KAM Summit ’21 | Polygon Pictures president and CEO Shuzo John Shiota reveals the key to higher productivity

The second edition of KAM Summit 2021, Day 1, kicked off with a fireside chat with Polygon Pictures president and CEO Shuzo John Shiota with AnimationXpress founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari. The fireside chat has highlighted various aspects including pandemic impact, evolution in content production, increase in productivity and so on.

Hollywood has communicated with the world that animation can tell more sophisticated stories and can have varieties of styles. Shuzo poured light on how the animation culture developed in Japan. He mentioned that storytelling is an art and children enjoy listening to stories, and the traditional way of storytelling was by word-of-mouth. The idea of animation popped when they decided to tell stories through visuals in animation format. He added, “Other than telling stories to kids, it can be told through animation. That was the case in Japan since late 1980s and now is gradually becoming an international trend as well.”

It is true that around the world the pandemic has shifted the entire ecosystem with new set of challenges. Undeniably, sometimes the solution of these challenges gives rise to new trend that the industry has adapted. Tapping on the animation industry’s key trends observed during the pandemic, Shiota shared, “Because of the pandemic, the live shoots couldn’t be conducted. We at the digital animation field had been able to work remotely and pretty efficiently. We were able to show our resiliency in the production and the execution of ideas even in situation like this which has been source of convenience for many producers. There are ideas which were previously executed only in live action scheme and are now trended towards animation.”

There are few drawbacks in operating remotely but the ecosystem has adapted it. He further highlighted the fact that the rise of the streaming platform also gave rise to market for the content vastly. “There are enough places to market the product now,” he expressed.

They have been working with various partners around the world and with India they started in 2006. He shared, “Compared to 20 years ago, Indian creation economy wasn’t as huge as it is currently. It is always really dynamic and to scale up, we need to keep asking ourselves ‘are we living up to our principles?’”

Evolution is the movement of life and there is no exception for the animated content production as well. It is very crucial to deliver content as per the expectation of the audience. We need to stay up to date with current happenings so that it reflects in our work. Shiota highlighted, “Humans are changing, human relations are changing, so it is necessary for the company to grow. And it is constantly shifting. If we don’t, then it is boring. That’s why we always bring up projects which are new and are exciting. Therefore, in order to entertain our people, we need to stick to the fundamentals and continue evolving.”

Polygon also projected a show reel of their work which included various styles of animation. Sharing the insights on the different styles they have incorporated in their production pipeline. He expressed that its part of their personality that they get bored of something very easily and because of which they involve into different things, styles and that is what keeps them going. Organizationally they have a team of 300 people in Japan studios and 100 in Malaysia. Normally 20 projects goes on simultaneously which includes series, movies and so on.

Showing interest to expand in India as well, he shared, “We have been working with India for so long because of the monstrous amount of talent present there and also in our Tokyo office. In fact, out of the 15 per cent of employees from different countries, India takes the larger chunk of the pie because of the talents present in them. We continue to find partners in India and we are aiming to set up institution in India as well for specific functions of our production.”

Overall the session was quite insightful as he shed light on various styles and facets of animation and how they are constantly evolving to bring something new to the audience following the path of dynamic value of life.

After successful Chinese dub, Rajshri’s ‘Dr. Binocs Show’ to be dubbed in French and Russian

Over time, animated videos have become an extremely effective medium for edutainment and infotainment. They are much more attractive in instilling thoughts and ideas. Thus, it has become the perfect time for content creators to experiment with fresh and captivating animated videos that attract and retain audience attention, including that of kids. 

Dr. Binocs Show, created under the banner of Rajshri Entertainment is one show that comes on YouTube Kids channel, Peekaboo Kidz, as well as on various OTT and television channels outside India. In the later half of 2019, Dr. Binocs Show was dubbed in Chinese. 

Peekaboo Kidz is a cheerful destination with colourful animation for kids around the world! Having a good library, they explore the genres of classic English songs, phonics songs, lullabies and more. Fitting perfectly into that kitty, Dr. Binocs Show explores the world of education in a fun manner by covering various subjects such as Geography, Biology, Solar System, Evolution and much more.

Said Rajshri Entertainment content alliances, licensing and business development VP Inderpal Singh Jaggi, “Dr. Binocs Show is an educational series for kids for the age group of six to 13 year olds. Since it’s educational content, it lends itself very well to make it available in international languages as the content has more global appeal. We are very happy with the response we have received from various international markets on the dubbed version. And in addition to Chinese, Dr. Binocs Show is also being dubbed in French and Russian currently.”

Created in 2D animation, which is done in house at Rajshri, Dr. Binocs Show presently has two seasons, season one has 26 episodes of six minutes while season two has 145 episodes of four minutes.

As Jaggi added, they have certain marketing strategies in plan but right now, all their marketing efforts are organic. He went on to reveal, “We are working on a couple of shows and will make new announcements soon.”

Image Comics undergoes ‘Evolution’ with a new unpredictable horror series!

Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment are all set to create a new global phenomenon in the comic series Evolution. They have united writers like James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson with artists Joe Infurnari and Jordan Boyd for creating it.The new unpredictable horror series will be launched with an oversized debut issue this November.

“Society now moves at an exponentially rapid pace. Our technology processes information faster than our biology is capable of handling,” says Keatinge. “Evolution explores what happens when this goes awry when humanity is left behind by its progress, venturing into unexpected, horrifying directions.”

Asmus adds, “If reading this book is anything like writing it, it’ll be a disturbing, thought-provoking and cathartic ride through some very real anxieties about shifting society, what lurks inside us, and realising just how few guard rails there are keeping us safe. But with enough twists, body horror, and murder that keep it fun!”

The synopsis goes like this: Human evolution has taken millions of years to get to the stage it’s reached in Evolution. But next week, we become something new. Around the world, humanity is undergoing rapid and unpredictable changes, and only three individuals seem to notice that their world is being reborn. But what can they do about it?

“Horror is a slippery and weird genre,” says Sebela. “Not everything scares everyone else the same way. But I know what I want out of mine: long tendrils of dread, a fog of doom, deep conspiracies, monsters—especially the human variety—and loss. Evolution’s horror focuses on that sense of loss, one that can be as deadly as a psycho in a mask. Loss of control over our world, our lives and even our bodies, it’s everything we’re always facing but in a much bloodier package.

Evolution #1 will be available in stores on 15 November 2017.

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