Thursday, March 29, 2012

From Shop Steward to Studio Top Kick

Kevin Geiger was the Animation Guild's shop steward at Walt Disney Animation Studios for multiple years. He's now in China, building domestic animation companies. He's got himself a challenge, but knowing Mr. Geiger, he's no doubt up for it.

“We’re trying to give Chinese audiences a sense of ownership,” Mr. Geiger says. “They’re so tired of period pieces, but people are reluctant to do something modern because it sometimes bumps up against the censors. It’s safer to do something set in the past. But Pixar tells movies about now. ‘Toy Story’ is set today.‘Wall-E’ is set in the future. Why can’t Chinese animation be the same?. ...

They're working with a small budget, but we'll see what happens.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very bad man

Anonymous said...

"Tofu Boy".

Can't miss.

Anonymous said...

Why is he aiding commies?

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm... tofu and scallion... what? uh.. ok, whatever.

Anonymous said...

"Why is he aiding commies?"

He's giving them ancient Chinese secrets!

Floyd Norman said...

Gee, guys. Kevin's just running a business. Is that really a problem?

Anonymous said...

Plenty of businesses are run here in the good old US of A.
Why help support a country who is more than happy to take our jobs from us.

Yes.. it is a problem.

Rambo said...

^ "Happy to take OUR jobs from us"

Then stop consuming products made in China!

Steve Hulett said...

Kevin is developing domestic content for the Chinese domestic market.

I don't see where this is really a problem. Is Japanese anime a problem. European hand-drawn features for European markets?

Think not.

Anonymous said...

he can't find a job in US. therefore becoming a consultant in china. less competition. what a joke!

if you think Kevin is taking away jobs in US, wait until Digital Domain China fully operational.

Anonymous said...

To all you posters acting like Kevin is taking jobs from us or undermining our position: you need to wise up. The man's a hero. As long as he's over there working his magic, China will never be competitive. Go KG Go!

wtf said...

Well, is China posed to be the next India? and would that have repercussions to the U.S. animation job market. At least those are the rhetorical questions I can't help to ask myself...

Anonymous said...

Well, the fact remains Geiger is aiding and abetting communists.

Steve Hulett said...

^ Like Steve Wynn, with his big shiny Macao gambling resort.

Wynn is also a supporter of Mr. Romney.

Kevin Geiger said...

Guilty as charged! :-)

When faced with the choice of...

1) continuing to work in LA as a CG wage slave OR

2) moving halfway around the world, immersing myself in a foreign culture, learning a new language, establishing a multi-national company in a capricious legal and business environment, focusing on original IP development in a country with little respect or support for it, and planning & executing complex international animation co-productions

...I chose the latter, easy route.

The keen-eyed anonymi see right through me. ;-)

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Kevin, you've taken on some difficult challenges, and I wish you the best of success.

I'm curious though, why China? why not eastern Europe, South America, or somewhere else in Asia?

Anonymous said...

It astonishes me how stupid some people are. Listen geniuses, if Kevin, an American, is creating domestic product for China, then all that means is that if he is able to create an industry where is currently none, then one day you might have yet another country to work in. He's potentially creating JOBS, you morons. That means money for your comic books, Hipster outfits and soap repellant. Learn some reading retention before you post something so ridiculously short sighted. The only downside I see is the fact that its Communist but don't worry, that's coming to America soon too. Well not, Communism but its wallet dipping brother Socialism.

Kevin Geiger said...

Why China? Because it was there. :)

The short version is that I left Disney in 2007 with the intention of producing my own animated feature films. I spent a year bouncing around the world on consulting gigs, and kept finding myself in China. I saw the potential of the Chinese talent pool and market in pursuing my dream, and moved to Beijing wholesale in 2008.

More specifically, I met a talented group of Chinese partners with whom I co-founded Magic Dumpling Entertainment in 2009, our goal being the development and production of Chinese-themed animation transmedia for international audiences.

China is in many respects the new "Wild West", and now we see the big fish piling on (DW, etc). And it is probably the most capitalist country on earth!

In a nutshell, I chose China for the adventure. It was (and continues to be) a gut check, but it sure beat the thought of spending the rest of my career in a
glorified "veal fattening pen". ;)

Anonymous said...

A very very bad man.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, thanks for answering my question. It takes guts to do what you're doing. I'm glad you're following your dream.

Not sure I agree with China being the most "capitalist country on earth", but I agree that there is business potential there. It would be nice if the Chinese government became more concerned about human rights.

Kevin Geiger said...

I'm with you on the human rights issue.

Unfortunately, the USA has eroded its preaching rights on that topic. :-/

Kevin

Steve Hulett said...

Unfortunately, the USA has eroded its preaching rights on that topic ...

You think?

diablo said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_state_terrorism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State-sponsored_terrorism

Also, the Iraq invasion might have raised an eyebrow or two....


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