yU + co, the award-winning multimedia, motion graphics design, visual effects and production company, launched its Hong Kong office in August 2005, yU+co[hk] which recently won a contract from the Beijing Organizing Committee for Olympic (BOCOG) to produce graphics and other media for the 2008 Summer Olympics, is currently gearing up for that project. It is also seeking to increase its involvement in advertising and film production in China and other Asian countries.
China was a natural choice for expansion by yU + co. The company, whose founder, creative director Garson Yu, and executive producer Roland Yu were born in Hong Kong, is the only Chinese-owned production firm of its type in Hollywood. The company already has a large clientele in Asia and recently produced commercial campaigns for Vidal Sassoon via Leo Burnett, Hong Kong, and British Petroleum via Ogilvy & Mather, Shanghai, as well as a Chinese New Year Campaign for McDonald’s Hong Kong office and a theatrical trailer for Hong Kong Entertainment Expo 2006.
‘We are in a unique position to serve as a bridge between the media industries of the U.S. and Asia, and to bring Hollywood technology and production techniques to the Chinese market,’ noted Garson Yu. ‘We are very excited about moving into China at a time when its film, television and advertising industries are still very much in an expanding stage. The potential of the Chinese market, both from a business and a creative standpoint, cannot be underestimated.’
Language and cultural barriers that might hinder other companies from doing business in China are not impediments to yU + co. ‘We know the people, the language and the culture of China,’ added Roland Yu. ‘We can quite easily fill the role of intermediary between China and Hollywood .’ He added that yU + co is currently representing several U.S. film directors for advertising and other work in Asia.
In addition to its work for BOCOG, yU + co is currently developing several projects in tandem with the Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, a state-owned firm involved in cultural exchange, arts performance, outdoor advertising and large scale live events. Additionally, yU + co. recently obtained operations license to set up a production facility in Shanghai.
yU + co.[hk] has capabilities similar to those of the company Hollywood headquarters including state-of-the-art systems for graphics design, editing, visual effects, and compositing. Additionally, the two offices share a high-speed internet link that allows their mutual staffs to work in seamless collaboration. ‘Together, the two offices form a virtual studio and, by taking advantage of the time difference, we can offer our clients virtual 24/7 service,’ said Garson Yu. ‘We can outsource part of our Hollywood work to Hong Kong and vice versa, and take advantage of the special talents of our staffs at each location.’
yU + co, which is perhaps best known for its work in designing main title sequences for Hollywood blockbusters such as Memoirs of a Geisha , Brokeback Mountain and The Hulk, also expects to play a big role in China fast-growing movie industry. ‘We have produced trailers for several Asian films to promote festival screenings,’ said Roland Yu. ‘As more Chinese films make their way to the international market, Chinese producers will look to create promotional campaigns and title sequences that are on par with the standards of Hollywood. Several Hollywood studios have established operations in China and we are also a natural resource for them.’
Additionally, yU + co.[hk] sees potential in emerging media applications such as internet advertising, interactive kiosks and wireless communications devices. The company is currently involved with a German interactive communications firms to bring some of its technology to its Hong Kong office. ‘Internet and wireless communication are in some respects more fully developed in China than in the U.S.,’ observed Roland Yu. ‘Chinese use the Internet the way Americans use TV. All of the new media applications provide excellent areas of opportunity for yU + co.’
yU + co is located at 941 N. Mansfield Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038. For more information, call (323) 606-5050.
yU + co. [hk] is located at Room 1805, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. For more information, call (852) 3579 2638 ext.223