Light up the future! Interview with Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Entertainment Inc.,

Founded in 2000, Shanghai Motion Magic Digital Entertainment Inc (Motion Magic) Inc., is a holding company under Shanghai Culture Radio & Film Group Co., LTD. (SMG) and a leading digital content service provider in China. During the past 20 years of development, Motion Magic has been adhering to the spirit of craftsman with the concept of technology empowering creativity. Its business covers animation, digital film and television, digital cultural tourism and exhibition. Particularly in animation, in the rising tide of Chinese animation(Guo Man) these year, it’s the producer of the flood peak of Fight Break Sphere series, Martial Universe and Shan He Jian Xin as the mark “head works” as well as Final Fantasy, world-renowned Sword of the Kings and caused great attention in the industry. Today, we are going to talk with Mr. Guo Xiang, the head of Motion Magic CG Animation Department, about the great production team hidden behind these excellent works.

  1. As an animation company that has been in industry for dozens of years, could you give us an insight into the company’s history?

The animation production team of Motion Magic was established in 2003. It entered the animation market from the development of original content for youngers, and positioned as Pixar in China. Its works include Zui Hua Yua, Salad English Park, Xiao Gui Bie Dong Dui and other projects. At the time, even though the market was not yet developed, the team gained some prestige through these projects. Due to the immaturity of the market, the monetization channels of original animation are too scarce, these animation works can only be broadcasted through TV channels. Though the audience rating is not low and the audience gave good response to the projects, the operation team still fails to obtain satisfactory income.

In view of this situation, Motion Magic turned the perspective to the international market. With the support of SMG and its domestic distribution team, the company participated in the production of international projects such as Chuggington, Mu Mu&Me and Wha’s the Big Idea. With these projects, the team recognized shortcomings and grow from a team with dozen to a hundred people. The pipeline was also developed. In 2009, Motion Magic replicated its experience in game production, like Edios Studio’s Kane Lynch and Mini Ninja, which both were successful. It started the high-level production of CG in China. The experience of high-quality projects brought the opportunity to work in world top IP Final Fantasy in 2016, which is also the highest-grade and most international project produced by the team so far

Subsequently, due to the increase of domestic production costs, the overseas business has been greatly reduced. At the same time, Guo Man is rising, which lets team ushered in the new opportunities for development and transformation. And the team can no longer be confined ourselves to the CG production, but upgrade production to create. Therefore, we formed the pre-production team including the screenwriter, director and concepts arts and gradually to form the full pipeline for IP production.  With the continuous development of Guo Man, Motion Magic also expanded the pipeline and supply system. Besides Shanghai, we have successively established production teams in Changsha, Dalian, Luoyang and other places. We are gradually building our own production system around the self-developed pipeline control platform, which also brought us the high-traffic projects of Fight Break Sphere and Martial Universe.

  1. If you were to sum up the personality and company culture of working at Motion Magic, what would it be?

“Lighting up the future with creativity” and “Enabling creation with science and technology” have always been the vision and slogan of Motion Magic. The team’s spirit is continuous improving projects and stick to work style of pragmatic and rigorous. Therefore, I think “enterprising” and “hardworking” are the two key words that best represent Motion Magic’s culture in my mind. This culture is also born out of SMG, and can even be traced back to the period of traditional TV business. We should not talk empty talk, but see clearly ourselves and strive to surpass ourselves constantly. It is also because of the long-term adherence of the spirit that allows Motion Magic can occupy a place in the ever-changing market for a long time.

  1. How do you organize production with back-to-back projects that are sometimes developed in parallel? How is the staff organized around these projects?

Animation is a more complex than it looks like. It not only inherits a large number of production processes from the preproduction to the middle and post-production, but also aggravates the complexity and uncertainty of production and creation due to the diverse preferences of users and highly intensive production resources.

And challenges in the face of increasing orders year by year now, in addition to continue to expand capacity, Motion Magic focused on using a set of highly integrated and standardized customization pipeline to achieve the centralized development of multiple projects. Most experience comes from a large number of overseas top production teams who had cooperated with us. No matter it is the integration of self-developed tools, the synchronization backup and exchange of daily big data, or even real-time remote quality audit and budget progress monitoring, we can achieve it with a complete set of mechanism.  A large number of self-developed products have also made us one of the teams with the most copyright and patent development in related fields in China. Such an assembly pipeline not only greatly guarantees the stability and efficiency of production, but also improves the team’s challenges as well as the ability to cope with concurrent projects;

  1. How is Motion Magic working to promote greater diversity and inclusion within teams?

As mentioned above, the team is always striving for progress, pursuing diversity and uniqueness of content. Especially in today’s increasingly serious homogenization and involution of projects, unique and diverse works are highly scarce in the market. It needs to invest a lot of energy to polish.

