Kao Wai Ho, Francis Announces Formation of Unicorn Studios

Jan 29th 2010

FOCUS WILL BE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT IN A DISTINCTIVE HONG KONG STYLE

Hong Kong, 29 January 2010 – Kao Wai Ho, Francis today announced the formation of his new entertainment company, Unicorn Studios (“Unicorn”). Staffed with a team of storytellers, character designers, and computer graphic artists, Unicorn plans to develop transmedia entertainment properties spanning the worlds of graphic novels, comics, video games, and animation. Unicorn's first creative undertaking is based on a series of martial arts novels called Sanger y Acero (武道之詩 or Blood and Steel) from acclaimed Hong Kong author Jozev (喬靖夫).

Mr. Kao was previously founder and chairman of IMAGI Animation Studios, a listed Hong Kong company producing computer graphic animated films for global theatrical release. Mr. Kao left IMAGI in late 2009 to devote his full time to the formation of Unicorn.

“My vision for Unicorn is to produce entertainment with uniquely Asian themes and flavors,” said Mr. Kao. “Unicorn's partnership with Jozev gets us off to a great start, as he has created a fresh new style of Kung Fu novel that is ideally suited to comics, games, and animation.”

Unicorn's Transmedia Strategy

Unicorn will develop its creative properties first as comics, then games, and then animation. This approach enables the company to experiment creatively in low cost media, then move on to more costly media when consumer preferences are well understood.

Unicorn's first Sanger Y Acero comic books will release in 2010. The company will publish traditional printed comics for collectors and on-line versions for Internet comic fans.

Consumer feedback from the comics will be applied to the design of games, animation, and a host of other products. “Traditionally, Hollywood-style studios have placed huge bets on feature films and elaborate video games without fully understanding what the fans like and dislike,” said Mr. Kao. “Unicorn will place a series of much smaller bets on adventurous and innovative comics, so by the time we make larger bets on more expensive media, we'll have reduced the risk as much as possible.”

About Sanger Y Acero

Jozev, author of the best-selling Sanger Y Acero series of novels, is a devoted practitioner of martial arts. His depth of personal experience is woven into the vivid depictions of fighting scenes which have become trademarks of his novels. His many fans and reviewers have praised Jozev's novels for their richly detailed and cinematic word pictures. “The Sanger Y Acero books describe a martial arts world which is both realistic and super cool,” according to Wilson Yip, director of Ip Man.

Set in the ancient Chinese martial arts world, Sanger Y Acero has redefined the modern Kung Fu novel, replacing conventional good-vs.-evil conflicts with a more interesting and complex world where characters are deeply ambivalent and the science of martial arts can be subverted by good as well as evil. Plots are advanced by shifting alliances, adversaries, and perspectives. “Jovez leads a new generation of novelists with his fresh, independent thinking,” said celebrated film director Gordon Chan. “I always look forward to his next book.”

Hong Kong movie directors, musicians, and writers consistently praise Jozev's vibrant language and word images. “Jozev imbues his characters with extraordinary energy, they're truly exciting,” said Soi Cheang, director of Accident. “Character dialogues are fantastic,” said Toe Yuen, director of McDull. “Whether you're a kid or an adult, you get addicted to Jozev's books as soon as you start reading them,” said Mr. C of FAMA. “Jozev's books get better and better with each reading – I like them best the third time,” said humorist Joe Ngai.

The Sanger Y Acdero series, which has long occupied the best-seller lists in Hong Kong, was recently published in Taiwan. Plans are underway to publish in mainland China as well.

About Jozev

After completing his studies as a translator at City Polytechnic (now City University of Hong Kong), Jozev (喬靖夫) set out on a career that included stints as a journalist, scriptwriter, game designer and award-winning Canto-pop lyricist. He has published more than twenty novels, including the Karma series, the Journal of the Vampire Hunter series, Blademaster, Seraph, The Block and the Expired City series. Sangre y Acero (Blood and Steel) is his latest work. Each volume of this series has made the Hong Kong weekly top-10 bestselling book list. http://jozev1969.blogspot.com


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