Tiny Island Productions Succeeds with Dream Defenders

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Sun, 02/13/2011 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Tiny Island Productions a small production company from Singapore is making ripples around the world with its animation project Dream Defenders. The show which is targeted at six to nine year olds is also Singapore's first animation series in stereoscopic 3D.

 In Dream Defenders the heroes Zoey and Zane move between dreams and reality fighting off literally your worst nightmares. It features cool gadgets scary villains and above all a lesson in conquering your fears.

 Tiny Island Productions managing director David Kwok says The monsters here in Dreamworld are made from the fears and worries you bring with you. No worries no monsters. Dream Defenders is made in both stereoscopic 3D which requires special viewing glasses and flat animation which is what is seen on screens. With few such titles on the market creators Tiny Island Productions says going 3D helped them stand out.

 The show had been in the works for a year and it was at the MIPTV trade show in Cannes in April that Tiny Island realized many buyers were looking for content in stereoscopic 3D.  Production of the 26-episode series started in June and they have completed their first episode with four more on the way. 

Though we are very strong in creating content the 3D opportunities (and) 3D market really give us a much higher advantage because of the strong demand in the West: in US in Europe as well as in Asia Kwok says.

 Their work impressed a major US network so much that it commissioned Tiny Island to work on one of its projects.

 Creating a good product with a strong cast and storyline is important of course but as with most animation shows merchandising is where the money is with expected returns of about two to three times the initial investment. So from the look of the characters to the gadgets they carry it's all designed to be as marketable as possible to toy companies.

 Dream Defenders costs an estimated $5.2 million and is co-financed by Singapore’s Media Development Authority.

Beyond television MDA is setting its sights on feature films next. Chief operating officer Kenneth Tan says Animation is a high strategic priority for our media industry. We want our content to travel we want to leverage on the best technology and people and creativity that we have and modern-day animation thrives on that. Beyond any doubt I think modern-day 3D is here to stay and we expect also more and more animation properties coming out of Singapore to have second third fourth fifth to nth life across multiple platforms into games publications both hard copy as well as electronic television long form as well as feature films. MDA has created a S$10 million fund for stereoscopic 3D productions with S$2 million set aside for feature films. In its 2009/2010 annual report MDA reported that the media sector contributed S$5.5 billion of value-added and S$22.4 billion in revenue to the Singapore economy in 2008 employing some 63 000 workers.