In Fight Break Sphere, learning the experience from the overseas production and distribution, we produced the top original IP into two types of the regular and special products. The former better restored the original plot, to stabilize the update amount to attract the original user, the latter is more like a theater version, use high quality fine drama to explore more content or a scene, make the plot to be better realized. During the past four years, we have finished over thousand-minutes of regular series and three special series, which made Fight Break Sphere different from the rest IP in the market. It also promoted the special series of more and more other IP. The combination of fast-food series and boutiques drama has also continuously improved the overall content quality of Guo Man, making the market prosperous;

  1. With the rise of China’s national Comics, Motion Magic plays an important role in it. Your production of “Fights Break Sphere” is the best in China. In particular, ” Fights Break Sphere: Three-year” has only been online for a few days and already has more than one billion views. This is so exciting. So how you to start working on it?

Fights Break Sphere: Three-year can be regarded as a work that the team has paid the most attention to in recent years. This is not only because the story sets a lot of famous scenes, but also because the whole team regards it as a display and report of a concentrated achievement since 2016. We hope that through this work, we will repay the vast number of fans’ recognition and love to it.

In retrospect, as early as in 2016 when China Literature Group(Yue Wen)  brought Fight Break Sphere to us, we still oriented mainly in overseas market and provide service. At the very beginning, we are like a little pupil. But with the introduction of the project and carry it out, the team developed pre-production capability and accumulated the experience in the past dozen years to gradually form a leading domestic production team. With the broadcasting of every series of Fight Break Sphere, we are also gradually realized the huge customer market as well as the big IP power with huge number of fans. We hold the spirit to respect the market and t the IP and produce a good works. In the fifth year of  production, we have produced Fight Break Sphere, for the fans and every team members of Motion Magi who worked on it to thank for perseverance and love;

  1. How did the Pandemic affect the company?

In the past few years, the team has focused on long videos of animation dramas which cover a variety of fields and themes. We explore the content market with different types. No matter it is Final Fantasy, or Fight Break Sphere, Shan He Jian Xin or Chuggington and so on, we keep the attitude to product it as the milestone project in that type. I am also proud that Motion Magic can produce these distinctive works for the market.

  1. Do you have any favorite projects/milestones that Motion Magic has worked on/achieved over the years?

As a veteran content company that has been operating in the Chinese market for many years, the Motion Magic brand not only guarantees quality, but also includes implementation stability and safety guarantees. We have done enough to respond to the epidemic to minimize the impact as much as possible. According to our incomplete statistics, we were one of the few domestic production companies that return back to work punctually. It’s very rare that such a large-scale team facing the huge dilemma of the epidemic worldwide and resuming work efficiently. Such resource integration and scheduling capabilities have also helped us complete a number of large overseas projects on time; and have won great appreciation from customers.

  1. Are there any marked goals or plans for growth you can tell us about for Motion Magic?

At present, the business of Motion Magic mainly focuses on animation, digital cultural travel and exhibition, and digital film and television. During the 20 years since the development of the company, Motion Magic has accumulated industry experience and talent reserve serving all walks of life and various types of content. At the same time, through the reform in recent years, our team, which grew in the era of traditional TV, has successfully realized the transformation of multiple content fields. No matter what aspect of the business, a large number of innovative and creative technology and cultural integration fields need to be involved.

We hope to enable the company to grow larger and faster. On the other hand, we will focus on enhancing the development of self-research content, actively embrace the circle culture and generation Z-people, and achieve further development through IP with original-developed animation, breaking the border line of shows, national innovation and national trend, offline experience and other aspects. Combine online content business with offline culture travel and experience business to create a more interesting and larger closed loop. On the other hand, in this constantly evolving market, we must also strengthen close cooperation with various platforms. Changes in platform strategies and policies will have a huge impact on our entire entertainment industry. We believe that in the future, we can only create vitality the content team will gain more room for expansion; and will allow more people to see the Motion Magic and make a big splash in the future content market.

Finally, I wish Motion Magic continues to develop toward the set goals and continue to grow!


From:CGGE Editing Team

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