Saturday, 31 December 2016

The last 10 years by David Kwok


2016 is coming to an end. It marks a significant milestone for us. Our company finally crossed the 10th year mark. Life as a CG Artist is never easy. It's a constant struggle between reality and passion.  When I first started the company, my dream is to build a home for our artists. An environment that allow us to pursue our passion and make a living. A company that has heart for our crews and treat them like part of the family. This dream has brought us together. Many have joined us when they were fresh graduates and now they have became parents themselves. The friendship has united us to build a future for ourselves. We wanted to produce great works that make Singapore proud. That is why we called ourselves Tiny Island. (And if you look at our logo, you will see the Singapore map under the coconut tree.)

Dream Defenders is part of Tiny Island effort to build our future and also defend our dream. CG Protege was setup to groom our own protege by passing them all we know in CG. Building this company has been a journey. It has taught me many valuable lessons in life.

We started the company by maxing out 4 credit cards. Till today, we are still self sustainable and have not taken a single cent from any investors. When I first started, I thought we will end in 6 months. During down time, I was asking myself whether this is going to be our last month. 
Blessings, miracles, love and support from our families and most of all those who have been with us and those who are still with us have helped to conquer the impossibles. Reflecting the last 10 years, I couldn't believe we have gone this far.

Hope in 5 years time, we will reach our final milestone. Then my job is done and it's time to pass the torch to the next generation.

Thank you everyone who has been in this journey with us or still with us in this journey. Without you, we wouldn't have reached 2017. Thanks for believing in the company. Thanks for being part of this family. Happy New Year. 2017

Happy New Year! from Dream Defenders


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A Memorable Day

A memorable day. Thanks to our partner Presence Pictures and our crew for making this possible. Thank you for a great year!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Party!

A wonderful Christmas celebration with our staff. Thanks everyone for making it a fun and memorable one. It's a special moment, having everyone together.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Before the line jams up, here wishing all our fans and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Happy Holidays!!

 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Shared Link: Cisco Launches Virtual Reality Network Security Experience

(Image source: www.sgcybersecurity.com)

The VR experience was planned, scripted and developed by All Told, the integrated storytelling unit of Allison+Partners working with Singapore-based virtual reality studio Tiny Island Productions and Presence Pictures.

To read the full article, click here

Shared Link: Cisco employs VR to dramatize cybersecurity threats



Together with our key partner Presence Pictures, working with Allison+Partners. Together we developed an interactive 3D Demo for Cisco. This marks our beginning business journey into the VR space.

To read more about this, click here

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

#tb to 5 years ago

5 years ago, this was our booth. Time flies. Today is the start of the Asia Television Forum again.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

A gift from Deputy Mayor of Cimahi

We received a gift from the Deputy Mayor of Cimahi Indonesia!


Friday, 18 November 2016

Baros International Animation Festival 2016


Also, watch this video to see the interview of David Kwok, CEO at Tiny Island Production! 

Interviewed by CNN Indonesia


Our CEO, David Kwok was very fortunate to be interviewed by CNN Indonesia today. He met up with many Indonesian animation startup in Indonesia. He must say that He really feels very touched by their dedication and determination. He hopes his interview will catch their government's attention to give more assistance to these companies in future.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

My son and Dream Defenders by David Kwok


I have never shown Dream Defenders to my son. I was worried it is too scary for him. The series wasn't meant for pre school kids and I can never imagine he will like it someday.

Years passed and now he has grown up. The other day, he saw the new pitch trailer that was done. Since then, he kept asking me to show him the series. He seems to really enjoy the show. I have to say it touches me when I see how excited he was when he was watching it.

This kind of joy guess not many will understand. The feeling is priceless. And money can never fulfil. It adds meaning to our journey. No matter how many fans you have. Your son appreciation is the most valuable gift that one can ever ask for. All the effort and sacrifices that has been put in during the past years is all worth it now.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Career Talk at Infocomm Youth Media Festival 2016

David Kwok, CEO of Tiny Island Productions and CG Protege Animation School, was invited as one of the distinguished guest speakers for Career Talk segment.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

For our Indonesian friends!


