Manimation ’15 Report – Free Money? Fund and Flow

Posted on: Thursday 19 November 2015 9:48pm by Kath Shackleton

Rosemary Klein  (Compact Media Group)

Introduced the session and asked “Is there any such thing as free money?”

Christopher Halliday  (BFI)

The BFI want to make sure you get money for your animation production from the UK tax system  – yes really!  They are doing all that they can to help you to claim what you are entitled to and can help all productions big and small.

You can get up to 25% of your budget back from 80% of your production budget.

Lots of information about how to qualify (and they really have made it as easy as humanly possible to apply) Everything is online at www.bfi.co.uk/certification

There are specialist accountants who can help with more complicated applications.

Mark Rowland (Compact Media Group)

Compact Media group is a wide-based media business.  They help producers to get the foundations right for productions in the contract stage.

They can help producers to recoup royalties in music and visual programme content.  These can be significant and are hidden deep in contracts.

Simon Flamank (Bob and Co Ltd)

Bob and Co are private funders, interested in content of all kinds.  They help producers put together funding structures in this new multi channel world.

Creative content has long been misunderstood and is being revalued.  There many new exciting opportunities for animation companies.

Simon’s advice is

  • Create your vision and document it …
  • You have to be your best advocate
  • Choose your partners carefully
  • Don’t just “follow the money”
  • All of your rights could eventually have value
  • Each property will have a unique business strategy
  • Reverse engineering is genuinely possible

They have an open door policy – see 80 – 120 kids projects a year, but are now actively involved in 3.

Here’s some of the things he is looking for

  • Quality of content and people
  • Alignment of interest creatively and financially
  • Content with genuine interest for investors.

Jon Turner (Kilogramme)

Kilogramme is small independent studio based in Manchester working on short form, ads and TV shows.  They have self funded making shorts in the past, but decided to make something more elaborate and raise funds through crowdfunding on their show ‘Tall Tales Part 2’.

They wanted some independence and not to be watered down by working with a broadcaster or an external investor on this piece of work.

John admires Rick and Morty – the way that they can push the humour as far as possible.

So they worked through Kickstarter to raise money on this.  This is not free money – Kickstarter take 8% of what you gather.  You also need to offer rewards  which are attractive for those who pledge but won’t eat away your budget.  Around 20% goes on rewards.

A lot of work, you need to raise awareness before you start, and to keep pushing.  But its been really worth it for Kilogramme.

Neil Court (9Story Media)

Neil reminded us that there is a lot of money for animation in Canada with multiple tax credits, the CMF Canadian Media Fund.

There are new ways to finance your businesses

Netflix and Amazon are really standing up and being counted – creating new opportunities for us all over the next 5 years.

Wall Street Financiers are also getting into media, with worldwide cable companies creating wider opportunities for animation.

There will be more money around for the right projects – be lucky!

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Kath Shackleton

About the author

Kath Shackleton

Fettle Animation, Producer

Kath Shackleton is producer of Fettle Animation, a 2D Studio based in Marsden, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. She set up her company with her partner Zane Whittingham, an animator with over 25 years’ experience. They produce award winning character animation for broadcast, web and digital devices. Their animated documentary… Read more