hangzhou topped all cities in the country by recommending six elaborate works, building the golden brand of capital of animation with strength.
In November, an exciting news spread all over Hangzhou. Have a Nice Day, an animated film directed by Liu Jian, an associate professor of China Academy of Art, was shortlisted for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 91st Academy Awards, following its entry into the main competition at the Berlin Film Festival, and winning the 54th Golden Horse Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
As a result of meticulous cultivation of the capital of animation for more than ten years, Hangzhou’s local animation and game companies have thrived from stumbling off to dashing forward. How could these creative teams, which have never rested on their laurels, maintain their vigorous original creation vitality in Hangzhou? They have their own ways.
A.U Cultural Creativity: Keep Original, Make IP in Pace with the Times
In 2009, Ma Shujian created the A.U animation brand. Over the 10 years, the slogan “A.U Boosts Excellence for Growth” has kept pushing them forward. In Ma’s view, “children IP is the messenger of values. We should have clear, unambiguous claims of value. It is our initial aspiration and social responsibility to pay close attention to the development of children.”
Thanks to 10 years of persistence, A.U has accompanied the growth of countless children, harvesting good reputation and market recognition. In 2017, A.U won the National Science and Technology Progress Award of the Year. It is an honor won for the first time by an animation company. Behind the honor is A.U’s adherence to the principle of originality.
Only originality is not enough. A.U has a strong team of experts to conduct rigorous examination. Ma gave a simple example. “For example, if A.U makes an experiment with a test tube, it must hold the tube one third near the tube mouth. The creators may ignore such details. Experts can find the problem at first glance in examination.”
“It takes time to stew good soup. Our original works also need time to polish. Over the decade, we've been focused on content creation for the A.U brand.” Ma was grateful to the Hangzhou government for its continuous encouragement over the years, adding that the government's recognition gave them more confidence to do a good job with the content.
Magic Mall: Create a Chinese Child Going Global in 10 Years
On October 15, Luo Bao Bei, along with 28 works from 13 other countries, was nominated for the 2019 International Emmy Award for Children. It was the only shortlisted Chinese original animated film for preschool children.
Luo Bao Bei has developed from the precedent Funny Book Club, an original animation of Magic Mall in 2008. After rounds of polishing, Magic Mall finally met the “Mr.Right” in the arduous road of creation in 2016, and worked with the Cloth Cat Animation from Wales, Britain, to jointly produce the animated film Luo Bao Bei based on Magic Mall original animation.
The made-in-China Luo Bao Bei is full of elements of traditional Chinese culture, such as Chinese yoyo, kite, shadow play. Through the combination of clever design and interesting stories, it has naturally incorporated traditional culture elements into the stories. In addition, a variety of unique original "Chinese style" details have added freshness of Chinese culture to the animated film, and allowed children and families around the world to understand, focus on, and like Chinese culture through watching Luo Bao Bei.
Because of the good creative environment, Magic Mall has figured out how to move forward with original creation over the next 10 years. Since February 2018, Luo Bao Bei has successively landed in Australia ABC KIDS, British Chanle 5-Milkshake!, The United Arab Emirates E-Junior, and Canal Panda in Portugal and Spain. In the future, Luo Bao Bei is expected to be screened in 23 languages in over 200 countries and regions.
Top-level Design: Animation Capital to Give Full Support to Original Elaborate Works
Over the past decade, the number of animation and game companies in Hangzhou has increased rapidly from about a dozen in 2004 to nearly 400 in 2018. These businesses of high aspirations and determination in the industry have begun to reap the fruits after their cultivation. Hangzhou, the capital of animation, is constantly improving the top-level design, to escort the prosperity of the animation industry with visible hands and forward-looking layout.
In November 2017, the Hangzhou municipal government officially issued the Opinions on Promoting the Animation and Game Industry to Develop Better and Stronger in the City of Hangzhou. It was the fifth round of policies launched by the city on the animation and game industry. The revised policy in2017 had 18 articles, compared with 31 articles in 2014. It mainly involves the four sectors of encouraging the development of elaborate works, the exploration of the overseas market, the launching of capital operation, and the strengthening of public service.
Under the strong policy support, Hangzhou animation and game companies have much stronger sense of security. The city has given far more support to boost the development of original elaborate works. China International Cartoon and Animation Festival, so far held for 14 successive years, has become a powerful driving force to help Hangzhou original elaborate works to go global. Each year, by virtue of the animation festival platform, Hangzhou invites famous entrepreneurs and businesses from home and abroad to the city, acting as a go-between for local animation companies, and cultivating the industrial agglomeration effect.
We are delighted to see that more and more cartoonists have settled down in Hangzhou. We have also seen that emerging cartoonists are thriving with the Supernova Awards. A sound original animation ecological chain is taking shape under the favorable atmosphere in the capital of animation.