Thursday 29 January 2015

IPOS event

Our CEO, David Kwok was invited to be one of the speaker for IPOS event. The event was held yesterday and it was great.

"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

Together with IPOS ( 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

Thursday 15 January 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015 everyone and Thanks for your support.

Superheroes for Kids

Hulu is currently promoting Dream Defenders in their “Superheroes for Kids” tray in the kids section.

Dream Defenders Christmas

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.


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.

Zane Mercer Fan Art

Zoey when she grew up. Dream Defenders Fan Art by Karen Kong

Happy Halloween

Is that Zane?! And nurse Tucker is sleeping behind. Hmm....

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

Thank You Note from CEO

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.

Keeping our finger cross!!

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...

Dream Defenders in New Zealand

 For our friends in NZ. Dream Defenders is now showing on Channel 4 at 3:30pm Check out this link for more information

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.

Ed Hooks visit Tiny Island Productions

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

BBC Business News

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.)