Blogs in "Manimation Blog"

November 2019

Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Diversity: Good for Business

Posted on: Friday 15 November 2019 2:27pm by Helen Dugdale

Following up on the UK Screen Alliance inclusion and diversity survey, the session considered how access to the animation industry can be improved and why that‘s better for business. Kate O'Connor (Animation UK) Kate O'Connor: PowerPoint Kate gave a whistle top tour through the Key findings of the Screen. Alliance Report on Diversity and Inclusion, which offered separated figures for the animation sector. Talent is critical issue - 30% of our work force come from outside the UK. Gender balance is improving but - 66% of women in animation are in junior roles. This isn’t good enough! BAME representation. Only 14% of animation workforce, lower than other sectors. 92% of the animation workforce holds a first degree, so the record…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Panel: Ads and Animators

Posted on: Friday 15 November 2019 1:58am by Helen Dugdale

A panel discussion exploring the connections between animation studios and ad agencies that have worked together to develop successful relationships and inspiring animation. Top Takeaways Small animation studios can take on jobs and turn them round quickly Creative agencies like to see visuals from animators to get an idea of their take on the brief Animation studios and creative agencies need to be honest with clients about budgets and time frames to get the best results Agencies want a safe pair of hands to deliver the creative. Andrew Lord (Flipbook) Flipbook are behind the animated ad for Manchester Christmas Markets. They worked with the creative agency M4 on the ad alongside Manchester City Council, to come up with the concept…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Global Opps.

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 2:01am by Helen Dugdale

The realities and benefits of working with co-producers: Top Takeaways Look out for people who are on the same wavelength. Make it a real partnership. Have the conversations at the start of the co-pro. The difference in time zones is interesting . You can easily lose a day on the animation schedule. Don’t have money changing countries as if the exchange rate shifts  your budget will rise. Speakers: Tamsin Lyons (Ink and Light) We’re a small company and it can be lonely. With an international co-pro, you have partners to share the highs and lows and creative decisions. Our partners in Ireland and Finland are supportive and are great broadcasters. They have made it more fun. Look out for people…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Keynote: Sarah Muller, BBC Children’s

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 12:35am by Helen Dugdale

Greg Childs introduced Sarah Muller, recently turned to BBC Children's to take on the role of Head of Independent Animation and Acquisitions, and who would take us through a comprehensive outline fo how the BBC finds its animation and what it is looking for. “It’s an interesting time to be in the industry. Our key audience is very media literate and tech-savvy. They are loyal to the content and not to the platform anymore,” said Sarah Muller Sarah Muller: PowerPoint Top Things BBC is looking for: We need more drama for CBeebies with a BBC angle We’re looking for dominant and strong female characters Comedy – little kids like to laugh – we like smart writing and gags 2-D fast-paced comedy…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Forum: ScreenSkills and the Animation Skills Council

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 12:09am by Helen Dugdale

ScreenSkills is an industry-led body which offers training and funding. Under the chairmanship of Tom Box, who is Chair of the Animation Skills Fund, which guides ScreenSkills in their priorities, invited guests shared training opportunities already available and guest and delegates also shared thoughts on what animation companies would like to see as future training initiatives. Tom Box: PowerPoint ScreenSkills training available: The Helen North Achieve Programme – growing the careers of women in animation. It offers great networking opportunities as well as expanding skillsets and job opportunities. 72 women have been on the programme so far. CPD developments - freelance sessions, masterclass sessions, return to work training and 2D training. Storyboarding is a recognised skills gap. ScreenSkills will be…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – The Shock of the New

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 12:07am by Helen Dugdale

Three  separate presentations discussed the latest in tech, animation on the new platforms and new sources of funding. Top Takeaways The TV industry has a duty of care - datacentres spill massive of carbon pollution Technology is great but the story is king The Young Audience Content Fund is a great resource James Stevens: PowerPoint Richard Cooper: Power Point John Knowles: PowerPoint James Stevens, CCO, YellowDog  Presentation Shock of the new in technology James Stevens looked back over the last few decades exploring the trends and patterns that have emerged in tecnology - from the early Intel days and the personal computer which meant everyone could produce content to the birth of mobile communications and the boom of the internet which…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 Keynote – Peter Lord

Posted on: Wednesday 13 November 2019 11:15pm by Helen Dugdale

In this inspiring opening keynote, Peter Lord talked about the way Aardman has organised itself as a creative powerhouse over the last 30 years – and how their new position as a mutual company is part of that process. Peter 's PowerPoint Aardman's 40th Anniversary Promo: The Aardman partnership began at school and as a hobby which somehow turned into a career. The team has grown slowly and steadily from the early days in Dave Sproxton’s back bedroom to now a team of 220 and an employee-owned company. What is the secret to their creative success?  Optimism, communications, a sense of play and understanding the privilege and power of working in the communications business. “We had the desire to keep…

