September 8, 2009
Greetings from the banks of the Han River,
There were too many highlights to mention during the packed first day of the International Creative Content Fair 2009 (ICCON 2009) at the Coex Convention Center here in Seoul, South Korea. The well-attended event that features seminars all week on content from every imaginable angle – digital, mobile, broadcast, cultural technology, finance and distribution models – is being presented by the newly amalgamated Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). The agency, whose main mission is to facilitate business relationships between Korea’s burgeoning cultural industries and the international market, has amassed an impressive roster of experts from around the globe. The keynote address from Japanese animation legend Rintaro, who helped create Astro Boy some 40 years ago, is treated as something of a movie star around these parts for his work on landmark Japanamation film Galaxy Express 999 and he’s focused on a brand-new Japan-Korea co-pro. Paul, Mommy’s Coming is meant to ‘capture the spirit of Asia’ said Rintaro and is being touted as a real challenge to the North American domination of the CGI feature film market. While the film is still in production, a special two-minute sneak-peek had the audience gasping with excitement. It was an apt cap to the day, seeing as Rintaro’s Madhouse production company decided to enlist Korean talent on the project after a visit from one of the Fair’s main organizers Young-Ho Choi, EVP at KOCCA. ‘It is the cutest movie in the world,’ said Rintaro.
September 9, 2009
Hello again from Seoul,
The second day of the International Creative Content Fair organized by the Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) lived up to its slogan – ‘show the spirit of creative content!’ In an effort to spark the creative industries in Korea, KOCCA has drawn together some of the top names in the industry to expose locals to their enthusiasm and expertise. Fitting the bill is KidScreen contributor and founder of Little Airplane Productions Josh Selig. His inspirational speech imploring the Korean creative community to ‘follow their hearts’ cited such wide ranging influences as Dom DeLuise, Johnny Cash, John Updike and German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Indeed, Selig aimed to light a fire under the hopeful creatives. ‘The old models are collapsing, now the people are in charge,’ he said. ‘Why not use the time to make work you always wanted to make?’ The packed room was then treated to a historical survey of Japanese animation from producer Takayuki Matsutani from Tezuka Productions.
Day three will include opening ceremonies for the BCWW 2009 Global Media Forum which focuses on the world’s broadcasting industry.
Annyeong hasimnikka from Seoul,
The third day of the Creative Content Fair 2009 (ICCON 2009) featured the opening of Broadcast Worldwide 2009 (BCWW), an additional festival that is part of the overall fair organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). The gathering features broadcasters and producers from around the globe with a focus on Asia. For the first time, BCWW features an animation pavilion and the Korean delegation has people talking. While traditionally being known for the production of live-action melodrama, South Korea is now starting to be recognized for its animation productions and technical know-how. ‘There is a wave of Korean animation right now,’ said Sara Kyungwon Han-Williams, president of international marketing for Seoul-based Pixtrend. The company specializes in assembling international co-pros such as Adventures of Young Doctor in production with Motecito, California-based Waterman Entertainment. Most agree that the wave is the result of Korean proficiency in CG and 3-D animation production. The local trailblazer is Iconix Entertainment and their preschool series Pororo the Little Penguin, which is enjoying L&M success and is currently seen in more than 100 countries. Iconix is riding that success and has recently opened up a complete dedicated 3-D studio to create new projects such as the 52 x five-minute Chiro. Judging by the sheer numbers of Korean animation studios at this event and their impressive wares, it’s fair to take seriously Iconix’s sales manager Won-Jung Kim’s prediction. ‘Watch out for Korea,’ she said. ‘We’re up and coming.’