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Leading with his chin

A graduate in computer science, Peter Chin (pictured) realised his dreams laid elsewhere. That’s when visual effects and animation caught his attention and since then, there’s been no turning back.

“The more I experimented with it, I was drawn to the magic of story-telling, behind-the-scenes and computer-generated visuals. Hence, I decided to jump into this industry after four years of being in the IT world,” says Chin, recalling his journey.

With only an SGI workstation on a cardboard make-shift table,  Chin set up a boutique production hybrid company called Shiroku Production in 1999.

Shiroku, a name inspired by a Japanese word that means vision, specialises in commercials, corporate brands, digital content and creative content.

“What we really excel in is the creative entertainment value and visual quality standards. Being boutique allows us to cane the details, sweat the techniques and provide uncompromisable attention to a few projects at a time.”

The company aims to find a creative edge from the client’s brief to emotionally engage the brand’s target community.

To achieve this every project goes through a five-step process to ensure production quality is intact together with the entertainment value, and leverage its experience to help broaden the potential for TV, digital and cinema.

In the early years, Chin would approach music labels to produce music videos.

“No advertising agencies were going to give me work unless I had a reel. Eventually, I was commissioned to direct music video projects for local acts Too Phat, OAG and others. Although these projects might not be the ideal portfolio, it garnered attention when they saw the entertainment value and creativity brought to the production.”

At present, the production industry is catching up on branded-content production and media integration that can potentially reach out to wider markets.

“I like the fact brands, media and creative agencies are always pushing for new ways of engaging consumers. I see there are strong commercial opportunities for us. Even media budgets are now re-prioritised, which makes an easier entry for us to do pitches, as we have seen an increase in demand for digital creative content and social media integration.”

The digital age today is constantly revolutionising the culture of communication and commerce across the globe. Digital content dissemination is now much faster, accountable and makes business efficient and cost-effective.

Since ad productions are no longer restricted to TV airtime duration and creative censorships, directors can now free themselves of such constraints because the digital age provides more accessible digital platforms to showcase anything, anywhere.

“The real challenge is to produce ads that will stand out from the clutter in all media platforms.”

Besides that, tight deadlines, without compromising its quality of work, remain one of the company’s regular challenges.

“As a boutique hybrid, we like the fact we don’t need to take on multiple major projects at the same time as we prefer to put our energy and passion in a few, making sure the work gets the right attention for our clientele.”

Based on his experience with clients and agencies, Chin says he recognises creative value-adds and likes to see the team vested in the job. Honesty also goes a long way.

“They appreciate when we’re upfront with them about what we can’t do. We have turned down full campaign briefs before, especially those requesting BTL creative services.”

In the past three years, Shiroku has done work for agencies and direct clients such as Creative Juice, Ignite, G2, Universal McCann, AXN, Astro, Burger King, Zalora, Rapid KL and Sunway Lagoon.

His client wish list now includes companies from telecommunications, automotive, tourism and airlines. Shiroku has grown to nine staff and comprises a combination of production professionals, mainly from broadcast commercials and film entertainment.

On the digital front, the company keeps clients, associates, talents and curious surfers, updated with its work, casting calls and behind-the-scenes insights of selected works and industry highlights through its official Facebook and YouTube page.

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