Report – Focus on China
With a co-production treaty between China and the UK imminent, host Chris Colman led the session informing delegates on how China and the West can collaborate on children’s media projects in the future.
- Collaboration between the UK and Chinese markets is predicted to continue in the future
- The Department for International Trade (DIT) is on hand to help with the deal making process between the UK and China
- Patience is key – the language barrier must be considered
Delegates were given an insight into the experiences of UK producers already working with China and from some of the Chinese producers about what they are looking for and how a China-UK collaboration could work.
Oli Hyatt, owner and chair of Blue-Zoo Animation, shared his experiences of working with Chinese partners. He explained how looking to China was a way of accessing new markets but keeping his company’s ties with the UK. “They’ve invested in UK talent, UK jobs, and UK output,” he said. For Blue-Zoo it’s about “making content we love and that the kids will love”.
Toni Liu, the managing partner of Reach Asia, stressed the scale of the ever-changing and diverse Chinese market and predicted that there would be a lot of collaboration between China and the UK in the future. She also informed the delegates on how the Chinese government is “very welcoming and easy to talk to”.
The panellists discussed which type of content does well in the Chinese market, with Paul Laikin, Managing Director of Unanico Group, highlighting the rich cultural background in China and how animal characters and general fantasy are popular. James Chen Gu, from UYoung, talked about his company’s interest in comedy and how the right balance between dialogue comedy and physical comedy can translate well in the international market. Sean Chu, founder of WeKids, told delegates to consider the different ways content is consumed in the UK and China with online screening a common way of screening first in China.
The delegates were also introduced to some of the help that is offered by the British government. Tony Humphreys, a screen specialist with the Department for International Trade, said how DIT can help both with financial aid but also with assistance locally in China and support for deals go through.
One of the final bits of advice out forward by many of the panellists was the need to be patient as things can change quickly, and to be prepared for the unexpected. The language barrier is something to consider, and it was noted that having someone who either speaks the language or is Chinese can help negotiations go much more smoothly.
James Chen Gu
UYoung Culture & Media Co.
General Manager Animation Studio
Founder & CEO
Department for International Trade
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Cloth Cat Animation
Producer/Head of Animation Development
The Creative Garden