Editor Weibo Feng: Creating an International Bridge

Weibo at Savannah Film Festival

Photo by Eva Purnomo

While our differences in international language may be a surmountable barrier to most, aesthetics are not. Understanding the differences with our eyes in cultural terms is far from a negative thing. Editor Weibo Feng has made constant use of this in his profession as a means of bringing a sense of unity to different countries. As cultures become more integrated with their mutual love of sports, tech, and media; it’s professionals like Weibo who are helping to facilitate this to viewers/consumers in every part of the world. Working with AIB Sportsbrands Studios “More” app and DLive’s “Creators Deserve More”, Weibo is a part of proving the fact that the term “global market” is more appropriate today than ever before. Whether for the audience, the talent crafting content, or the companies whose name they bare; planet Earth is a place where different people share the same experience by working together.

AIB Sportsbrands Studios understands that a large segment of the Chinese population is geared towards sports & lifestyleIn designing and creating the “More” app to deliver exclusive content to these fans, they needed to promote this with an audio-visual language that is intuitive for viewers; which is why AIB Sportsbrands Studios Head of Content Danny Kaplan enlisted Weibo to work on “More.” The app distributes content which is wildly eclectic, featuring personalities like Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash (cooking shows, documentary series, comedy shows) to James Harden (China journey series, documentaries) to collaborations with SLAM magazine, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and the China Basketball Association. Of course, the presentation needs to be attractive as well as informative.

With one foot in Eastern culture and the other in Western, Feng possessed the insight to understand both the intention and reception of the content as well as how it might best appeal to both cultures. From Shanghai’s “Sneaker Con 2019” to Post to Post which features former NBA player Kevin Garnett and Chinese basketball player Zhou Qi (who has played for Houston Rockets) sharing personal approaches in their game, to chronicling NBA legend Steve Nash’s “My Journey to Hall of Fame”, Weibo manifested the excitement Hoops fans feel for the game but transferred it to other related subject matters. As in the sport, pacing was key. Feng relates, “It’s challenging to make a whole story into short episodes for the APP. Nowadays, audiences might want to watch short form videos rather than a full length documentary and that is the purpose of the More APP. It is necessary to break the content into episodes, not only in a logical method, but also in an attractive way. At the same time, it should still convey the spiritual core of the whole story.”

Contributing his expert skills to informing and enabling others who might follow this course, Weibo edited the promo video ““DLive – Creators Deserve More” for DLive’s large streaming and video community/platform of creators and viewers. As a part of Big Monster Productions, Weibo was tasked with infusing the exciting possibilities available to the DLive community in this promo. Gamers and influencers like PewDiePie, the Swedish YouTuber named by Time magazine as one of the world’s most 100 influential people, have their words or interview testimonials featured in the promo. The influencers put a truly global face on DLive as they come from all corners of the world. This “lack of borders” approach while still being aware that they exist is an outstanding trait of Weibo’s approach for an increasing list of companies who want to appeal to audience’s both domestically and beyond.

Feng describes, “It is not only the content itself but also the way you present it that matters when you trying to make it attractive to an audience. As the culture communication around the world becomes more frequent and more deep, audiences in different cultures are understanding each other’s aesthetics more while still maintaining their own tastes. It can be tricky because if you’re not in continual contact with other cultures, you won’t realize the slice of difference.For example, some of the speeches that Yao Ming gave during his career in the States contained what I would call very ‘American’jokes to me. I understood the jokes but also immediately understood how different they were from a Chinese style joke. I wouldn’t be able to feel that if I grew up in America. To understand the audience, you need to know what they like. Ipay close attention to both the Chinese and American industry and social network to beware of what is happening with popular TV series, real-life shows, and movies, especially in how they are crafted in terms of postproduction. I’ll say it is more important on what content to produce but in postproduction, there is still something I can do in terms of, for example, music selection, graphic design choice but most importantly how to develop and craft a story. It could be even unconscious for me to do so sometimes. As we see more collaborations between the communities of different countries entertainment industry’s, this will become a required awareness for creative professionals.”

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