Alex has been invited to host workshops by companies and institutions such as Tencent Kids, the Perfect World Animation, Communication University of China, and has talked, moderated at international conferences. It’s her passion to bridge the Chinese to the west and vice versa through her unique and insightful understandings of the differences in various cultures.
While working with Toonmax, a 24-hr animation channel under Shanghai Media Group in 2013 as a senior consultant, Alex invited James Lamont and Jon Foster who were head-writers for The Amazing World of Gumball to Shanghai for a week-long comedy writing workshop. James and Jon worked with local talent to create a “Flintstones living in Modern China” slapstick comedy based on a then popular online comics which was later titled as ‘Stone Bone Rock’.
In the same period, Alex helped Toonmax to develop Beijing Opera Cats, with Sherrie Liu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Kill Bill- script supervisor and 1st AD) to be the story advisor for the original series; Pamela Hobbs (Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda) lent a helping hand to the art direction during the development, securing its outstanding look in location and environment designs.
When invited by CCTV Animation to produce a mini series of ‘China Dreams’ shorts in 2014, Alex took on board the opportunity to create 5 workshops with kids aged 8-10 in Beijing and ChengDu to tell their own playful versions of China Dreams with an award-winning team: Gary Marshall (animation director, BBC), Sam Morrison (writer, Shaun the Sheep, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom), Leanne Preston (animation development specialist), and Nico Chen (live-action director, ex-Disney Taiwan). A big thanks to AT!’s Robin Cai to help these kids animate their ‘dreams come true’.
Kids at Daystar Academy created an eco-city and applied photography, model-making, stop-motion to their final animation short.
Wester Academy Beijing painted a picture from the future and researched on how artificial intelligence would play a big part in daily lives.
UCCA Creative Centre embarked on character design, model building, and learned to use flash animation to create a world with superheroes.
ChenDu Elementary used their amazing collages, illustrations, and imagination to come up with a new festival for the international calendar: World’s Panda Day!
In each workshop, the kids experienced the process of animation-making with the experts; develop idea threads to a story and script for voice-over. They learned various basic forms of animation production, including a DIY zoetrope activity to appreciate the magic of moving images.
In 2015, Alex was asked to produce a CNY viral promotional video tailing the success of Baymax for Disney China as a guest Executive Producer. Alex brought in bito.tv in Taipei and worked with the art team to apply Chinese’s rural paintings (known as nongminhua) to create the 60’ spot which got 5 million hits in the first week after its release on local social media sites. Another independent studio invited by Alex to this project, Beijing-based Seen Vision, went on to produce another spot based on Zootopia for the Dragon Boat Festival in the same year.
in 2016, Alex got a request to revamp Luo Bao Bei, an animation IP created around 2010 by Beijing-based Magic Mall Entertainment. Whilst appointed as the Executive Producer, Alex invited Dave Ingham (Clangers, Octonauts, Charlie & Lola) to join as the headwriter and helped appoint Cloth Cat Animation to serve as the production studio. Alex worked with Chinese designers and UK talent on the art direction, story development, and the overall launch strategy. Luo Bao Bei has since been represented by 9story Media Group internationally, broadcasted in Australia, UK, Spain & etc., and won an Int’l Emmy’s nomination, all in the course of her 2-year appointment for this project. “Luo Bao Bei has performed 35% above slot average on Australia ABC… as part of the market’s major overview of cutting edge trends forging a new kids and family TV landscape in MipJunior 2018… the series has done so grafting cultures… this is quite a standard story for 4-7 year olds about a young girl discovering the world around her… But it’s a portrait of a modern Chinese family and blends Chinese cultural heritage with a dash of British humour and charm. The heritage is in its details, gestures, names, it’s all quite subtle and it helps kids to experience a greater diversity today, as cultures from distant countries are being brought to life by animation and anime…”
—Variety, Oct 2018
A4 Studios worked with the IP owner to produce a series of DIY projects, incorporating stories and designs from the tv animation to off-air creative activities, providing design templates to help kids explore ideas in craft-making, coding, mechanism & etc.
2013年Alex在上海文广集团的炫动频道担任顾问时，邀请了“阿甘妙世界”的两位主创编剧在上海举办了为期一周的“喜剧编剧工作坊”，并和当地的创作团队讨论国内原创项目，分享故事创作环节的秘方。同期，Alex也邀请了”卧虎藏龙，干掉比尔”等大片的剧本监督Sherrie Liu参与前期的故事孵化； “哈利波特，功夫熊猫”的场景环境主美 Pamela Hobbs 来协助前期的设计指导。
央视动画邀请约制作“中国梦，星星梦”短片系列时，我们邀请了5个8-10岁的学校团队一起参与集体创作，让孩子们自己来说出他们对未来的梦想。Alex组织了一个和孩子们一起创作特别有经验的团队，有动画导演Gary Marshall （英国BBC) , 编剧Sam Morrison (小羊肖恩), Leanne Preston (专业前期制片）， Nico Chen(台湾金钟奖导演），北京蔡博的AT！动画人团队，一起和孩子把他们的想法在工作坊中编成故事，写成对白，设计美术道具，并在现场参与实践动画的创作。当孩子事后看到他们的作品，脸上的快乐和喜悦，对我们来说是最无价的成就。
2015年中国迪士尼邀请Alex作为“大白”系列短片的监制。台北的bito.tv 以及北京的 Seen Vision 同时受邀参加创作。在美术设计方面，两个团队应景的采用中国的农民画和捏面人的元素体现在作品当中，向大白国内的粉丝们热闹的“拥抱拜年”。
2016年 Alex受邀担任“洛宝贝”全新系列的监制。Alex邀请到英国动画编剧的一把手 Dave Ingham 作为系列片的主编剧，并特别享受和中英双方的前期设计工作过程。把中方原作者和制片方的愿景，和西方的内容创作团队讲明白，是Alex 沉浸式双文化的擅长。系列片推出后，成功登陆国际主流市场播出。2018年戛纳电视节的Variety 专刊如此评价 “洛宝贝在澳洲ABC电视比同时段收视率高出35%。。。这是一个标准的4-7岁学龄前动画内容，讲述一个小女孩的日常和生活乐趣的故事，但是，也正是这个系列片给出一个生动活泼的中国现代家庭画像，里头有中国的传统文化体现，还揉进了英语系能接轨的幽默和迷人之处。中国的传统元素透过细节，姿态，主人公的名字等等，一切都是那么的”不经意“，透过动画的故事，自然而然的让（西方的）孩子体验到多元的文化和异域的色彩。”