ASEAN Copyright Awareness Contest and Seminar

5 08 2014

    I asked Grace A. Dimaranan to share her experiences and lessons learned from the ASEAN Copyright Awareness Contest and Seminar held in Bangkok, Thailand last July 18 – 19, 2014. The contest is relevant for animation students and professionals alike, as this will give them the opportunity to learn and  show their talents and creativity in the Asean region in the future.

ASEAN Animation contest

  I was invited to judge an animation contest (part 1) where animators submit their story/concepts/character design and then they will pitch in front of the judges and the audience. The theme is ASEAN Copyright Awareness.

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 Grace A. Dimaranan with the other judges reviewing the entries

      The judges came from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, the United States and the Philippines. Some of the judges were also speakers for the event like Professor Koji Mikami of Tokyo University of Technology and Stephen P. Jenner, Director of Communications in the Asia-Pacific region, working for the Motion Picture Association – International.

Stephen jenner, Grace & Lak Taechawanchai

       Stephen P. Jenner, Grace and Lak Taechawanchai

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                              Philippine team in semi-formal attire (Randy Valiente, Zenar Sayson, Ross Tec) and some Philippine delegates

   There are 24 teams of contestants which came from the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The judges chose the first final 12 who will pitch in front of the audience in our presence. The Philippines was included in the final 12. After the pitch, the final 6 were chosen. These 6 teams will be given 10,000 Baht to produce/animate their pitched content. The final animation judging will be on August 28, 2014. If you want to see the storyboards of the 6 teams, here it is: http://aseananimationcontest.com/news_details.php

Top 12 with Grace

   Judges with the top 12 finalist

     Some did not understand the concept of the Copyright Awareness. Among the 6 finalists, the three from Myanmar are the most prepared in their materials and has the best storyboards for presentation. However, they have difficulty in speaking English. Their topics are dramatic and deep, and they have catchy taglines. The one in Thailand has a good concept too. The Malaysian entry came from an animation professional working in a studio. The last one  from Indonesia has a cute catchy character design that can become a mascot of a campaign program for the ASEAN Copyright.

Grace with Top 6 finalists

   Judges with the 6 finalists

     Although the pitchings were good, I have some apprehensions on the outcome for the animation production. The 3 from Myanmar have little experience in animation, as they are just starting off as animators on their own. I am more confident with the Malaysian and Thai as they are professional animators with good output. I just hope the Indonesian can do good animation work and justify her cute designs.

    Since I am always on the judging area and not the conference area; I can only hear the speakers talk after we have finished the judging. So I only heard a portion of some of the talks  and discussions. I also had the chance to go around the exhibition areas only on lunch breaks and after the seminars.

      The topic of Stephen Jenner is about the theatrical distribution cycle. He says in the film industry, distributors treat this cycle as a “pregnant woman” and each stage should have its own development or else, the “baby” or the film will  not come out right or will have “flaws”. The cycle covers everything from script, talents, partnerships, distribution and marketing, target audience, marketing materials, translation, publicity,various media advertising, partners etc. up to release date, reviews and analysis.

     The topic of Professor Koji Mikami is about incorporating 2D and 3D together. He says since its the digital age, 3D is now the preferred medium of most producers. But it doesn’t mean that 2D will be lost. It is still an essential part of animators to learn to incorporate it in their 3D work. He showed the history of Japanese animation and the changing medium up to the modern times.

      Another speaker was Ms. Sopita Santitrakut, Managing Director of Homerun Entertainment in Thailand. She talked about Thai animation production and she showed some sample clips and shared practical experiences in the Thai animation industry.

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   Ms. Santitrakut in the middle and Professor Mikami (with blue tie) second to the right

      I didn’t catch her talk much nor saw the samples of clips and pictures. I caught her in the Question and Answer forum and the pitching time. A Philippine representative asked her; “We have outsourcing work in the Philippines and this has been the dominant practice in the country. How can we produce and improve our content creation?” She answered:”Who cares? You have work coming into your country through outsourcing and that’s good! While you have money doing that, then do some original content on the side so that you can create your own Intellectual Property (IP). I don’t see any conflict in outsourcing and content creation.”

     Overall, the effort to promote ASEAN copyright awareness is going to the right direction. As I have heard from all the countries, Piracy is a dominant issue giving content creators a hard time. The pitching tips, techniques and exercises from the speakers were also good learning experiences for the audience.

     The Thai organizers have been very attentive to the needs of the participants, the program flowed well, we were all well fed and the schedule for the topics were all on time. I have heard they spent a good amount of money for this event. They paid for all the airfare and accommodations of the 24 participants and the judges. For the judges, we also had some special dinners and tours too.

     Last August 28, 2014, the judges had an online scoring for the six finalist and the results were:

1) Winner: “Don’t Let Creativity Fall, Respect IP”Myanmar Team: Linn Htet Maw

2) 1st Runner Up: “Beyond the ProductionMyanmar Team: Neutron Animation Group

3) 2nd Runner Up: “Protection” – MyanmarTeam: Ye Win

4) Honorable Mention: ” Do It Right, Copy RightMalaysiaTeam: Giggles

5) Honorable Mention: “Spender Thailand Team: Rocky Dally Studio

6) Honorable Mention: “Kopas the ThiefIndonesiaTeam: Kopas the Thief

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