Present & Future Legends

Magic Dumpling President & CEO was pleased to contribute to two properties on the Hong Kong Filmart trade show floor: as consultant to China’s first animated 3D stereoscopic feature film “Legend of a Rabbit”, and as producer with partner Steven Ching (Agogo Corporation) on China’s next hot property: “Tofu Boy”.


Filmart Mulls Hollywood-China Relationship

As reported by Clifford Coonan in Variety

HONG KONG — China’s growing economic might is attracting a lot of interest from Hollywood and the rise of the country is one of the top themes at Filmart, the annual Hong Kong Intl. Film and TV Market.

One exec who has been fielding questions is producer Kevin Geiger, a former CG supervisor at Walt Disney and co-founder of Magic Dumpling, a Beijing-based animation company.

“In the last few years the fact that we work in China has made us a subject of interest. People want to talk further,” he said.

With B.O. gross passing $2 billion for the first time last year and forecast to top $5 billion by 2015, China will soon become the world’s second largest movie market.

“Hollywood needs to tell the same story in new and unusual ways and right now China is hot, it’s interesting and most people in the West don’t know very much about it,” Glenn Berger, DreamWorks Animation producer and scribe of the “Kung Fu Panda” movies, told a Filmart panel on Tuesday.

Producer Tracey Trench said, “I know studio executives and even chairmen of studios who’ve never been to China, who are now saying: I need to go, I need to meet people.”

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have a significant presence in China, including the big studios and prominent indies including Legendary, Relativity and Village Roadshow.

Asia is also attractive because of its low costs.

“You already know (filming) is costing you a ton of money, so you try to figure out every way possible to hedge that financial risk,” Trench said.

The four-day Filmart event at the Hong Kong convention center closes Thursday.

Gung Ho In Zhengzhou

Amid a rising tide of excitement among aspiring Chinese animation artists regarding the future of China’s media industry, Magic Dumpling President & CEO Kevin Geiger gave a series of lectures in Zhengzhou at the Huayu Brothers Animation School, the Zhengzhou University of Light Industry School of Art & Design, and the Zhengzhou Institute of Science & Technology.

The Huayu Brothers “Buddy” animation experience zone is up and running, complete with areas for children to participate in 2D, 3D, stop-motion and live-action filmmaking, as well as audio recording and post-production.

Magic Dumpling Brings Stereoscopic Expertise to China

BEIJING – Magic Dumpling Entertainment President & CEO Kevin Geiger has accepted an invitation to serve as resident foreign consultant to the China 3D Film & TV Association, an organization commissioned with setting standards for stereoscopic production and exhibition by China’s State Administration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT).

Of his appointment, Mr. Geiger said:

I am honored to play a role in shaping the quality of the world’s second-largest and fastest-growing stereoscopic market.  Access to the Association’s 4k DLP stereo screening room and the world-class Tianjin high-speed render farm, combined with the story value of our properties such as TOFU BOY, will provide Chinese entertainment experiences of international technical and creative quality.  It’s an exciting time to be in China, as China takes its place on the world stage.

See C21Media and Animation Magazine for related articles.

Magic Dumpling Partners With Guangdong Design Base

Magic Dumpling President & CEO Kevin Geiger participated in the opening ceremony of the Shunde Comic and Animation R&D Center, a cooperative venture between the Guangdong Industrial Design City and the Beijing Film Academy.

Situated in Guangdong province, the manufacturing epicenter of the world, the Shunde Comic and Animation R&D Center is a new facility dedicated to the development of high quality ancillary animation products.

Members of Magic Dumpling Entertainment, the Beijing Film Academy and the Guangdong Industrial Design City were joined by regional & local officials for the ribbon cutting ceremony and inaugural addresses.

With its partners at the Shunde base, Magic Dumpling Entertainment will co-develop original product lines related to its slate of transmedia properties, beginning with the “Tofu Boy” franchise.

Kevin Geiger commented to Chinese reporters:  “Magic Dumpling’s partnership with the Shunde Comic and Animation R&D Center is an important aspect of our company’s transmedia strategy.  It’s great to be in business in China’s entrepreneurial south, where most of the world’s toys are made, and rewarding to play a role in China’s transition from manufacturing powerhouse to brand originator.”

“Tofu Boy” Director Sun Lijun remarked:  “The opening of the Shunde facility is an important step forward in China’s continued development across all areas of the animation industry, from theatrical presentation to the derivative products.  As Kevin said in his speech this afternoon, the same emotions that drive the animated content must drive the development of related merchandise.”

Baby Got Backstory

While at an animation festival in Ningbo this week to deliver a presentation on “China’s Next 90 Minutes”, I was asked the following question by a local reporter:

“If the Chinese animation industry is like a baby compared to the USA, what age would that baby currently be?”

My reply…

“The Chinese animation industry isn’t a baby.  It’s an adult who is recovering from a massive stroke.”

My analogy was of course in reference to the fact that the Chinese produced an animated feature film (“Princess Iron Fan”) within a few years of Walt Disney’s “Snow White”, and subsequently created a remarkably beautiful and groundbreaking body of animation… until the upheavals of the 20th century took their toll (see the above link for details).

While sad, this history should in fact be an inspiration to all aspiring Chinese animators today.  China is not trying to achieve the impossible:  it is instead trying to reclaim former animation glory.

But a new Golden Age of Chinese animation will come from the bottom up, not the top down.  The talent is here.  Will it be allowed to flourish?

I’m betting on it.

~ Kevin Geiger

Catching Waves

A veteran surfer was out catching waves one morning when a younger surfer paddled by him, heading for open water.

“Hey, kid!” the veteran called out, “Where the hell are you going?  The swells are right here!”  The younger surfer smiled and said, “I see them, but there’s something bigger coming.  Why don’t you paddle out with me and we’ll ride it in together?”

The older surfer laughed at the upstart.  “There’s nothing out there, kid.  All the action’s right here.  I’ve been surfing these waves for years, and have the trophies to prove it.  Why should I move when everything comes to me?  Come over here and I’ll show you how it’s done.”

“Thanks,” replied the younger surfer, “but I’m more interested in how it will be done.  You sure you don’t want to come with me?”

The veteran snorted, “If you want to waste your time and energy chasing after bullshit, go ahead.  You clearly know everything.  I’ll be right here doing my thing when reality hits you.”  As if to prove his point, the older surfer promptly caught a nice wave and cruised towards the shore.

The younger surfer looked back for a moment, then turned and paddled out into the open water.

The ocean was perilous.  Each day, the exhausted young surfer was pushed beyond his limits by bad weather, treacherous swells and sharks.  Finally, he finally saw what he was looking for:  a tiny ripple, barely a half-inch high and hardly distinguishable amid the tumult of the ocean.

The surfer got in front of the ripple and began paddling furiously.  Though not strong enough to support his board at first, the ripple quickly grew in breadth and height until it was a decent wave, with the surfer was gliding comfortably on top.  The size and power of the wave multiplied at an astonishing rate.  The young surfer soon found himself riding a massive tsunami, unlike anything anyone had ever seen before.

The landscape was changed forever as the tsunami crashed into the shoreline.

The veteran surfer never knew what hit him.