Report – Presentation 1: The Red Carpet Treatment
Speaker: Kath Shackleton, Fettle Animation
Takeaway: It’s hard work running a small animation business – but with support from the industry and determined self-promotion success and good things are definitely possible.
Kath Shackleton introduced the audience to her Yorkshire-based studio, Fettle Animation, which she runs with her animator partner Zane Whittingham. The studio specialises in 2D animation, and has won numerous awards for some of its films.
Kath showcased a clip of some of Fettle’s projects, and then talked about the challenges that small studios face. These include, inevitably, the tightening of budgets in recent years from client companies.
She urged the industry to make sure it supports small companies as much as they can, saying that there are a lot of small businesses competing in a crowded marketplace, and these companies are full of good, talented people who deserve a fair reward for their work.
Kath said that although it doesn’t come naturally to her, she has had to go out and promote Fettle’s work to the industry, both in the UK and overseas. She said: “If you sit back and wait for the phone to ring, you’ll lose. You have to tell people about the amazing things you do, even if that doesn’t come easily.”
The collaborations she has had with organisations such as Creative Skillset and the Children’s Media Conference have been invaluable, and being nominated for – and winning – awards really helps to get you noticed.
Awards Fettle has won include a Japan Prize, two Royal Television Society Yorkshire Awards and the Sandford St Martin’s Children’s Award for Children of the Holocaust, which was also nominated for a BAFTA, and its Shakespeare in Shorts, produced for BBC Learning and with The Firm Music Group, has also been nominated for a 2016 Children’s BAFTA.