Monthly Archives: December 2010

Rushing a project

This is a project we just completed for a client.The team had only one week to rush out the project. The video footages was provided by our client and our job scope involved creating the animation to be overlayed onto it. It was an interesting project and it’s always “fun” to rush a project to see it to completion.


ATF 2010

The Asia Television Forum is the last ‘major’ international content market of the year.  It feels like an after party of MIPCOM, which was just under two months ago.

Taking up two halls of the Suntec Convention Centre, it’s not a big footprint in terms real estate, and quite frankly the traffic’s been pretty low for the last two years. I can’t imagine the statistic increasing this year, once the organiser releases the attendee numbers (even though I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow they did ‘go up’). I’ve been at the last seven ATFs, and this is certainly the quietest one I’ve seen.

Being held in Singapore, naturally we try to have some sort of a presence. This means taking up a ‘stall space’ under the Singapore Pavilion. It’s a nice setup this year, although for all practical purposes, not very conducive for meetings. We felt like salesmen at a cosmetic booth most of the time.

ATF is largely recognised as an ‘Asia-centric’ market, where buyers tend to come from the region, but there is still a fair amount of international presence. I suppose there are worse places to visit than Singapore for a last business trip of the year.

The generally lighter traffic means we tend to have fewer meetings than the usual overseas markets. Or maybe because it’s held on ‘home ground’, we take it a little easier, and really just try to meet the key people and spend more time talking instead of having back-to-back 30-minute ‘speed dating’ sessions.

Personally, I find ATF is one too many market for the year. With the traffic being so light, it only serves to strengthen that belief. Either the organiser seriously look at a revamp or ways to bring in the buyers and exhibitors, it’s hard to see numbers improving as long the economy continues to tread water.

There are larger macro-factors involved as well, with Asia being such a fragmented market and license fees looking like pocket change that one hopes adds up to something decent. As such some may feel ATF isn’t worth attending, since most of the buyers do show up at the MIPs anyway.

At the same time, every dollar of license fee counts in this business these days, so a sale is still a sale – even if it’s one that puts just a touch of icing on another tough year in this wonderful, frustrating, dysfunctional and bizarre industry that is TV production.

See you at ATF 2011 I guess.


Monsoon Season

View from office

December sneaked in like a silent kitten, but here in Singapore, the unmistakable sign that the year end is fast approaching is undoubtedly the thunderstorms that pelt the island almost each afternoon, courtesy of the Northeast Monsoon.

Now, it rains pretty much all year round in Singapore so we’re generally an umbrella-friendly bunch . But monsoon rain is something else. If the perennial afternoon rain we get is a pick-up truck, then monsoon rain is a 10-ton wrecker.

Indeed, we often experience our version of the 4 seasons in a single day – warm mornings, scorching mid-days, cool and windy afternoons as the clouds gather, and cold evenings after a few hours of unrelenting downpour. To qualify, ‘cold’ here really hovers around 24-26 degree Celsius.

A few weeks ago, Lisa Henson from the Jim Henson Company dropped in for a visit. After lunch we drove her to her next appointment, and the sky opened up and poured like it’s from a bucket. It’s not easy driving in one of these downpours I can tell you. Visibility is pretty much limited to 10-15 metres ahead, the rain pelts the car and windscreen like it’s trying to beat you into submission, and add to all that the general pandemonium that’s happening outside – flooded roads, roaring winds, flashes of lights from vehicles that you can’t quite tell if they’re 10 or 50 metres ahead…anyway, you get the idea.

It was apparent that Lisa’s never been in weather like that. She was visibly a mix of excitement, awe, and probably genuine concern – that her life could well be in the hands of a driver who kept looking back at her reaction to the weather through the rear view mirror instead of looking at the road ahead. Meantime the other two gentlemen in the car – Choon Meng and Chi Kong – just joked away like two kids experiencing an automatic car wash for the first time.

I’m glad to report that we got Lisa safely to her destination, and she’s even be on the email since. The ordeal appears over for Ms Henson.

Let’s see how the weather holds up for next week’s Asia TV Forum. Could have a few surprises in store for some unsuspecting overseas guests not used to torrential downpours.