From our news archives, as covered by TODAY newspaper.
Sunday, 27 December 2015
Friday, 4 September 2015
We haven't made an official worldwide announcement yet. Here is a preview. Another milestone for Dream Defenders. We are officially on Dreamworks TV Asia. Across 19 countries in Asia in additional to the existing 60 countries we have reached so far. The very first Singapore made IP on the channel. More news coming up. Stay connected. Click on Link here.
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 01:40
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Dream Defenders joins popular animated series such as Transformers Rescue Bots and Littlest Pet Shop on Discovery Family Channel. Since rebranding last fall, the Discovery Communications/Hasbro joint-venture previously known as The Hub has been looking to fill its daytime programming sked with a mix of kids content from Hasbro and third-party suppliers.
Read more of the article on kidscreen
Read more of the article here
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
The conference calls with the 2 potential Chinese Partners went well today. One of them is a key player in Shanghai who has invested in a major US Animation Studio in China. The other is the number one satellite TV station in China. We are honoured that both of them are interested to move the discussion forward to the next stage. Guess we will be heading to China next.
In China, the players have the all in one capability - distributions, promotions, broadcasting, toys manufacturing, theme-park and theme restaurants, licensing / merchandising, investing in TV series and feature film etc. They have the ability to grow Dream Defenders brand in China much further and bigger.
This opportunity really opens up a new chapter for us. Its a whole new lesson for us. It feels like going to school all over again. There is so much to learn. And most of all, we are one tiny step closer to our dream. That is to bring Singapore work to the world. Keep Dreaming. Keep believing.
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 19:37
Today, we received an important mail from a major media company based in Shanghai. They are the one invested in one of the key US animation studio in China. They mentioned that they are really very fond of Dream Defenders. And would like to discuss further collaboration and distribution in China.
Though we are not sure where this will lead us to. We feel really honored and encouraged. This could just be another chapter for us.
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 03:01
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
https://entrepreneurshipinanimation.wordpress.com/…/its-th…/ We are planning to come back to Jakarta to run a 3 days seminar to share more in depth business knowledge in animation. Hope you can help us to do a survey. I would like to find out if there is enough interest before I speak with the University in Jakarta about this.link
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 00:18
Friday, 8 May 2015
My Korean Journey 2007 was the year I went to MIPCOM for the first time. A Japanese American Consultant was very kind to share his frank opinion about our work. He said "David, your work is good. But nothing extraordinary. Walk down to the KOCCA booth (Korean booth). See how fast they have progressed. It's amazing. Every year, there is something different. Something new. So I went there to take a look. I was totally blown away. I really admire what they have done. I told myself that we must work very hard to improve ourselves.
Since then, I started going to their booth yearly to arrange meetings in hope to build a relation with them. And hopefully we can work together someday. Initially some of them were skeptical about me. Several executives were wondering who is this foreign guy who kept coming to our booth.
Over time, I have proven myself and has earned their trust. Today we have built such good relationship and friendship with some of their major players in their industry. Dream Defenders is what it is today was a motivation from the first time I went to the KOCCA booth. Working with them has been a valuable learning opportunity for me.
In business and work, friendship matters to me a lot. I believe in treating others with all your heart and sincerity. Though the focus of business is to make money. But integrity and relationships comes above money. Today, I have established such strong relations base on the above principles.
Over the years, I have learnt so much from them and I am forever grateful. Now I hope that I can give them back from what I have learnt from my own experience in Dream Defenders. By sharing with them what I have learnt in globalisation and my relationships in North America.
This is something I will never forget. "In Korea, we shoot then we aim" That is how fast they move. Thank you my friends in Korea for teaching me. I will always value and treasure this friendship. 감사합니다
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 01:10
Due to some reasons, I was not arranged to see the major Chinese Players at the market. These players are amazingly big. They owed themeparks, TV stations, toy companies, theme restaurants and shopping malls.
My Korean business friend told me not to give up. Asked me to gate crash. (I like their courage and spirit. Something we should learn from) So I humble myself and tried.
I took the courage and went right in. When I saw them, I started by apologizing for intruding and beg them to give me a chance. I told them that I will be fast as I do not require interpreter. At the end, the Chinese were impressed and they are ready to discuss about bringing Dream Defenders in larger scale in China. I am really thankful to my Korean friend for his encouragement.
It used to be an advantage for Koreans who speak English in Korea. Now it is Chinese Language that many has started to learn.
One lesson I learnt from this experience is not to neglect the importance of language skill. I used to wonder what use do I have for being able to speak Cantonese, Chinese and French. Now it becomes a blessing when I do business with French, Hk and China. You don't have to read and write. At least able to speak and understand. Even a few words will make the difference in relationships. This could be your advantage and you might be thankful like me someday.
Business opportunities to meet someone important do not happen everyday. Once you see it. Don't hesitate. Don't think twice. Take a deep breath. Go for it. Whether you fail or succeed. At least you try. If you lose the chance, you might never be given a second chance.
