VFX producer Tony Willis recounts his trip to 2012 Hong Kong Filmart.
By Tony Willis
Well as always Hong Kong is a great host to people from around the world and as always puts on a fabulous show. I arrived in Hong Kong and have not stopped meeting people for 4 days, which is great.
The first day saw me wandering around the digital media hall, which I have to say was bigger better prepared and a lot more digital content was around. Many more animation companies, lots of visual effects companies and of course cameras films and hardware for stereoscopic filming. In fact very hi technology was all around, but also low technology was also in abundance, (Hong Kong always has its own solutions) this bodes well as much of this was Hong Kong based, and you absolute need a multiply approach to this type of work.
I managed to meet many old friends there and touch base with many new friends, so the social aspect of Filmart is excellent, even if you find out that these new friends was only down the street from you.
My second day was being part of the Hong Kong animation society, who invited me to talk about global animation and it'd impact. They had a really great stand with enfaces on the creative process, as they were also showing 60 years of animation in Hong Kong. And I have to say I loved the rostrum camera (animation stand ) they had on site. It showed a really great craft has been around for a few years now in Hong Kong. Many elements animation cells pictures and a nice showreel showing new work from young and up and coming animators.
The evening is spent in one of the restaurants having dinner with a number of top Hong Kong animators, and of course we talk movies all night.
Day three and we have an early start as I am one of the speakers and apparently I am first to talk. The format has changed a bit, so more of a conversation piece between the 3 speakers and the audience, but I have a presentation anyway just in case. A late night and early start gets the presentation ready. The stage was set and was about 3/4 full at the start and at the end, which was nice. A long conversation about cultural differences, how companies and freelancers work, some issues with how companies run, and many great stories of productions we have worked on. We also approached the future vision in a big way and gave it a lot of time as the audience seemed to really want to understand how we will all work together in animation over the next few years.
In fact we managed to run out of time so I did not get to present a PowerPoint which would have been very enlightening (next time). The rest of the day was spent meeting all the people who tuned up at the animation stand after the speech and it seemed as the stand was crowded all day. Many new people came to the show and tell along with many old friends. In the afternoon there was a small craft music show at the stand, which had jazz and folk music and was unique and the stand was packed, a great move planned by the animation team :) later on there was again a presentation from the sponsors about the digital forum which had grown 40% this year in exhibitors and a 10% growth in people at the show. All bodes well for the future of HK Filmart as it grows to be one of the top 3 in the world this year.
After the show, many meetings are had with drinks coffee food and wine, in the packed excellent restaurants of Hong Kong. The last day starts with everyone making sure they have met all the people they planned to meet, and final deals are made. For myself I was testing the stereoscopic camera systems that were all around as I will be shooting the visual effects movie in China during the summer.
Over all a great show was had, lots of people, lots of new ideas, and as Asia becomes a major player in the media world HK Filmart will only grow.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.
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