Genting Studios presents the talented artists behind the astounding animations of SkySymphony


genting studio key members

Visitors to Resorts World Genting never fail to stop and stare when they pass through the atrium of SkyAvenue as in plain sight lies a brilliant digital entertainment that plays off multiple giants LED screens that wrap around the three-storey high space.  Coupled with a 1, 0001 kinetic winch ball system, one of the largest in Asia and the word, this is stage for some fantastic animated features created by the in-house wizards at Genting Studio. Think vibrant displays of tropical coral reefs to festive tales honouring cultural traditions, the creativity on display is always spellbinding. 

There are a series of animations played at the SkySymphony on a regular schedule and includes the likes of Jungle Jam, Ocean Groove with Maestro Nigh, Moon Dance and The Goddess. And in celebration of Halloween, Genting Studios recently launched a brand new show called Spookadilly, featuring the scary singing skeleton Bonediddy welcoming guests to the Genting’s Midnight Manor. The show takes guests on a wild and unforgettable musical ride with dancing mummies, twirling ghosts, and serenading skulls.

SkySymphony’s Fountain of Creativity

 If you’re in awe of Spookadily, then you will be pleased to know that all the other animated wonders seen at SkySymphony is the work of Genting Studios.  Founded in January 2018, Genting Studios a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia was created to power the creation of original characters and concepts to deliver cutting-edge Computer Graphics (CG) content to the guests of Resorts World Genting.

Genting Studios possesses two offices- one in Los Angeles and one in Kuala Lumpur, with its core team comprising of six individuals, all of whom own a sterling resume and decades of experience in Hollywood feature films and award-winning TV series.

The team is led by Daniel Regis Brown, a seasoned Hollywood veteran that has worked on countless film and television productions. A part time job as a movie projectionist while studying at Pennsylvania State University led Brown to fall in love with the industry, pursuing a career that has allowed him to develop children-and-family productions at NBC, as well as supporting Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation as executive advisor to shape the country’s media policy and connect Malaysian media companies to the global film, television and gaming industries.

Supporting Brown are two other industry veterans. Guy Vasilovich, also based in Los Angeles, has directed, developed, designed and written shows for media behemoths such as Nickelodeon, Warner Bros, Universal and Disney. Alongside directorial roles on the Emmy-winning series Growing Up Creepie and Geronimo Stilton, as well as Lego Star Wars and Mariah Carey’s Christmas Special for Cartoon Network, Vasilovich has also served as Art Director for Disney animated features and worked on concepts and attractions for Disney theme parks worldwide. Heading up the Kuala Lumpur office is Steven Lim, a homegrown talent with over 15 years in the media and entertainment industry. Having worked on acclaimed local productions such as Saladin: The Animated Series, Fight Masters: Silat, Bola Kampung: The Movie and Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba, Lim oversees Genting Studios’ production and daily operations.

According to Brown the crew of Genting Studios are thrilled to be given the opportunity to push the envelope for digital content at Resorts World Genting and Genting Group as a whole. “What makes us different from a traditional animation studio is that Genting Studios was designed to operate with expertise across the full spectrum of film and television related activities. Most CG and animation firms focus on one aspect, operating as essentially ‘production facilities’. Genting Studios, however, was designed to operate in an integrated structure covering functions from development, pre-production, production, post-production, marketing to distribution. We cover the entirety of the business and we are fortunate to have individuals that represent the best of each of those aspects.”

SkySymphony: The Process Behind The Magic

Genting Studios production begins with an idea, what Brown calls a ‘seed crystal’. Germinated within the Genting Studios team, this ‘seed crystal’ is then planted, watered and nurtured with the input of various creative teams, running through several processes to hone it into a high-quality, family-friendly entertainment.

“What is entertainment, these days?” asks Brown. “Trends change and things falls out of popularity. But we believe that quality endures. However, we do need to keep up with the industry, and this is where we have an advantage. Between all of us at the studio, we have a huge global network of friends and partners that are ready to discuss, review and bounce ideas off as we push forward with our projects. Through meticulous and detailed discussions, we eventually hone our ‘seed crystal’ into a beautiful, bountiful tree that is ready to entertain our audience and endure as an example of our toil.”

“Once we are finished with our concept, there is more refining to be done. The concept will have to go through the Genting management each time a new concept or IP is produced. This involves a fair amount of internal presentation, pitching, selling and convincing… but the results in a better and stronger concept. Once that’s done, we are ready to begin production.”

The time for each project varies based on the scope, style and expected running time. A fully-animated CG production for SkySymphony – which typically run to four-minutes in length – takes up to four months to complete. More involved concepts, such as the creation of the six Resorts World Genting mascots – the Highland Heroes – will take significantly longer. All that time is carefully spent, given that all the members of Genting Studios are perfectionists that are not satisfied with anything less than theatrical quality animation.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done so far,” says Brown. “Look at anything coming out of the Hollywood studio system and compare that animation quality to the quality of the Jungle Jam or Moondance projects, and then come talk to me. And what makes me even more proud is that these concepts were developed entirely in-house, and can be found nowhere else but at Genting. We aim to astound our guests with the work we’ve done, and we also hope that they can appreciate all the sweat, time and money that we have poured into these labours of love.”

SkySymphony: Making The Movement

Once the animation for a SkySymphony show has been developed, then another part of the design process kicks in: the kinetic winch ball system. The winch ball system is programmed to synchronize and enhance the visuals projected on the screens – in a recent show celebrating the 80th anniversary of Batman, the winch balls morphed into various insignias of the Dark Knight, including the iconic Bat Symbol – the system is key to the success of SkySymphony.

“The winch ball system is an integral part of the SkySymphony experience, bringing the visuals to life in a unique and mesmerizing way,” says Sanjay Nadarajah, Vice President of Theme Park for Resorts World Genting. “Through this, we are able to move from two-dimensional visuals to three-dimensional movement. It isn’t easy, and I am always amazed by how much can be achieved by pushing the limits, but the results are worth it. Every time a SkySkymphony show plays, a huge crowd gathers to watch the magic unfold. I think that speaks for itself.”

The genius behind this is Michal Chan, of Lighting Insomnia. Hailing from Singapore, Chan is responsible for the design concept and programming of the winch ball system. Under his hands, the 1,001 winch balls can change from a background feature into complex shapes such as birds, flowers, elephants and more. Powered by the MA2 lighting console, a Coolux server for the video wall and the Q-Sys immersive audio system, the system allows Chan to control each 37.5cm winch ball individually. With each ball having its own ‘personality file’, they can be raised or lowered over a range of 17.5 metres at 3 metres per second, making this one of the densest winch ball systems in the world with one of the widest ranges. Each SkySymphony show typically involves up to 20 different shape profiles.

The Genting Studio Difference

This all comes together in alchemical magic. As music plays out in surround sound, beautifully-realised characters and creatures flit in and out of various screens, dancing together in a perfect whole as the winch balls transform into amazing shapes. A Genting Studios SkySymphony show has to be seen to be believed, and it is all thanks to the immense talent of the team.

Leveraging the capability and capacity of Malaysians with the creative talent of award-winning Hollywood veterans, Genting Studios is producing world-class content. By maximising the highly-competitive production cost structure built into the operational business model of the studio, Genting Studios delivers industry-defining results at less than a third of a typical Hollywood studio’s production cost. It is a winning strategy and guests of Resorts World Genting will only have to view the zippy new Spookadilly SkySymphony show to understand the truth of that.

   

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