Taiwan’s Xanthus wins Superpitch HD

This is the second successive year that a Taiwanese entry has come out tops in the Asia TV Forum’s annual pitching contest Superpitch. Last year, ODD Incredible won the pitching contest with their animated concept Splash Nash. Although Xanthus have been in the animation industry for five years working on numerous commissioned animation projects, Yameme is their first original animated series (13 x 22’). It tells the story of the conflict between Yameme, the daughter of Yen-Lo-Wang (the Chinese God of Death), and Damien, the offspring of Satan. Yameme won over the judges with its slick animation and smooth action and the fact that the story line successfully combined oriental mythology with western elements, appealing to a wider market. As Xanthus’s CEO Bruce Yao explains, “This bizarre animation series should be able to attract audiences from different cultural background.” The event also saw spirited presentations by five other production houses from Thailand, China, Malaysia and Taiwan, with HD-compliant, original concepts in contention. As part of the prize, Xanthus have the opportunity to undertake a six-month internship at Discovery Networks Asia Pacific and post-production hours sponsored by Iceberg Design. Organized by trade publications Television Asia Plus and Asia Image, SuperPitch HD was held on 11 December as part of the Asia Television Forum at Suntec City in Singapore. The following are excerpts from an interview with the SuperPitch HD winner. Q: What prompted you to take part? Xanthus Digital Picture (XDP): We always believe that Xanthus is capable of creating world famous animation. In Taiwan, not only do we appreciate animations from all over the world, we can also provide OEM services for countries around the world, and at the same time training and nurturing many exceptional talents and techniques. Therefore we wanted to seize the opportunity to show the world our creative ideas and demonstrate our development strength at this year’s SuperPitch HD. Q: What is the unique selling point of your pitch? XDP: Our work portrays eastern legends from thousands of years ago, but we have redesigned the monsters and creatures from these stories and added characters and cultural perspectives from the Western world, in order to enhance the dramatic elements and provide more fun for the stories. Not only can we satisfy the audience of the Chinese and Asian market, we have also thought about making our work accessible to the Western audience. I believe this was the reason that the judges from various countries gave our work such positive feedback. Q: How well do you think you fared? XDP: Very well! We spent a lot of time preparing and practicing for the pitch. Although we did get a little bit nervous at the conference, but everything went pretty well. Q: How far would you agree with the judges’ assessment of your pitch? XDP: Very much! We are really thankful for their encouraging words. Q: Was the feedback useful? Will you be modifying your pitch to take into consideration the feedback you received? XDP: Yes, the judges gave us a lot of valuable comments and encouragements. We will use these feedbacks as a guide to modify the direction which our project is taking. Q: The Q&A is considered the toughest segment of the pitch – how did it go for you? XDP: The Q&A was certainly the most strenuous part of the whole pitch. But once we prepared all the information we needed and carefully thought through our product strategy, the Q&A was not a problem. Q: On hindsight, what would you have done differently? XDP: We spent a lot of time and effort on the stories and character designs, but the actual merchandised products and market planning weren’t quite enough yet. We will strengthen our merchandising planning and make our product more desirable for the market. Q: What do you consider to be the biggest reward of taking part? XDP: There were many rewards. We met with contestants from other countries. The biggest one would be to give our work more exposure through the SuperPitch competition, and get in touch with a lot of investment companies who gave us valuable feedback that will help us to make our work better and closer to success. Q: Would you take part again? XDP: Definitely! We will be attending again, because this is a wonderful opportunity for us to get in touch with the global markets. ASIAIMAGE



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