For our Indonesian friends. Thanks for your support. To read the article, click here

Friday, 21 October 2016

Talking Tom and Friends - Epi 43

Here is another episode that our crews worked on. We are glad that our crews are given a chance to work on this!

Watch full episode here!

Talking Tom and Friends - Epi 42

Another fun episode our crew has worked on!

Watch the full version here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Pantyliner Ads

If you come to our office recently, you probably wonder why are there packets of pantyliner on the guys desk and why are the guys examining the pantyliner so closely. haha. (After much research, now I understand the difference between pantyliner and sanitary pads) In our job, we learn something new everyday. LOL. Isn't that great.So here is the answer. Watch the video. (This version still have some minor tech error. The final version will be released in cinema eventually)


Guess the most difficult part is developing the story, designing a character out of the product and ensuring it is appropriate to the culture of the market we are targeting at, storyboarding/animatics , production etc etc all in 3 weeks. This is also our first entry to the Vietnam market. (Who can imagine there is opportunity there) Glad at the end, the client is happy. And the most rewarding moment is to see our company's logo at the end. Its little thing like this, makes us very proud and happy. Thank you to my client for this valuable opportunity.

Dungeon Boss - Storming The Castle

This is the game cinematics that Tiny Island has been working on. Download the game for free to try it out!

Dungeon Boss - Sneaky Ninja Trailer is out!

Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to work on the trailer. The clip we have worked on is finally out!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Shared Link: How did I first started the studio without external investment? by David Kwok


Many people asked me how I bootstrapped my company when I first started. In fact, for the past 10 years since I first started, I’ve been bootstrapping my business, till today. (Read past article with regards to getting the right investors)

(Reference: Bootstrapping in business means starting a business without external help or capital. Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow and are cautious with their expenses. Generally at the start of a venture, a small amount of money will be set aside for the bootstrap process.)

When you first get started, try to keep your overhead as small as possible. We have tried working from home and linking everyone up via FTP. DIY most things on our own. From assembling our own PC / network to basic decor of the office.

In 2007 – this was the first time – I setup my own permanent facility. I was first offered to produce 3 episodes for an animated series project. The project only lasted for 6 months. (Don’t do it like me. Ha ha. Try to ensure you have a project that can last you for at least 12 months. Else it’s too risky.) That is how I started. To read more about this, click here

Monday, 10 October 2016

Old Photos by David Kwok

Found these old photo banners in the server. These photos are treasure. I have been searching for these old photos for years. Regretted not taking many photos when I first started. At that time, there was no facebook or other social media to backup the images. No smart phone. Photos were taken mainly using traditional film camera.


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Talk at Universitas Multimedia Nusantara

Live at Universitas Multimedia Nusantara

Our CEO, David Kwok had a talk on Entrepreneurship in Animation & IP Creations.


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Moving to a new market


In business, we are always facing changes. Whenever there is a change, it's like a Tsunami. It wipes out those who cannot hold on when it comes. Entrepreneurship is about persistence. Its about holding on and staying alive during these times. As long as you are fast to identify the new wave and move with the change. There is a chance to survive.

Diversification is a must for survival. You need to have multiple revenue streams. So that if one stream is facing danger, you have other streams to depend on.

In Tiny Island, we are always looking at new advance technology that has potential to propagate. Technology means nothing without Creativity. We treat Technology like a pencil. By understanding how the technology works, we can creatively create new engaging product.

But R&D in new technology could mean spending indefinitely with no results if not handle with care. This is especially difficult for small companies.

So what we do in Tiny Island is we form alliance with technological and business partners so that we can provide a variety of services which makes us more competitive.

