The Chinese animation firm aiming torivalHollywood
Afamiliar issue for many businessesthese days is a scarcity of top talent.现今很多（动画制作）企业，人才稀缺成为常态
Chinesefilm studio Light Chaser Animation hastaken an unusual approach to help to solvethis problem - it bought a robot.Thedevice is a "telepresencerobot", which it acquired fromCalifornia-based Double Robotics.It consists of a battery-powered mobileplatform to which an iPad is attached.
The wi-fi controlled device can movearound the company'soffices and it allows animation director Colin Brady - wholives in Los Angelesand did not want to move to China - to communicate with therest of the team inBeijing.
The "telepresence robot" allowsa key US worker tocommunicate with the team
He says he uses the robot more than heinitially expected to."During meetings and interviewing new employees,itis very helpful to look people in the eye and then look at theirscreen,"says Mr Brady.
"It is very weird to be a robot thatcan roll around independentlyand surprise people at their desks, but that's alittle bit of the fun parttoo." The best thing for him about using it isitallows him to spend more time at home.
His assistant Mo Chen says: "It's abit scary when Colinsuddenly shows up from behind, but thankfully, this doesn'thappen a lot."But she says she does not find it weird talking to Colinthrough the device,since she is used to using Apple's Facetime app.
Mr Wang says he is bad with "routinestuff" andalways wants to try new ideas
Company founder Gary Wang says the robotis just oneexample of the new communication tools that are now available tomakeworking easier for teams that are dispersed across the world.
He adds that recruiting and retaining theright staff isabsolutely vital for start-up businesses.
"If you hire 'A' class people theywill hire 'A' classpeople from that point on.If you hire 'B' class people then… it will just godownhill from there. So we want to find our 'A'class people."
Light Chaser is housed in an artisticcompound on theoutskirts of Beijing
Mr Wang says the goal of the company isto produce animatedmovies like those made by Pixar and Dreamworks, aiming toachieve the samelevel of quality as the giant US studios.
He believes that the time is right forhis new venture. AsChina goes through a transition from an economy based onindustry, to one moredriven by domestic consumption, he sees a growing appetitefor home-producedentertainment.
"There are a tremendous number ofpeople inside Chinawho are looking to see stuff that's related to them, ratherthanjust seeing another American film," he says.
Light Chaser has already made one shortfilm and work isunder way on its first feature.
The company's first feature film isplanned for release inearly 2016
Little Door Spirits is a fantasytale aimed at a family audience. Although thecontent and characters aredefinitely Chinese, Mr Wang says he also has oneeye on the wider internationalmarket.
"We want to make… something that can beshared with anyone in the world."
Light Chaser is not Mr Wang's firstenterprise. In 2005, hefounded Tudou, a video-sharing site which launchedshortly before YouTube.
The business grew quickly, attractingmillions of users. Butafter it merged with another Chinese video-sharing firm,Youku, Mr Wang says hebecame restless.
Mr Wang believes there is growing demandfor Chinese-madefilms
He began tolook for a fresh venture. Heconsidered severalpossibilities, such as creating a vineyard. Eventually thenotion of startingan animation company emerged.
Mr Wang says hesoon discovered thatputting his idea into practice was not going to be easy."It requires a lotof people to do an animation feature film - wecalculated about 150 people… in variousdisciplines, [from] artists to computer tech support,animators, lay out and soon."
The problem wasthat it was difficult tofind people with the right skills in China, becausefew, if any, large-scaleanimated movies were being made at the time.
"We neededto do a poachingtrip," he says.
He travelled toCalifornia, visitingHollywood and Silicon Valley, and ended up hiring ahandful of highlyexperienced people, who helped him to recruit the rest of theteam.
It takes about 150 people to make oneLight Chaser Animationfilm
Mr Wang says heis in the fortunateposition to have raised the resources to make severalfeature films over thenext few years. If the movies prove to be successful, hesees the potential toexpand into other areas, such as merchandising or eventheme parks.
However, herecognises that he has entereda very risky business.
There is also alot hanging on hisshoulders. He is not only the company'schief executive, he is also thescreenwriter and director. He says his previousexperiences of writing novelsand plays has been helpful with the latter roles.
Mr Wangbelieves it is in his nature toattempt to overcome difficult challenges. Someof the biggest difficulties manyentrepreneurs face are uncertainty andself-doubt. He says he learnt to pushthese fears aside - and urges others todo the same.
"There'san old Chinese saying thatwhen a boat hits the bridge, it will go straight again,[all] by itself,"he says. "It basically means that it's actually notthat terrifying. Thebig unknown is just like anything else."