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November 2018

Manimation 2018: Report – ScreenSkills

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 7:21pm by Helen Dugdale

Speaker Gareth Ellis-Unwin gave an insight into the new ScreenSkills. Who are ScreenSkills? Merged with the Indie Training Fund (ITF), Creative Skillset has been restructured and ScreenSkills is now the national agency for screen training. It has a new and easy to use website that can be found here: www.screenskills.com.   Services include:  Lobbying for skills and training on the national agenda. The outreach team will hold events - everything from open door sessions to bootcamps. There will be Continuing Personal Development (CPD) for people already in their career. Up to £600,000 will be available for training skills. Regional hubs will be created and the first one in Leeds will be a Centre of Excellence. There will be new mentoring opportunities.…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Welcome and Keynote

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 7:00pm by Helen Dugdale

What is the future of the business of animation? Olivier Dumont from Entertainment One shared the secret ingredients of what made 'Peppa Pig' and 'PJ Masks' the massive international brands that they are today. The Secret of 'Peppa Pig': 'Peppa Pig' went from simple sketch to an international smash. The five minute shows are easily digestible with a strong sense of humour running through each episode. The humour stays with the audience long after they have grown out of other pre-school shows. Humour in preschool is rare, so it is the secret to Peppa Pig’s success. The stories deal with the family unit making it relevant to any kids anywhere in the world. When broadcasters aired the shows back-to-back it caused…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Roundtable 1: Get Real

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 6:50pm by Helen Dugdale

Takeaway: Delivery and consumption of storytelling is changing. We are seeing a convergence of animation games and technology emerge. Aardman have ventured into games with 11/11. They are attracting a new kind of gamer who wants to play as a one-off, like how you watch a movie. No skills are needed for playing and tiny choices have an impact on the story and how the narrative unfolds. Detail: This informal roundtable session was produced and hosted by Paul Bason, discussing the future of storytelling using real time engines. Ben Lumsden – Epic Games Using Epic Games technology and expertise, they are creating content from outside the gaming world. Unreal Engine Technology software is initially free to use, then Epic takes 5%…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Roundtable 2: Skilling Up

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 6:45pm by Helen Dugdale

A roundtable discussion about how education and training providers are supporting the industry to improve recruitment. Top Takeaways Katie Lander - Brown Bag Films Brown Bag Films doubled their workforce this year with 70 new staff members - 45 per cent of new recruits are on short-term contracts and from the EU. The industry is facing a staggering issue around talent and we need to future-proof the problem. Employers need to take responsibility and help to shape apprenticeships as there is no consistency between each company and each apprenticeship scheme. There are no animation apprenticeships offered in the North West. Apprenticeships are not just for people looking for their first jobs. They are also for individuals already within their career.…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Roundtable 3: Agencies for Change

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 10:31pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Research data analytics and brand activation can help create the best solutions for clients Interesting and unusual visual styles and animation techniques can enhance advertising projects Clear communication helps production to be as efficient as possible Detail: In this session produced and hosted by Westley Wood from BBC Creative, a panel of experts explored case studies in working with creative agencies and the use of animation in advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. The panel consisted of Tom Box from Blue Zoo, Jo Whitely from IF Agency Manchester, Jamien Middleton from The Animation Guys, Damien Lynch from Dock 10 and Tim Jones from BBC Creative. Working on creative projects Jo Whiteley explained how IF Agency Manchester uses data analytics, brand…

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Manimation 2018: Report – SODA

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 9:07pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Manchester Metropolitan University is opening a new school of digital arts, named SODA The school will provide an interdisciplinary approach to media education that will serve the needs of the industry The school aims to close the skills gap and prepare the next generation for careers in a variety of specialisms including UX design, sound, animation, filmmaking and more Detail: In 2021, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will be opening SODA - a new £35 million School of Digital Arts. Paul Bason from the university explained how the new building has been designed to respond to future changes in technology so that it can develop over time. He said that the school will progress and provide an interdisciplinary approach to…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Opening Panel: The Future of Animation Business

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 8:41pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Storytelling remains at the heart of projects Technology can be used as a tool to build narrative and speed up production Using multiple platforms can boost brands to reach new audiences Detail: Kate O’Connor from Animation UK introduced this session, asking how we can create and secure the future of animation business. The panellists included: Andy Wood from Cubic Motion, Benjamin Donoghue from Blackstaff Games, Olivier Dumont from Entertainment One and Jackie Edwards from BBC Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation.   Working Together Collaboration is important in securing a strong future for the animation industry. In this session, Andy Wood highlighted the positive impact of harnessing technology to speed up pipelines and Benjamin Donoghue explained that creating interactive products…