For Example: We team up with consulting agencies who are strong in locating MNC clients. At our end, we use our creativity to push the technology beyond its boundaries with the help of our technological partners. With this, we provide a list of new media solutions. (Stereoscopic 3d, Auto-stereoscopic 3d, AR, VR, MR etc) to our clients. We leverage each others strength and form a strong consortium. Together, we appears to be a much bigger organisation which helps us engage a variety of new businesses and opening new markets.

Many startups die within the first few years. Or many never even reach the sea and stay within the shore. (Keep depending on local market) We started the company with zero external investment till today. Through this strategy, it helps us pull through 10 years and many tough times. Believe it or not, we are now getting outsource work from countries like Vietnam and China even though we are from Singapore (ranked as the most expensive country in the world) You may wonder why. In order to survive, one need to provide a unique service that others cannot provide. Else why should others pay you a premium if all you can provide is what others can already do and even at a cheaper cost than you. Moving to new market is the key.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Presentation for Changing Trends in the Animation Industry

A recent presentation I did on some of the Changing Trends in the Animation Industry. It opens up a whole new opportunity for the Animation Business.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Interview on BBC News



Our CEO, David Kwok was honoured to be interviewed on BBC News this morning to give perspective of Asia Animation growth.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Our company's scholar, Aemilia's short film has been selected for the Student Academy Awards finalists!


Our company's scholar, Aemilia Widodo's short film, “Last Shot,” Ringling College of Art and Design has been selected for the Student Academy Awards finalists! Great job, Aemilia! Read the article here

A visit from SAE Jakarta

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Dream Defenders VR Phase 2


We are in progress with the 2nd phase of our plan. That is to bring Dream Defenders Series into the world of Virtual Reality. A whole new experience of storytelling that allows the audience to participate in the story. Not only will it allow you to look around in 360, but you can also walk, run, jump and fight side by side with Zane and Zoey against the evil queen Icela and her momoks (The nightmare monsters). You will be able to fire laser beams at the momoks, just by staring at your targets like Cyclops in X-Men. 

In the 3rd phase, we plan to allow audiences to decide their own path in the story. And also allow multiple audiences to go into the same world simultaneously. 

Now we are waiting for Microsoft's Hololens to be released in Asia. Next, it will be bringing Dream Defenders into the world of Hololens. 

In July, we will be making another announcement of our 4th entry into the US market. The first 3 entries were 3net, Hulu and Discover Family. Together with our new US partner, we will be launching a campaign for Dream Defenders in the next 9 months. 

Next stop will be China. In August, we will go to Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing to go into the 2nd phase of partnership discussion. 

Currently the series is distributed by DreamWorks and the series has reached out to 80 countries world wide. Stay tuned for more news coming up. YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/i_JzLPPIs_M

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Our New Home Is Finally Ready

Thank you Sisca, James Phang, Chun Hsian Goh, Linda, Chwee Hock, Denny Iskandar, Yi Yong, Max Leong and many more (Sorry if I have missed out anyone) who has helped us set up our new home. It wasn't easy. But we have made it. I am very proud of the crew. You have made it all possible. And thank you Steven Huang for all the awesome photos.








Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Event: 2 Days Workshop on Entrepreneurship and IP Creation Master Lecture organised by the Cimahi Creative Association.


To Our Indonesian Friends:

Ever since we came back from our last Seminar in Jakarta and Cimahi, many Indonesian Artists have been writing to us. We are very touched by the warm support. As such, we are now exploring to run a 2 Days Workshop on Entrepreneurship and IP Creation Master Lecture organised by the Cimahi Creative Association. <The association that brings you the Baros International Animation Festival (BIAF)>

Topics we have been sharing
(https://entrepreneurshipinanimation.wordpress.com)

If you are interested, please register yourself below. (Details in the form) Payment procedure will be notified later http://goo.gl/forms/w22KeN1Off2nllFv2

Date: 23-24 July
Venue: Ministry of trade auditorium. Jl.M.I.Ridwan Rais no.5 Jakarta
Price: Idr 800.000

Once again. Thank you for your support.
(Please help us to spread the word to your friends who are interested.)

