Tag Archives: Animation
The UK’s Children’s Media Conference (CMC) will host a one-day event exploring the implications of the upcoming U.K. Animation Series Tax Break for animation producers and their global partners.
CMC Animation Exchange, Planned for April 4 at the BIS Conference Centre in Westminster, the CMC Animation Exchange event will zero in on the various elements of the new tax incentive, which will come into effect next month. Sessions include overviews on how to qualify, how to account, how to work with funding bodies and broadcasters, and how it will affect foreign partners such as co-producers.
The event will feature expert speaker such as Sarah Muller (CBBC), Jonathan Berger (Harbottle & Lewis), Liz Brion (Grant Thornton), Irene Weibel (Nelvana Studio), Canada), Mark Dhrami (Alphanim, France), Kate O’Connor (Creative Skillset) and Rosemary Klein (Rights TV). Oli Hyatt, Chair of Animation UK, will open the event.
The U.K. entertainment industry is eagerly awaiting the arrival of April. George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer (equivalent of a treasury secretary) recently pointed out that the introduction of the tax relief would play a big part in keeping the U.K.’s vfx sector competitive with the rest of the world.
According to the budget documents, approval for the animation and high-end TV tax relief was expected shortly and they would start on April 1 as previously signaled by the government. A video game tax relief is also in the works after state aids approval. The entertainment tax benefits will provide a 25 percent tax break on qualifying U.K. expenditures.
The 2013 budget documents illustrate that for the fiscal year starting in April, the government is forecasting a $ 23 million (£15 million) allocation rising to $ 83 million (£55 million) by 2017/18.
Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London said, “The new measures will ensure that we can continue to compete globally on a level playing field; and continue to attract the biggest and most technically challenging film and television projects to the U.K.”
Buckinghamshire New University, located in High Wycombe, England, is re-launching its Animation and VFX Degree (BA Hons) program, the content of which is in line with the Core Skills of VFX handbook put together by Creative Skillset to help plug the skills gap in the animation industry and increase the supply of capable home-grown talent. The course will kick off in September and the University is now recruiting students.
The new program has been put together by an experienced team of industry vets, including course leader Alex Williams, an animator and visual effects expert whose work includes The Lion King, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. Kevin Spruce, head of animation at Framestore, is also one of the course’s external reviewers. The course will feature a strong emphasis on character and creature animation focusing on cutting edge technical skills, strong links with leading animation and vfx houses (the department has partnered with Cendroid Motion Capture Studio already), collaboration with complementary disciplines and departments at the University, exploration of extended digital arts skills, and a blended approach using lectures, seminars, online content and guest lectures from the industry—joining the existing course this month are Zac Ella and Jim Le Fevre.
The University notes in its announcement that despite the existence of roughly 80 animation courses in the U.K. only seven have been approved by Creative Skillset and few have emerged as internationally recognized leaders. Buckinhamshire hopes this course will develop to compete with highly regarded schools in France, Germany, Denmark and North America, with elements of the course following best practices used by leading programs like those at CalArts and Denmark’s Animation Workshop.
Dallas-based animation and live-action studio Reel FX has announced that Aron Warner, the Oscar-winning producer the Shrek features has joined the company as president of animation. In addition to the Shrek trilogy, Warner’s many production credits include Antz, True Lies, Independence Days, Alien Resurrection, Volcano and Titanic.
Warner will oversee and expand Reel FX’s animation slate which already includes the day of the dead-themed project Book of Life (Guillermo del Toro producing/Jorge Gutierrez directing), which will be released in theaters by Fox Animation on October 10th, 2014, Turkeys (Jimmy Hayward directing) which will be released in theaters on November 14th, 2014 by Relativity Media and Beasts of Burden (Warner and Andrew Adamson producing).
Reel FX’s film slate follows almost 20 years of experience as an award-winning one-stop studio for animated content including films, special attraction/live venue projects and interactive projects for companies like Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios.
Warner said: “Reel FX has the talent, technology and track record to create the highest-quality theatrical animated films for reasonable budgets. Our model allows us to take creative risks and has already attracted world-class filmmakers looking to tell unique and daring stories that appeal to audiences across the world. I am honored to be part of the Reel FX team and look forward to continuing to build upon our slate.”
Warner’s team at Reel FX includes Jeff Fierson, head of development, Brad Booker, creative producer of Book of Life and Scott Mosier, creative producer of Turkeys.
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Popular CG-animated preschool series Heroes of the City has tapped Baboon Animation to work on the new season of the show.
“We’re so charmed by the Heroes characters and their whimsical world,” says Mike de Seve, CEO of Baboon Animation. “We’re thrilled to assemble a team of some of the very best writers in preschool TV today to help the show be all it can be for its exciting second season.”
Based in New York City, Baboon Animation has provided Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated writing, directing and design to some of the top animation studios around the world. Baboon’s team of top-notch writers and designers have worked on a diverse slate of TV shows such as Daria, Pocoyo, Arthur, The Backyardigans and features such as Ice Age, Shrek The Third, Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens, Arthur Christmas and Over the Hedge.
Heroes of the City is produced by Swedish children’s entertainment production company Ruta Ett DVD AB and distributed by German TV distribution partner, Your Family Entertainment. The show has sold to more than 180 countries and production has already begun for the second season.
“The fact that Heroes of the City now is sold to more than 180 countries, shows that we are on the right track, and that we have made a TV series that is loved by children in preschool age regardless of which part of the world they live in,” says Pelle Ferner, CEO of Ruta Ett DVD AB.
The preschool toon centers on the adventures of Paulie Police Car, Fiona Fire Engine and their group of rescue vehicle pals in a small town where everyone gets to be a hero. The show delivers the positive message that everyone plays an important part and that working together can solve even the most difficult problems.
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