Manimation Report: Producer’s Perspective

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 8:48pm

Phil Chalk is MD of north-west based Factory Transmedia, one of the only studios in Europe with expertise in all forms of animation – stop-frame, CGI and 2D. Factory has produced Roary the Racing Car, Fifi and the Flowertots and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion.

Phil joined the Manimation event to outline a producer’s perspective on working with commissioners and acquirers of animated content.

Phil began with a clip of the ground-breaking BAFTA-nominated show Strange Hill High made for CBBC, which combines traditional rod-puppetry with CGI animation.

He briefly took us through the story of how it all started from the pitch, to the presentation, development of characters, development of methodology, and talked about the collaboration with Fremantle Media who came on board as investor and distributor.

Describing the scale and ambition of Strange Hill High, Phil revealed it requires large numbers:  30 – 40 shots on an average day, 120 different puppets, 40 sets, a crowd scene in a classroom requiring 21 puppeteers, 3,500 bespoke props and 3 million pounds, spent on 13 episodes.

Phil demonstrated the lengthy process of script, storyboard, shots, voice and post-production needed to make the show.  He said that because it was so innovative the initial plans for production schedules and budgets had been optimistic.  They had adjusted them to fit the reality of production.

Phil was pleased to report that Strange Hill High is now beginning to grow internationally, with 15 licences signed up and distribution assured.

Manimation is a new animation festival, created by the CMC for MIDAS, the Manchester Investment Development Agency.  It combines business development events with creative and social evenings aimed at the Manchester animation community.

Blogged by Sarwat Jaleel

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