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

CEO's Thoughts: "养兵千日 用在一朝: Soldiers are to be maintained in the course of long years, but to be used in the nick of time."



Besides running an animation studio and an animation school. I also provide consultation for companies in Entrepreneurship in Animation.

Something I shared in class the other day that I have learnt in my journey. There is a Chinese saying.
"养兵千日 用在一朝: Soldiers are to be maintained in the course of long years, but to be used in the nick of time."

Application:
Establish healthy relationship with good talents that you are not ready to hire.
1) Having a strong team is more important than having lots of money. With a strong team, you can overcome anything in the future.
Good and loyal people are hard to find. Money cannot buy loyalty. Some times you meet good people but you do not have the capacity to hire them. Put in effort to maintain this relationship. Be sincere. Even though it might take years. Don't go to others only when you need them.

Identify what role they can play in your team ahead of time. Map out a rough plan. It's like assembling and planning for your best soccer team. Prepare for the backups as well. Only when you have a plan, can you identify your missing jigsaw pieces. This will take time. It's ok if you are not sure when you will hire them. Don't do this only when you have urgent needs. When the time comes, you know that you are ready. Else overnight, you will be unable to bring a good team together.

(That is why when other companies asked me to recommend talents, we always have someone in mind)

Maintain relationship with good talents who has left you
2) When I was in Indonesia giving a talk in Entrepreneurship in Animation, several founders of companies told me this. "We always have manpower problems. We lose our talents after training them. It's frustrating."

I don't believe a company can be successful with only mercenaries. Money cannot buy Honour and Loyalty. Use your heart. Not money. Trust and Loyalty takes time to build.

I want to share another approach of ours to manpower.

Make an effort to maintain the relationship with those you value but has left you for whatever reasons. (Could be, their contract is up). Especially those who are loyal and have contributed to the company in the past.

At times, when we identify a new skill needed for the industry, we will engage foreign expertise to conduct internal training to upgrade our staff. Besides training our internal staff, we also invite those who have left us to join the training at our cost. This is a little effort to show appreciation to those who have contributed to the company in the past. This includes the freelancers and those who are currently working for other companies.

When those who have left us, have finished their contract with other companies; when we have new projects and money, we welcome them back to rejoin the crew. From our own experience, these talents will become more dedicated than before.

Hope it helps.

Event: Changing Trends in the Animation Industry

I have been invited to present a talk on Changing Trends in the Animation Industry

Visual SG Forum
Date: 22 - 31 Jul 2016
Location: Science Centre Singapore

10.05 am: 22nd July 2016, Friday
Speaker – David Kwok
(CEO) Tiny Island Productions

Changing Trends
http://www.science.edu.sg/even…/Documents/VisualSg/Forum.PDF

Event website:
http://www.science.edu.sg/events/Pages/VisualSg.aspx




Tiny Island Productions Mentioned in "Animation: A World History"

Both CG Protege and Tiny Island were mentioned in Mr Giannalberto Bendazzi book (Animation: A World History: Volume III: Contemporary Times). Honoured to be recorded as part of Singapore Animation History.

Available on Amazon



"A continuation of 1994’s groundbreaking Cartoons, Giannalberto Bendazzi’s Animation: A World History is the largest, deepest, most comprehensive text of its kind, based on the idea that animation is an art form that deserves its own place in scholarship. Bendazzi delves beyond just Disney, offering readers glimpses into the animation of Russia, Africa, Latin America, and other often-neglected areas and introducing over fifty previously undiscovered artists. Full of first-hand, never before investigated, and elsewhere unavailable information, Animation: A World History encompasses the history of animation production on every continent over the span of three centuries.

