Sen Lai, Founder/Conference Chair, CG Overdrive 2009 presented the keynote to a packed auditorium of local and international
delegates. Lai made a few points about the CG industry in general and about the event’s history in particular. Here’s a quick
On prosperity in recessionary times:
The burning question to me in recent times, is not how to cerate a more exciting and thriving industry locally, but rather,
how to stay competitive in our business in this industry globally. The recent recession has affected the economy negatively;
however, it almost seems as if the entertainment industry in Asia – more explicitly the CG industry – has experienced some
form of prosperity in these times.
On the CG industry in Singapore:
Major studios like Lucasfilm, Ubisoft, Koei and most notably recently Double Negative have found themselves happily settling
On CG Overdrive’s role:
CG Overdrive has become a world class event, attracting delegates from across 19 different countries and professionals from
every elite studio the world has ever known, imparting knowledge and inspiring the audience. The event has also been
indirectly responsible for many B2B collaborations.
On the story behind CG Overdrive:
The first time I organized a public CG event (in 2001), I was part of a small but very passionate group of people who wanted
to make a difference to the non-existent CG industry at that time.
The first competition event attracted 100 plus entries, and a small celebration finale attended by over 30 people was held in
a small theatre. I could remember we were working very late the previous night to set things up, as there was no funding, we
had to do almost everything there is to do. It was very tiringâ€¦ but it was magical. This would be the initial pre cursor to
the CG Overdrive that would be eventually founded in the year 2006.
A big percentage of these initially successful studios fail after a few years. Getting a good company to startup is one
thing; getting a great company going is a totally different ballgame and requires almost a complete different form of
management and style of business as compared to the early days of a startup.
On success and risk-taking:
For most successful creative companies, the challenge is not to prevent risk, risk is always avoided. When a company becomes
successful in its previous endeavors, they would stick to the conventional way of doing things, because it had been proven
successful before; for example the way to craft stories, the type of stories, the medium of stories. And thus instead of
innovating new ways to challenge the norm, the very ingredient that made these companies successful, eventually would lead to
On Asia’s future prospects in CG:
I hope that in the next few years, the industry would continue to flourish as it has so far and that Asia will truly be a hub
for computer graphics and animation.