Names of Recipients:
Mr. Ervin Han
Mr. Bernard Toh
Equipped with strong background in the animation and creative direction scene as well as a desire to produce more original content, Mr. Bernard Toh, together with partner, Mr. Ervin Han, founded Robot Playground Media in 2013. As a design, animation and content production firm, their primary mission is to deliver an integrated and brand-driven approach to concept development and storytelling to their clients.
Mr. Ervin Han has involved himself in the infocomm and media industry for more than 14 years. Prior to co-funding Robot Playground Media, he was the head of development at one of the nation’s pioneering animation company. He has designed and developed an array of award-winning content for broadcasters and corporate clients, including television shows, web series, short films, print campaigns and educational applications.
On the other hand, Mr. Bernard Toh is one of the most experienced creative executives in the local graphics and animation scene. He initially started as a designer and eventually crafted shows for the likes of Cartoon Network and Mediacorp. For over a decade, he has designed and produced numerous international animated series, as well as creating a wide range of content for print, television, web and interactive applications.
With a team of award winning talent and their production-centric background, Robot Playground Media has established an extensive portfolio including those of familiar names such as The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia), Mediacorp, Samsung Asia, AVA Singapore, OSIM International, River Safari and Grey Group.
Some of the many projects include on-air teasers for Disney’s Star Wars films, River Safari’s Kai Kai and Jia Jia Storybook and The Violin, which was supported under the Singapore Memory Project’s irememberSG Fund, as part of the Singapore 50 (SG 50) celebrations. The company is also the first to create and produce a local animated prime-time sitcom series – Heartland Hubby.
As Mr. Bernard Toh and Mr. Ervin Han have been developing and producing animation mainly for international clients over the last 10 years, their desire to do something distinctively local led to the production of Heartland Hubby. The local sitcom premiered on 7 January 2015 on Mediacorp TV Channel 5, featuring voice actors like Lim Yu-Beng, Ebi Shankara, Siti Khalijah, Alaric Tay, Chua En Lai, Judee Tan as well as Hossan Leong.
Like its brand name that exudes personality, Robot Playground Media hopes to produce more of their own content which would portray different characters of various personalities and across multiple platforms. They believe that storytelling is central to innovation and that ‘a marriage of good storytelling, design and execution should be as effective as it is relevant in today’s transmedia landscape, be it a children’s TV show, a public service message or a company’s brand’.
Thus, the company has been effectively creating stories through a different medium. The services they offer include visual development, graphic design, animation production (2D/3D), brand identity design, infographics and videographics production, branded and unbranded content development, scriptwriting, copywriting, storyboarding and illustration.
Mr. Ervin Han shared that they were ‘very fortunate to be able to take on big projects early on which help built a sustainable production pipeline’ and are looking forward to more of such opportunities. However, these achievements do not come without challenges. The first few months of operations was a rocky road as Robot Playground Media struggled with their finances. Mr. Ervin Han revealed that being in this business has required them to ‘constantly balance risk-taking, sustainability and profitability’ and be ready for any challenges.
Through the many obstacles, Mr. Bernard Toh highlighted that being an entrepreneur has taught him how to handle manpower issues appropriately, work more efficiently and develop plans productively. He added, “As tastes evolve rapidly, it takes a lot of work to be in touch with the market”. Together with Mr. Ervin Han, the duo agreed that taking pride and having passion in one’s word is essential for one to succeed. In addition, they believe that being responsible and passing on the positive attitude in one’s working environment also plays a vital part to being successful.
The success of Robot Playground Media is most definitely well earned. With the team’s burning passion and years of professional experience, it is evident that the company will continue to ace and reach greater things in the near future.
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