Once I saw Jeffrey Katzenberg in his car at Dreamworks. The car stopped. I hesitate whether I should go forward and introduce myself. In the end, I didn't have the courage. Now I can only regret. Ha ha.
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 01:08
Thursday, 30 April 2015
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
2012 was the year I was invited as a speaker. Now the event is getting more exciting. It will be a good platform to connection Asian and European companies.
EU-ASIA CARTOON CONNECTION 2015.
Meetings between European & Asian professionals
27 – 30 Apr 15 Jeju Island (South Korea)
Details are here
Who will be attending
Thursday, 19 March 2015
Our story editors and writers for Dream Defenders. Both Eric and Julia and the writing team have been wonderful to work with. They have been so supportive towards our series. We will be forever grateful to their contributions and look forward to more opportunities to work together. Eric Lewald and Julia Lewald are two of the premier writer-producers in youth-oriented and animated television, with over 700 produced credits, a number-one hit, an Emmy nomination and an Environmental Media Award between them. They have been showrunners, together or individually, on 14 series, including X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, the show that put Marvel characters on the map and made Fox TV the number one network in kids’ programming.
The Story of Tiny Island Productions. We gave a talk at IPOS to share our story of our humble beginnings. How did we struggle through the good and bad times to build Tiny Island Productions? How did we bring Dream Defenders to the international audience? Hope our journey inspire you.
With this, we launch a program to share our experience in hope to help more artists build their dream. (Today is the last day for the registration)
Friday, 27 February 2015
Thursday, 29 January 2015
"Thank you for coming to support our talk last night at IPOS. The turn out was great. More than 100 people turn up. Its my honour that you are here with me. Hope it inspired you. IPOS has recorded the talk. We will share with you who has missed it. Hope you can continue to support us." - David Kwok
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 19:25
Together with IPOS (http://www.ipos.gov.sg/) and IP Academy, we are sharing our experience in our journey with Dream Defenders. How did we bring a locally made Animation to 60 countries around the world.
Dream Defenders is distributed by Dreamworks Animation. It is currently showing on 2 channels in the US (Hulu and 3net) and soon to be launched onto the 3rd Channel in the US soon. It is also showing on Super RTL and Planeta Junior in Europe. In 2013, it has won the Apollo awards for Best Animation.
Trina Ha - Legal Counsel from IP Academy will also share with you how you can protect and safeguard your creations.
Entrance is FREE.
Click here to register for the talk
Date: 29th Jan 2015.
Time: 6:30pm to 8pm
The address is here
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 00:53
Thursday, 15 January 2015
Before all the lines get jammed up, we better send our greetings out. This year has been an eventful year. Thanks for all the support and encouragements you have given us. Without you, we wouldn't has gone this far. Thank you so much everyone. Hope you can continue to support us. From the bottom of our heart. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. https://www.facebook.com/DreamDefendersAdventure
We have finally completed the negotiation. Dream Defenders is going to be launched on another major US cable next year. This is the 3rd platform Dream Defenders has gotten to in the US. It marks another major milestone for us. We are so moved by the news.
Now the network is locking down the transmission date which should be before mid June 2015. The announcement should be made before mid June 2015. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot to us. Thank you.
Dream Defenders made its debut in America where it premiered in stereoscopic 3D format on 3net, the 3D channel formed by Sony, Discovery and IMAX, becoming one of its top kids program. Since then, it has gone on to win the Asia Image Apollo Awards 2013 for Best 3D Animation. With Dreamworks Classics as its main distributor, it has reached out to more than 60 countries across the globe including Germany (Super RTL), Planeta Junior as well as on OTT platforms such as Hulu.
The dreams started out as little things - to see the stories in their heads come alive, to live each day doing the things they love. These little things grew to become a quest to create something the production studio could be proud to call its own, and a quest to build an international reputation for the work that our artists could produce. The successful launch of the 'Dream Defenders' series is a result of that quest, and is a showcase of the Tiny Island production capabilities, from conceptualization to production
For those who has registered for my coming public lecture "How to Monetize your IP?", I want to say a big thank you to you. I am most honoured and touched to know that besides Singaporeans, we have Australian, Indonesian, Canadian, French, Malaysian, Bulgarian, China attending the event. Among them, we have entrepreneurs, animated film directors, producers, international distributor, concept artists, illustrators and other creative people. This is a good start. And I hope everyone will grab hold of this opportunity to network and get to know each other.
Thank you for your support and helping me to make this event a successful one. I hope you can help to spread the words to your friends and those with the same vision to come together.
I will do my best to share with you more insights of the industry. Hope it helps you too.
By the way, our show Dream Defenders might have a chance to be aired on a new US Channel Cable Channel. This is our 3rd US exposure. Hope we gets through and share with you our good news soon.
There might be a chance for Dream Defenders to be on another major US cable network. Hopefully all goes well. We will then release the news globally next month. This could be our next breakthrough. Keeping our finger cross. Yeah...
