Pain is the origin of evolution and creation.
Eye Catcher Incubation, the sibling project of Ear Up Incubation, is a new initiative that endeavours to groom independent producers for entering the creative industry after the Renaissance Foundation’s dedication as the local cultural and creative industry incubator for the past five years. The concept of Ear Up Incubation arose from a sense of perplexity: Why do some outstanding musicians still struggle to join the industry? Why are the mountain-stronghold mentality and factionalism still exercising their dominance that creators have little choice but to live upon it in this era of new technology and media? The pain of creators prompted us with the opportunity of evolution.
Having held the project for a consecutive five years, Ear Up Incubation had nurtured 78 groups of music bands and singer-songwriters, as well as 250+ musicians. In addition to a series of training on skills adaptive to the industry (such as copyright royalties, social media operations, music video / visual production, etc.), emphasis was also put on improving the quality of their live performances. Campus and Livehouse performances were also arranged. This aims to help grow the ability and motivation of the new independent musicians so that they gain their own fans to path their career from their creation. Can the experience that is free of domination and factionalism expand to the industry of independent films? After rounds and rounds of debate and careful preparation, the Eye Catcher Incubation Programme was finally launched in 2021.
People indeed have doubts about “self-producing”. On one hand, music and videography, the music industry and the movie industry are poles apart. On the other hand, how dare a new director imagine setting up a brand of his own? But when I saw the persisting dedication of the Japanese independent film industry to independent production, as well as Werner Herzog, saying that “New directors should be the producers of their first three movies”, we decided to give it a try.
From open call to the International Pitching Forum, we have gained positive reviews on the Eye Catcher Incubation Programme’s public talks, creativity camp, pitching workshops and mentorship programme in almost one year. I was particularly impressed and wholeheartedly gratified to witness the gradual maturation of the 12 Eye Catcher Incubation projects in the pitching workshops. It has been our pleasure to bring together members of the industry, to acknowledge independent directors of their knowledge on the industry’s game rules, as well as marketing and promotion skills. By doing so, they learnt to balance between the development of their own project and the overall operation, and to learn from the pain of criticism and error, so that they can leave their comfort zone and envision themselves embarking on a journey that reaches the broader scope of audience worldwide and a brighter future.
Forming a community is the Eye Catcher Incubation Programme’s prime vision. It aims to encourage directors, producers and editors to work as a team and make concerted participation. Also, creative production is encouraged to break through the boundary between genres such as drama, documentary, experimental and animation, as well as film length, be it long or short. This leaves a huge room for the creation of new directors in this generation. The goal of the Eye Catcher Incubation Programme is to create an independent, shared, vibrant creative community with diversity and possibility, in which artistic works and creative products can freely emerge in organic and free soil.
Hong Kong is experiencing a great historical transition, and the society is full of pain and grief. Visual creation is an integrated art. Although the sensitiveness of film producers brings them anguish, this anguish is, indeed, a source of inevitable themes and stories. Therefore, in the first International Pitching Forum, we focused on the local film project pitching in Hong Kong, and we did receive many interesting and outstanding projects. It is our heartfelt aspiration as well as a responsibility as Hongkongers to help these film projects establish a defined work and shine on the international stage.
The Renaissance Foundation is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022. When I look back, 2012 was a peak for interdisciplinary, cross-media collaboration in the Chinese cohort. Nevertheless, it was saddening to see that we are bounded by high, solid walls, and our hearts are withering. Entering the third year of the pandemic, we have become even more alienated.
“Let literature and art revitalise life” was the objective of the Renaissance Foundation when it was founded. Walking through the past ten years, nevertheless, this sentence has become so ponderous. But who knows. Perhaps when we look back after another ten years, we will think that the golden era of Renaissance has emerged after 2022. After all, to a species that evolves and creates from anguish, “Owning a lifetime is not what matters, but creating a poetic world does.”
CHAI Ziwen, Samuel
Director General, Renaissance Foundation & Eye Catcher
痛苦，是進化與創造的來源。 奪目影像廠牌計劃，是搶耳音樂廠牌計劃的姐妹/兄弟，是過去五年文藝復興基金會以文創孵化器的定位，協助獨立創作人進入創意產業的最新嘗試。搶耳音樂廠牌計劃，來自一個困惑：為什麼有出色作品的音樂人，依然無法入行？為什麼新科技新媒體下的新世代，依然要靠山頭拜碼頭傍大台才能生存？創作人的這一痛苦，讓我們看到了改變的機會。 連續舉辦五屆，搶耳音樂廠牌計劃共培育78組樂隊及唱作人、250+位音樂人。除了產業技能培訓（如版權版稅、社交媒體營運、MV/視覺製作等），還重點提升現場演出水準，進入校園及Livehouse展演，希望幫助新晉的獨立音樂人有能力、有動力去尋找自己的粉絲，從而由創作進入創業。這種無大台、無山頭的經驗是否可拓展到獨立電影呢? 2021年，經過反覆辯論、仔細籌備，奪目影像廠牌計劃終於誕生。 其實，大家都對「廠牌」有很多疑慮。一方面，音樂與影像、音樂產業與電影界是如此不同；另一方面，一名新導演憑什麼、夠膽去想像一個獨立廠牌？但是，當看到日本獨立電影界對自主製作的堅持，當聽到Werner Herzog說，新導演就應該監製自己的頭三部電影時，我們決定放手一試。
由公開招募到國際提案大會，前後大半年的時間，奪目經過公開講座、創作營、提案工作坊、導師計劃，收到很好的反饋，尤其是入圍提案工作坊的12個影像項目，見到逐漸項目逐步成熟，由衷的欣慰。有幸串連起很多業內的有心人，令獨立導演在了解產業知識與遊戲規則、市場營銷與推廣技巧、發展自己項目的同時，也更重視整體運作，在批評與錯誤的痛苦中學習，走出小圈子，把目光放到全球、放到未來。 奪目很重視社群。鼓勵導演、製片、剪輯師作為一個團隊、一個整體的參與，也希望打通劇情、紀實、實驗、動畫等的分野、長片和短片的限制，讓新世代的新導演擁有更廣闊的創意天空。目標是營造一個自主、共享，且多元可能、充滿活力的創意社群，在有機、跨界的土壤中讓文藝作品、創意產品自在湧現。 香港正經歷着歷史的大變遷，充滿各種各樣的痛苦與悲哀。影像是綜合的藝術，影像創作人一方面因為敏感而痛苦萬分，另一方面卻也擁有更多不得不說的主題和故事。正因為如此，第一屆的國際提案大會，我們聚焦在香港本地的影像作品提案，也確實收到很多有趣、出色的提案。幫助這些作品提案得以成形、實現，走到國際舞台，是我們衷心的期望，也是我們作為香港人的一種責任。