Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fwd: Animation takes off in Hong Kong

While Hong Kong's signature gangster and kung fu flicks are losing ground to Chinese historical epics, the computer-animated cartoon TMNT made in the city has earned an estimated $US93 million worldwide since its March release.

Hong Kong company Centro Digital Pictures also has been chosen to make Disney's first-ever non-Hollywood Chinese movie, "The Magic Gourd," which mixes animation and live action.

Amid dwindling interest in Hong Kong film, is computer animation the future of the Hong Kong entertainment industry?

Animators here boast that they offer a unique sensibility that combines Hong Kong's action cinema legacy and a deep awareness of both Asian and Western cartoon traditions in an English-speaking environment.

Industry experts say, however, that Hong Kong animators are merely taking outsourcing jobs from Hollywood by offering cheaper pricing while not generating creative ideas on their own - a point that people here concede is true, at least for now. (這一點大家同意嗎?)

At Imagi, which designed the turtle fighters in TMNT, Co-Chief Executive Douglas Glen is gung-ho about the prospects of a company that once made artificial Christmas trees and furniture and switched over to animation completely in 2002.

The former Mattel executive said computer artists in this Chinese-ruled former British colony blend the best of the East and the West.

"If our director says, 'I want this character in this film to react like Wilma Flintstone to this situation,' they get it, because people here have seen The Flintstones and they've seen all the Japanese anime," he said.

Glen said for TMNT - a take-off on the 1990's Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtle films - Imagi didn't even hire an action choreographer because kung fu is "in the DNA" of its 350 Hong Kong-based animators.

During a visit to Imagi's Hong Kong offices, animators worked on computer drawings in cubicles cluttered with figurines including Mr Potato Head and the popular Japanese character Doraemon. Neighbouring shelves were lined with Japanese comic books.

But while Hong Kong's computer graphics industry dates back some two decades, it's still growing. A survey of 57 "digital entertainment companies" in 2004 - the most recent study of its kind - found that most employed fewer than 10 people and about a third had annual revenues of under $HK500,000.

"Hollywood's interest in Hong Kong animation is mostly financial," says Tom McLean, a US-based journalist who writes a blog on cartoons for the Hollywood trade magazine Variety.

original article: theWEST.com.au

9 comments:

wong kenny said...

佢話while not generating creative ideas on their own ...不過加多句: at least for now.
你點睇呀?

felixip said...

當然不贊成! 看這文(澳洲媒體)就知道對香港就知道是相當表面...

wong kenny said...

我好耐以前,有十幾年前,睇過一篇電影雙週刋(未比施養德攪之前)的文章,有個香港導演(出名的,但忘記了名字)想到美國發展,遇到當時走紅的奧利華史東,問他香港的導演在荷李活有冇得發展?奧先生這樣答:香港導演只能在這裡拍‘馬騮戲’(指工夫片)!當時這位導演在文章中說 想扲佢一巴…話佢睇唔起人…
其實不同地方的人對對方的文化了解都好表面,當時機成熟,香港會出現獨有的動畫文化,有別於美、日兩國…

felixip said...

時間可以証明一切. 韓國做得不錯.兩地特別是中國也在"狂谷",不過當中有太多政治因素...
至於讓外國真正了解香港獨有的動畫文化和風,還需要時間,相信此日可待!

Man Tam said...

說老實話,香港要在動畫工業上發展如韓國,是需要多方面配合的,無論人材培育及資源投放,都是香港現時欠缺的事。
近幾年,韓國在線上遊戲及Flash的東西上,確是搞得不錯,但動畫方面,還是以代工為主("Avatar" from Nickelodeon,本人覺得算是近年做得不錯的一套,也是大賣東方神秘及功夫武打),而創作電影也有幾套,風格十分東洋,質素卻不及日本卡通。但是,要做到這樣的一步,就要說回十年前,韓國巳經發展數碼娛樂的東西,無論大學教育或營商優惠,都務實執行。那麼,九七年的香港正在做什麼呢?
香港每年投資在電影及音樂上的資金都在遞減,還有多少人肯花十年金錢及時間,來成就這一門事業呢?我不知道,希望不要太少就是了!

wong kenny said...

我睇過韓國的‘The Wonderfull Day’, 2D夾3D,但唔多協調,唔夠Wonderfull,3D太精細及寫實,2D‘浮’在上面,整個風格都是沿自日本,服飾土了一點, 故亊沒甚麼特色,觀衆應會‘料事如神!’但製作的野心籍得佩服!
曾讀過一些文章,是美國人寫的,他說有很多有天份的pr0gramer,他們現在可能是貨車司機、女接侍員、送薄餅…
只要他們遇上機緣…

Man Tam said...

Kenny,在我教書的兩年裡,也見過有天份的小朋友, 但是在香港要碰到機會,一展所長,又確是很困難。
香港社會將資本主義推到至高無尚,賺錢多就係叨!你响度畫的冇錢賺0既野,就係笨!有錢先至叫醒!當整個社會都充滿這種氣氛,就算是有才華,也難以長久地支持下去。機會未到,巳經轉行,激死!

wong kenny said...

D咁嚴重嘅問題睇嚟要禮拜喺‘城巿論壇’討論啦,或者成立「動漫抗爭革命委員會」…
政府偏重金溶界,對其他工業發展反應遲鈍,年青人其實可發展出動漫事業,現時這片地是存在高原上很少很少的一片地方…

felixip said...

其實很同意ManTam所說的. 我所知現在就算讀的也會選擇出路較佳的"廣告", 插圖動畫這些需要很長時間浸淫及堅持的科目...加上行頭窄而且不明朗,要真的很有"Heart"的人才能生存.

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