ANIMATION SEMINAR PRODUCING ANIMATION
Netherlands Film Festival 25 September 2017 by Vera de Lange
Speakers: Zahra Dowlatabadi and Eric Goossens
Moderator: Tom van Waveren
Location: Blauwe Zaal, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht
Organised by: Animatieproducenten Nederland, in collaboration with Netherlands Film Festival and Netherlands Film Fund and supported by Vlaamse Animatie Producenten, Filmproducenten Nederland and Netherlands Film Academy.
Following the successful animation seminar ‘Storyboarding & Editing’ last year at the Netherlands’ Film Festival in Utrecht, this year ApN organized a second forum, entitled Producing Animation. The public and the speakers received a word of welcome by Ton Crone, director of ApN. The goal of these gatherings is to develop and increase expertise about animation. This time the seminar focused on producing animation, named after a book with the same title by Zahra Dowlatabadi. She gave a presentation about her experience as an animation producer in the US, followed by Eric Goossens from the production company Walking the Dog, based in Brussels, who focused on the European animation procedures and pipeline setups. Both of them illustrated their presentation with stills and clips from animation projects they have worked on. Moderator Tom van Waveren, CEO and creative director of Cake Entertainment in London, chairman of ApN and vice-chair of Animation Europe, introduced the speakers and led the panel discussion. There was a small but attentive audience, consisting of film directors and producers from both animated and live action films, as well as students aiming to work in this field. During the panel discussion, they asked many questions to the speakers and shared their own experiences.
Animation production is very diverse and ranges from one dedicated artist making drawings in his attic to major studios with hundreds of employees working with advanced software. Until recently, there was hardly any literature about the production process of animated films. The book Producing Animation, which is now a state-of-the-art guidebook for professionals and students alike, provided a good starting point to take a closer look at the organization and management of an animation project.
©2017 NFF/Desiree Schippers
In her presentation, Zahra Dowlatabadi shared her experiences and lessons learned from 2D and 3D animated features, Direct-to-Videos and TV series in both major and independent studios in the US. After being in this business for some time, she noticed that the wheel was constantly re-invented. The workflows in animated films in her experience showed a big contrast with the live action part of the films she has worked on, in which everyone was very clear about their job. Because of this lack of continuity, the animated productions didn’t reach their full potential. Considering that to be a waste of money, effort and time, she decided to gather the best practices with co-writer Kathy Winder, to help guide further productions in the future and to prevent making the same mistakes each time. She presents a snapshot of the current state of animation, the emersion and blend of new technology, where it might be taking us, and the impact of disrupters such as Netflix, Amazon and Google. She is sharing her experience and insight on US production studios, and leads the public through the process of producing animation from pitching until final delivery. When you are pitching an idea, her advice is to be a thorough researcher and analyze the priorities of the company you are pitching to, and make sure your online profile is welcoming and enjoyable. At the start of a production it is important to make agreements in advance about important production aspects like credits, the amount of creative retakes, delivery dates and payments. New technologies and programs such as ToonBoom have streamlined the production process. Current developments caused by companies as Google, Amazon and Netflix have made productions on the one hand more dependent on numbers of views and likes. On the other hand, they also make room for more risky projects and their platforms can make a quick access to a worldwide audience possible.
©2017 NFF/Desiree Schippers
To compare the American situation with the European, Eric Goossens gave an overview of the production pipeline of animation studios on this continent. He took over the presentation from his co-founder Anton Roebben, who was ill. Since most European animated films are co-productions, an important part is the division of tasks between countries, which is connected with the different film funding obligations in each country. This process is so complicated that the whole discussion about the division of tasks may take three to four months. Each country has its own expertises and rules attached to funding. To make this process easier, he hopes that in the future in Europe more enduring connections and collaborations between partners will be developed. During the production process, it is important to follow a good structure and to prepare yourself well. Do not start before the script is greenlighted. You need to make a detailed breakdown of all the props, characters, background etc. in Shotgun, a data asset management system. This is an essential tool to keep the spending of time and money under control. He regards the new developments around companies as Netflix, Amazon and Google as an evolution which can have a positive influence on the financing and distribution of animated films.
Read more: (download PDF)
ANIMATION SEMINAR STORYBOARDING & EDITING
Nederlands Film Festival 26 September 2016 by Mette Peters
Speakers: Michael Dudok de Wit, Sim Evan-Jones & Ashley Boddy
Moderator: Job ter Burg
Location: Blauwe Zaal, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht
Organised by: Vereniging Nederlandse Animatie Producenten, in collaboration with Nederlandse Vereniging van Cinema Editors, Nederlands Filmfonds and Nederlands Film Festival.
It was a full house during the animation seminar on Storyboard & Editing at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht. The audience consisted of a mixture of people from both animation and editing backgrounds. After a word of welcome by Ton Crone, director of the VNAP, experienced editor Job ter Burg acted as moderator during the day. The three invited artists Ashley Boddy, Sim Evan Jones and Michael Dudok de Wit focussed in their individual presentations on their own working practice and showed lots of visual examples. Ter Burg made all lively panel discussion and audiences questions run smoothly.
