CMC Animation Exchange – Keynote
Oli Hyatt Animation UK & Blue Zoo
Oli kicked off The CMC Animation Exchange with a rousing overview of where we are now with the new animation tax break and how we got there. The celebratory tone was balanced with a reminder that there is still work to be done to ensure we maximise the new benefits. Keen for the industry to take advantage of the tax break, Oli urged everyone to keep moving forwards and make the most of the new opportunities to ensure the continued growth of the UK animation industry.
Getting their ducks in a row was the basis of Animation UK’s lobbying approach, and Oli’s decision to open proceedings with plastic ducks glued to a hockey stick not only gave a seasonal nod to the Easter weekend, but also reassured anyone in the audience fearing an afternoon of accounting terms and percentages that this was going to be an accessible information session! Oli’s conclusion was clear. Our UK animation duck needs to produce golden animation eggs, rather than subsidised duck poo!
Meet the ducks who provided much of the themes and content for the rest of the afternoon’s programme:
Duck 1: Education
We have fallen behind other countries in terms of providing industry ready graduates. Creative Skillset are on board to help turn this around, and additional Government funding is now in place in a bid to boost talent.
Duck 2: European Funding
The Media Fund – soon to be Creative Europe has a lot to offer and though it might seem like a lot of work to apply – we are eligible and should make the effort.
Duck 3: Broadcasters
Broadcasters should nurture animators. We are in the fantastic position of needing lots of new content to populate many broadcast platforms, from internet, to VOD, to TV broadcasters – and that content can increasingly come from the UK.
Duck 4: Co-production
We want to see the UK industry grow in production and creativity, but also to continue to build co-pro relationships. The tax credit strengthens the UK’s position in the co-pro market, helping new partnerships to be built on creative opportunity rather than just financial.
Duck 5: Finances
The tax break helps, but it doesn’t provide the only answer. We still need to think creatively about how to fund shows and invest time in required form-filling and bridge funding opportunities.
Duck 6: Distribution
A vital part of many of our shows, but the new tax break can also help some shows to exist as shows without the previous shackles of L&M.
Duck 7: Promotion
The UK animation industry now has a voice and it’s time to use it to promote the message that we’re open for business in the UK.
Duck 8: Tax Break
It’s the quality of the shows that have got us here. Tax break or no tax break, there is always someone willing to offer cheaper work. Creativity and quality is our key to making the most of the tax break.
Duck 9: Creativity
Building on from the previous point, we need to push ourselves to deliver new content, new genres, new creative. Oli reminded us that it was our inspiration that got this initiative started in the first place, and we need to continue in that spirit.