Getting off the ground | 开启征程
Vincent Shiao (萧启炜) has always been responsive to the shifts, twists, and turns in the production industry. He started Mili Films in his native country of Taiwan in 2000, and opened it in Shanghai in 2007. The company thrived originally on Vincent’s reputation and connections to other Taiwanese working at 4A agencies in China. Gradually, the company become known for its connection to famous Taiwanese directors, who were more comfortable working with Mili Films than local production companies. When a client or an agency wanted reputable Taiwanese director, Mili Films became one of the production companies known for these connections.
In recent years the company bulged to almost twenty staff members. They are now not only known for their connections with Taiwanese directors but respected for their world class production skills. The team works with China’s top directors as well as internationally acclaimed directors such as Matthias Zentner, Eric Will, Alessandro Pacciani, and Specter Berlin.
近年来，米立不断发展壮大，现在有近20名员工。公司不仅跟众多台湾导演合作密切，同时制作技能也是国际水准，这两点都让米立名声在外。公司不仅跟国内顶级导演合作，跟国际知名导演也往来频繁，比如Matthias Zentner，Eric Will, Alessandro Pacciani和Specter Berlin。
Client: MoWeather 墨迹天气 | Agency: W | Producion: Mili Films | Director: Matthias Zentner
In 2016 Mili Films produced a film for New Balance with W, one of China’s most successful homegrown creative agencies. This film, ‘Every Step Counts’ (一步一腳印) which featured Taiwanese actor Jonathan Lee (李宗盛) and directed by Taiwanese Chou Ko-tai (周格泰), received numerous awards and drew a lot of attention to Mili Films. The relationship with W has continued to give Mili Films the opportunity to work on some of the most creative spots produced for China’s market.
2016年，米立为中国知名本土创意广告公司W制作了一部短片 – New Balance“一步一脚印”广告，该片由台湾歌手李宗盛出演，周格泰执导，而且周导正是米立提供的人脉。此次跟W的合作，也让米立制作得以深度参与到中国广告行业中来。
New Balance x 李宗盛
Every Step Counts | 一步一脚印
Riding the wave | 顺势而为
The traditional advertising structure is in flux. New technology is shaking things up forcing every player, including Mili Films, to re-think and strategize how to stay relevant.
While continuing to produce traditional TVCs, Mili Films has taken on smaller budget projects to survive. This decision is not an indication that Mili Films is settling but rather is emblematic of the increasing demand for a different type of video content. Low budget mini films and clips for social media channels are in higher demand than the traditional million dollar production TVCs.
Mili Films finds they are more frequently directly approached by clients now to enter a bidding process rather than the traditional method of agencies approaching them. New brands lean towards this direct approach, cutting out creative agencies for obvious intentions of reducing costs and time. While skipping out on the services of a creative agency is certainly enticing for the client, many production teams like Mili Films are starting to feel squeezed.
Working with younger, innovative brands is certainly a double-edged sword. It is gratifying to work with youthful, enthusiastic brands who don’t have preconceptions of how the production process is supposed to work. Conversely, a younger brand’s lack of history and understanding of the creative process requires the Mili Films’ team to occasionally fill in those gaps.
Client: Call Of Duty | 使命召唤 | Agency: W | Production: Mili Films | Director: Wang Limin 王砺珉
Mili has responded to this situation by hiring an ex-agency professional to help cover some of the tasks that creative agencies originally fulfilled in the creative process. This allows the team to work directly with the client without having to dramatically change the company structure or refuse these diverse types projects.
Voyage Voyage | 扬帆远航
Mili Films has quickly hopped on board another re-surging trend of Chinese client’s shooting abroad. In the last two years they have shot in Tokyo, Sapporo, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Vancouver, LA, Iceland, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Bern, Cameroun, and Milan. They work with post houses in Germany and Poland and use sound studios and editors from all over the world to get the best for their clients.
现在，很多中国客户都想要到国外拍摄广告，米立制作也顺势而行，等上这艘快船。过去一年里，他们的拍摄去过东京、札幌、香港、吉隆坡、温哥华、洛杉矶、冰岛、保加利亚、土耳其、伯恩 喀麥隆 和米兰。他们跟德国和波兰的后期制作公司合作，同时还跟全世界各地的音效工作室和剪辑师合作，以期为客户打造最好的作品。
Films shot abroad are often allotted bigger budgets but in reality can be cheaper to execute. Production costs in China are rising, including the price of the crews, local directors, and location permits. It particularly makes sense to shoot abroad if the desired look for the spot is not unique to China.
“You have to try something new”
A couple years ago Vincent opened up an animation company, Dancing Ink. The company has been running for almost three years in Shanghai and focuses more on post production and feature film work than commercial projects. While completely separate from the daily operations at Mili Films, the two companies certainly push each other to stay current on technology advancements in the industry. Mili Films is hoping to try their hand at VR production or other exciting technologies if the appropriate project comes their way.
几年前，萧启炜在上海创立了自己的动画公司Dancing Ink。现在，公司已经运营近三年了，公司并不是主打广告项目，而是专注于后期和长电影制作 。Dancing Ink和米立虽然是各自独立运营，但却无疑会彼此促进，都走在行业科技的前沿。米立也希望，如果有合适的项目，他们愿意尝试VR制作等各种刺激的新技术。
Client: Acura 讴歌 | Agency: McGarrybowen | Production: Mili Films | Director: Alessandro Pacciani
Ultimately, it is about staying nimble and adaptive to inevitable market shifts. The team is fully aware there will always be industry challenges and new technologies shaking up the way things are ‘supposed to be’. For now, despite uncertainties in the production industry, Mili Films is continuing to explore and carve out their own, sustainable space.