Volume III catches you up to speed on the state of animation from 1991 to present. Although characterized by such trends as economic globalization, the expansion of television series, emerging markets in countries like China and India, and the consolidation of elitist auteur animation, the story of contemporary animation is still open to interpretation. With an abundance of first-hand research and topics ranging from Nickelodeon and Pixar to modern Estonian animation, this book is the most complete record of modern animation on the market and is essential reading for all serious students of animation history."

Friday, 17 June 2016

10 Years. Installing our Signage

Installing our new signage. Since we have started our journey till now. (Wow coming to almost 10 years. ) This is the first time we have a proper signage. It feels like we have reached another milestone in our journey. Its like seeing your child finally graduating from the university.




A Birthday Celebration

Happy Birthday, Lesly! Lesly is our Lead Animator.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Company Outing at Pulau UBin + Wrap Party for Talking Tom and Friends Season 2

A wonderful Pulau Ubin Trip

Thank you Chwee Hock, Sisca, Yi Yong and everyone for putting together this awesome trip. I really appreciate it. Let's work together and create more awesome time together in coming years. Thank you everyone.







Sunday, 22 May 2016

CEO Explains The Reason For The Company's colors

I was at IKEA just now. When I saw the duvet cover and bed sheet, it reminds me of our beginning. This is the first duvet cover and bed sheet I bought when I first moved into my new house after I got married. 7 years later, I decided to setup my own company. It was a sudden decision. There was so many things to do. It was a one man show when I first started, I had to design the Company logo, website, namecard etc etc. and many more things. And all these is very dependent on the corporate Colours I wanted. I was thinking so hard and my mind was saturated. I was totally exhausted and was running out of ideas. When I was about to crash into my bed, the Colour of the bed sheet suddenly inspired me. So I  immediately went back to the drawing board.

My dream is to build a home for our crew. It's more than a company. I want to build a culture like a family. The Colours represent the home I dream to build. And the Island underneath the coconut tree in our logo is actually the Singapore map. An identity that represents us. So now you know where the Colours of our office, namecard, website etc come from.




Saturday, 21 May 2016

Bangkok International Digital Content Festival Coverage


พรุ่งนี้แล้วนะคะ พลาดไม่ได้กับงานสัมมนาในหัวข้อ "Changing Trends Bringing the Animation Industry to the Next Dimension" โดยคุณ David จะบินตรงจากสิงคโปร์ มาเจาะลึกเรื่องแอนิเมชั่น ในเวลา 09.00 - 10.00 น. ณ VIE HOTEL. ผู้ที่สนใจสามารถลงทะเบียนได้ที่ www.bangkokdc.com แล้วไปพบกันนะคะ 

Tomorrow... Don't miss the seminar on the topic "Changing trends, Bringing Animation to the Next Dimension" by Mr. David Kwok, who is coming in from  Singapore for the event. Talk time is 09.00 am-10.00 pm. At Vie Hotel.

Those who are interested can register at www.bangkokdc.com and then meet up.

Dungeon Boss: Game Cinematics Alternate Intro

A games cinematic we did recently. We are really fortunate to be given this opportunity.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

CEO's Thoughts: The Future of VR and AR


At Tiny Island, we started working on Stereoscopic 3d in 2010 and eventually went into auto stereoscopic 3d. Followed by augmented reality. And now Virtual Reality. What we have researched is not wasted. As the above is all linked and integrated.

I think VR is only at its beginning. Soon it will be integrated with AR to form mix reality. My anticipation for the future goggles will not be like the current VR ones. So heavy.
I think the goggles will be able to pair up with the smart phone in wireless mode and probably with cool ear phones.

It should look something like this in Blizzard Overwatch. So that when you use it with mixed reality, and when you look up. It will cover all angles. (With glasses, it will break the connection when you look up) And it can switch in between VR and AR. The future is all very exciting. Wish I was born later. ha ha.