Building this company has brought me to places I never dared to dream of. One thing that I have learnt is that you need to keep trying no matter how impossible it may seem. The dream keeps you alive and keeps you going. Someday you may get there. Even if you don't, its the journey that matters. Not just the destination.
Stepping into Dreamworks Animation was one of those “impossible” dreams of mine. This is probably not a big deal for those who works in the US industry, but for someone like me from this “tiny island”, it was something beyond my wildest imagination.
Many years ago, I had the honour of meeting a US executive who was running one of the largest US Animation Studio in Singapore. Years later, she became one of the key executive at Dreamworks. Having only met her just once, I thought that she would have probably forgotten about me. Still, I tried my luck at contacting her anyway. Unsurprisingly, I didn't get a reply; which is very normal when you write to someone so high up there. I tried again after 6 months. And this time, astonishingly, I got a reply. She told me she had forwarded my mail to another important executive who was handling all of Dreamworks' major overseas operations. This is a miracle and I am really thankful to every one who gave me such a rare opportunity.
At that time, I was hungry to find opportunities for our crew. Without second thought, I immediately bought an air ticket and flew to Glendale. (Though I was left with only $67.50 in my personal bank and was surviving with just 2 credit cards at that time.This was during one of those struggling times when we first started.)
I have to admit, I was nervous. This is a rare honour. I kept checking the time, waiting for every moment to go by. At last, I finally met the Dreamworks executive face to face. He was really nice to me, asking me about my humble beginnings, my passions, and what I did. It felt like I was meeting another artist rather than an unapproachable business executive. I felt very comfortable talking to him, as he made me feel confident about myself.
I am glad that he gave me his time. However it all had to come to an end eventually with "Thank you. Lets continue this conversation and see what happens." At that point, I said to myself. "That is it. This is probably the furthest I will go. I am very happy. At least I got to meet the man and walk into this beautiful studio."
A few months later, I was in Cannes MIPCOM for business when I received a message. It was from the Dreamworks executive: "I am coming to Singapore to see you if that is ok. I would like to visit your studio and get to know more about what you do." I was stunned. It was a dream come true! Unfortunately I wasn't in Singapore at that time, but my staff received him and showed him around. Though nothing really concrete came out of it at that time, it was definitely a memorable experience.
However I didn't let the chapter end here. Every year, I make it a point to visit Dreamworks to try my luck. I am still doing it to this day. And earlier this year, I have been blessed with securing a meeting with another top executive who gave me a chance to talk to him. And that is why I will continue to go back every year, to continue making contacts and to keep the conversation going.
Today, our Dream Defenders our IP is distributed by Dreamworks Classic. With blessing, it has reached out to 60 countries with Dreamworks' help. I will keep trying, and hope that someday, I can finally get the chance to met the CEO and pitch Dream Defenders to him. I know its sounds like a long shot. I guess its the passion that keeps me going. Someday I may be there. Even if I don't, its the journey that matters. Not just the destination.
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 00:22
Ed Hooks (ACTING FOR ANIMATORS) A good friend that I have not seen almost 10 years. He was so kind to drop my our office. Ed Hooks has a thirty year acting career and has taught for most major animation companies including Walt Disney Animation Studio, Valve software, EA and Ubisoft. He is also the author of the popular animation textbook - Acting for Animators
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 00:20
When I first pitched to an investor, I thought all my problems will be solved once I got the investment. I was very inexperienced and naive back then.
At the meeting, I managed to impress the investor. Since we were new and had hardly any track record, the investor squeezed our equity share in the company to rock bottom.
My business mentor said this to me: " David. Don't take the investor's money. These guys know that you are good and have potential. Its business. On the negotiation table, they want to make you feel less worthy so that they can take control of the company. In Asia, investors have no patience. In 6 months, if they do not see any money coming in, they will shut you down. Singapore does not celebrate failure. It will be hard to get a second chance later. Why don't you try to get business on your own without an investor first and start by building a track record before you approach them in the future."
At that time, I asked myself if that was even possible. I had no workers, no office. How can I even be able to bring in any business? My business mentor continued: "How can you be so sure that if I give you workers and an office, you can bring in the business? Why don't you just giving a try."
That is what I did. I turned down the investor offer and gave it a try. It was hard at first. It really challenges your skills in sales, marketing, branding and packaging. I tried making many overseas cold calls. (Don't forget, at that time, we have no Linkedin, Facebook, Skyped etc) In 6 months, I manage to bring in the first US contract. Though it was a small contract worth only about $10000, but it was a start. A blessing. We worked from home via FTP. This was our beginning.
Looking back and seeing how others have failed not because they were not good enough, but their fate was ruined by the wrong investors, I am thankful to my business mentor who advise me back then. Finding the right investor is like finding the right life partner. It has to be someone who believes in your vision and is prepared to go through the challenges with you. In my humble opinion, Pixar turning point is Steve Jobs. Having the right investor can make that big difference.
I will share with you more about our journey. Hope you can join us. (Details of the lecture can be found here.)
Posted by TINY ISLAND PRODUCTIONS at 00:19