Animation Co-Production in Asia

Animation Co-Production in Asia

MIPCOM Daily News & Hollywood Reporter journalist Marlene Edmunds, moderates MIPCOM’s Animation Co-Production in Asia conference, October 13. I have always believed that the willingness to co-produce represents one of the more admirable ambitions of the entertainment community.

Sure, there is – or should be – financial gain from a successful co-production, but there is more. These days, the willingness to take an idea and move beyond diverse cultural, historical and geo-political stumbling blocks to bring it to its next creative level, is commendable, if not a little brave.

European co-production is historically steeped in strong alliances. It is an industry accustomed to the nuances involved in co-operation with partners from diverse Euro cultures.

Asia, regionally, has been moving in this direction, but has seen, as yet, no major lift-off on the co-production front. And yet, Asia has on offer 5,000-plus years of culture and history from territories as diverse as China, Korea, Japan, India, Singapore and Malaysia. It also boasts a large pool of cutting-edge talent ready to be tapped in the creation of regional and international co-productions.

Languages, histories and cultural assumptions are as diverse in Asia as anywhere else in the world. Successful co-producers across the globe will attest to the fact that the ability to communicate — even sometimes getting a partner to articulate a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ — has a profound impact on when and if a co-production gets off the ground.

Experience, knowledge — not just the assumption of knowledge — and practicing respect for other cultures are key ingredients for successful co-production, especially a true co-production in which all partners contribute creatively.

We are in a time of great economic turmoil and moving forward with any co-production project might seem just a bit risky. I believe, however, that when there is real, large-scale lift-off in co-production among the major Asian territories, and between Asia and the global industry, creativity will also lift off to a level that is unprecedented in the world entertainment community.

The content industry trades in ideas. The linguistic, cultural and historical barriers that divide us can be crossed to create content that reflects true universal values. What better idea to take risks on than that one?