Monday, October 01, 2012

African Animation



The production of animated features happens on every continent on the globe.

Earlier this year, Triggerfish Studios, a Cape Town-based animation studio released Zambezia, South Africa’s first full-length animated feature film. ... It's already Africa’s largest animation studio, but Stuart Forrest, the owner and CEO of the company, is keen on growing his 3D animation studio into a behemoth entertainment enterprise – up there with Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney and the rest of the big boys. ...

Triggerfish appears to have a ways to go. But what interests me is how a newer animation company in South Africa goes about finding the money to create a ninety-minute CGI cartoon.

We had a private investor who seeded the development of our first film, Zambezia, which enabled us to create a pilot. Once the pilot was created, we found a sales agent in Los Angeles (Cinema Management Group) who was willing to take it to market. Distributors reacted favorably, and we did quite a large amount of presales. We got a gap financier from LA (120dB Film Finances) to cashflow the presales. We also got some money from the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF). ...

The willingness of distributors to finance theatrical animated features underscores the viability and strength of the medium. Whether Triggerfish Studios becomes a player in global animation depends on the quality of its creative vision, and the ability of its staff to execute same.

Making entertainments that world audiences want to see is a difficult and elusive achievement. American companies have done it. Australian and French companies (Animal Logic and MacGuff) have managed to accomplish it. But thus far, nobody else has climbed to the topmost rungs of the ladder.

2 comments:

tobias schwarz said...

companies in the UK have done, I believe...

Steve Hulett said...

Aardman has had mixed success with stop motion. Can't think of anyone else.

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