Read more: (download PDF)
Animation Producers Nederland for better funding, expertise, infrastructure and international network
The importance of animation in the media is steadily growing. Animation is being increasingly integrated in the development of new media products. Whether these are commercials or serious games, previsualistions or special effects, family films or documentaries, video clips or series, YouTube vlogs, bumpers or stations calls, information films or training programmes, animation has become an integral part of our contemporary visual experience.
Slowly but surely the importances of animation in the broadest sense is being recognised and accepted. Not only specialists are producing animation, we are also seeing increasingly more producers including animation in their productions – and even producing their own animations. And there is a basic animation structure in the Netherlands that makes it possible to operate in all these contexts – fine examples of which are the recent Woezel en Pip children’s series and feature.
To illustrate its goals and focus, the ApN distinguishes three branches when it comes to animation production:
Animation production as an autonomous discipline with short, medium-length and long animation films and television series, in all their imaginable genres.
The production of animation segments that form a part of live-action productions and documentaries.
Animation production as an integrated, applied discipline – for example in commercials, serious or other games, simulations, educational applications, industrial design, architecture, visualisations, information films, motion design and special effects.
The ApN champions the interests of animation producers in the first and second branches. These interests consist of improving opportunities for producing and distributing animation in the Netherlands, especially with regard to better funding, knowledge, experience and the development of an international network, both individually and as an industry.
Where useful and relevant, the ApN will also work and cooperate with representatives of the third branch in order to protect shared interests.
Due to the specific production aspects for animation, it naturally stands apart from other film disciplines, although it is true that all producers of narrative productions have much in common. This is why the ApN works very closely with other producers’ associations such as the FPN (Association of Film Producers in the Netherlands), DPN (Documentary Producers Netherlands) and the OTP (Dutch Association of Independent Television Producers).
The ApN’s specific aim is to stimulate the production and distribution of animation by:
Funding: by consulting with broadcasters, funds, financiers and distributors in order to achieve more productions, new operating models and funding options including more incentives for animation series and more money allocation from broadcasters.
Representation: Looking after the interests of producers with policy makers in Europe and the Netherlands, including policy officers at various ministries, political parties, and provincial and regional authorities.
Collaboration: Active collaboration with other interest groups such as the FPN, DPN and OT, but also APCI (Alliance of Producers in the Creative Industry), StOP NL (Netherlands Foundation for Independent Producers), Sekam (Independent Producers’ copyrights), Rodap (rights of producers, broadcasters and distributors), the EYE (new film museum), the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision, HAFF (Holland Animation Film Festival), KLIK! (Amsterdam Animation Festival), the Playgrounds festival, and the Netherlands Film Festival.
Knowledge and experience: Organising delegations to European industrial events such as Cartoon Movie, Cartoon Business, Annecy and Cartoon Forum, and organising animation workshops at festivals in the Netherlands and abroad.
International network: Attracting contacts with foreign interest groups for animation producers, including PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, Great Britain), SPFA (Syndicat des Producteurs de Films d’Animation, France), Belgian producers, CARTOON Media, and important festivals.
BOARD AND INFORMATION
Tom van Waveren, president
Daan Velsink, secretary
Jolande Junte, treasurer
Ton Crone, manager
For more information about the ApN mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> Anikey Studios
contact/email: Paco Vink en Albert 't Hoofd
>> Armadillo Film
contact/email: André Bos
>> Big Pixel
contact/email: Jeroen Hoekstra
>> Blender Animation Studio
Contact/email: Ton Roosendaal
Contact/email: Jolande Junte
>> CinéTé Filmproduktie BV
contact/email: Willem Thijssen
>> The Drawing Room
contact/email: Jiek Weishut
contact/email: Daan Velsink
>> Heer en Meester
contact/email: Paul de Heer
>> Hoek, Line & Thinker
contact/email: Tom van Waveren
>> il Luster Producties
contact/email: Michiel Snijders
>> Ka-Ching Cartoons
contact/email: Joost van den Bosch
>> Lemming Film
contact/email: Leontine Petit
>> NMTrix Animation Studios
contact/email: Patrick Nijman
>> Pedri Animation BV
contact/email: Thomas Hietbrink
Contact/email: Daniel Koefoed
>> Stichting Filmproject
contact/email: Dorna van Nieuwaal
>> Studio Job, Joris & Marieke
contact/email: Job Roggeveen
>> Studio Pupil
contact/email: Tünde Vollenbroek
contact/email: Marc Thelosen
>> STORM Post Production
The Storytellers Film & TV BV
Contact/email: Jack Kuiper
contact/email: Bruno Felix
>> Telescreen BV
contact/email: Lisette Looman
contact/email: Errol Nayci
contact/email: Sander Alt
contact/email: Richard Valk
>> Van Merwyck Media
Contact/email: Arthur van Merwyck
>> WPP Wim Pel Productions BV
Contact/email: Jeroen Pel
>>62 George Street
Contact/email: Eeke Beuger
Or: Jamie K. Bolio