Media industries around the world without exception are still grappling with the wave of technology transformation that is disrupting both production and consumption trends.
Internationally-renowned media moguls recently spoke on the topic in Hong Kong at the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum organized by the Cyberport as part of the month-long IT Fest.
"Many markets are struggling with this [transformation] and the US is no better than anyone else in managing the trans-media trend, everyone is struggling to properly understand the changes in audience and technology today," said Andrew Orgel, Chairman & CEO, QoL Media, and a co-founder of MTV.
Orgel observed that the media industry is still managing the shift in power away from media studios and distribution companies to the consumers who are now in control of what media they consume, when they want to consume and on what medium.
With mobile technology, social media and the growing availability of content on-demand, the power clearly lies with consumers today. Orgel added that, "technology is allowing many elements to be connected at the consumer level, yet the industry is still very far from being fully connected."
One person looking to improve the levels of connectivity for the content producers and enable easier and faster content creation is Richard Chuang, founder of Cloudpic Global, a virtual technology platform enabling content creators to collaborate on high quality productions without the need for a traditional big studio.
Chuang is an industry pioneer who led the development of many modern computer generated imagery (CGI) techniques. Chuang co-founded Pacific Data Images (PDI) which provided award-winning production systems to movies such as Shrek and Madagascar and was later acquired by Dreamworks.
Chuang believes there is potential for markets in Asia like China, India and Hong Kong to be major consumers and creators of content.
"The challenge for Hong Kong is that right now it's not a big creator of content, while there is no long-term future in being the back end for movie and media production," Chuang added. Many places in Asia like Hong Kong and Singapore have become active locations for post-production and digital technologies as studios in the US seek to tap into skills and lower cost options overseas.
But Chuang stressed that Hong Kong and China must look at being creators of content to become serious players in the media market. "The biggest issue holding back many countries in Asia is the fear of failure," he said. "I remember having lunch with a major HK movie producer and he remarked he would never do certain types of movies because he couldn't take the risk.
China is similar but there is a growing ambition there with interest from the large players to open up new production studios. Chuang noted that while Hong Kong had a much longer history than China in visual story-telling skills--a critical component in the creative process--China had significant resources and a growing pool of quality human capital.
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