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November 2017

Manimation 2017: Report – Panel 4: Pipelines and Workflow

Posted on: Friday 17 November 2017 2:38pm by Kath Shackleton

How can studios manage their assets and workflow on ever more complex productions? The data generated by digital animation is limitless - there can be in excess of 200,000 assets on a production. This session attempted a whistle-stop tour of just some of the tools out there to help studios to manage productions. Andy Wyatt, from Toon Boon, a Canadian company, working across 120 countries, showcased their latest software. Toon Boon Producer helps studios to manage assets in a user-friendly way that's easy to set up without coding skills. Producer integrates effectively with Toon Boon Harmony and Storyboard Pro, but it can also work with other software. It offers production tracking and workflow control. The only limit on the software is…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Training and Skills

Posted on: Friday 17 November 2017 2:35pm by Kath Shackleton

Training and Development Consultant Belinda Peach, introduced the fantastic new array of opportunities for apprenticeships.  The government have set ambitious targets of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. There are ever generous incentives and subsidies on offer to help employers take on apprentices of all kinds. Apprenticeships provide an exciting opportunity, to develop new young staff tailored exactly to the needs of your company.  Apprenticeships are also great for those keen to advance the Diversity agenda, by enabling a different kind of young person to bring their voice to the Creative Industries. You can hire apprentices in all areas of your business including PR, admin and marketing. However, there are exciting new animation specific apprenticeship standards currently being developed, there are two new…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Case Study 2: What’s the Hook?

Posted on: Friday 17 November 2017 2:31pm by Helen Dugdale

What happens to your series once it's been signed sealed and delivered to a broadcaster? The panel used the phenomenal success of the 'Go Jetters' as a case study. Moderator: Westley Woods Speakers: Tim Jones, Creative Director for BBC Creative Kate Fawcett, Marketing Exec, BBC Marketing and Audiences Adam Redfern, Series Producer, ‘Go Jetters’ Takeaways: Make sure you create a back-story to your series, you don’t have to use it straight away, keep it on the back burner. BBC Creative brings all marketing in-house and makes it easier for all aspects of the team to work together to make stronger propositions. Go-Jetters is a co-production with the BBC Worldwide. It’s one of their biggest commercial products and a flagship brand…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Panel 6, Ten Things You Need To Know About VR

Posted on: Friday 17 November 2017 12:06pm by Catherine Trewavas

An expert panel discussed the future of VR, the platforms it lives on and the opportunities it offers to the UK animation industry. Takeaway: Ensure storytelling is at the heart of VR projects Unlock creative possibilities as the technology develops Using additional technology such as SubPac systems can make experiences even more immersive Detail: Professor Andy Miah introduced the VR session on behalf of The University of Salford. He described the surge in activity in this area over the last year and encouraged members of the audience to test out the technology using Samsung VR headsets that were passed around. The panel then discussed the latest developments in VR and looked to the future, debating what may lie ahead for…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Panel 3, Working With China

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 6:32pm

As the market in China begins to open up for UK writers, animation producers and distributors, the panel considered what the challenges are of working with this complex territory Takeaway: Meet in person and talk with companies to build strong relationships. Keep the relationship at the front of everything you do. Use an agent or advocate in China to aid discussions and negotiations. China has a genuine will to create high quality content, to spread their culture and have a fascination with Western culture. Commerce and government are completely intertwined. Enormous numbers of potential partners within a sophisticated market. Detail: The panel Tony Humphreys, DIT (Chair) – moderator Oli Hyatt, Blue Zoo Animation Jon Rennie, Cloth Cat Animation Helen Howells,…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Case Study 1: Print to Screen, Periodical to Platform: the Beano Story

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 6:13pm

Chris Rose describes the Beano journey from everybody's favourite comic to a modern media brand and a platform for entertainment content. Takeaway: The UK's longest running comic has harnessed its digital platform to increase print sales. How updating the characters of Dennis and Gnasher have aligned them with today's world. Unity between the comic team, digital team and trend-spotters create strength and success. Detail: Moderator and writer Alex Collier introduced the session by describing the huge impact the Beano has had on him. "I absolutely loved the Beano and all I ever wanted to do was work for the Beano," he said. "I worked for Viz which owes a huge debt to the Beano." He said that he recently wrote…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Panel 2, State of Play: Games Up North!

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 4:49pm

This session discussed how programmers, animators, artists and musicians are coming together to once again create world class games in the North Takeaway: 2016: Global spend was £100bn on games industry in UK. Manchester is the biggest city outside of London for game developers. The North has a strong heritage in making games and is a hub of world class creative talent. UK universities need to offer specific courses – there are very specific skill-set shortages. Marketing skills should be built into courses so graduates know how to make money. Analytics systems are vital in order to make money from game developing. Visibility and exposure of games as well as putting the right tools in the right hands will see…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Cosgrove Hall Archives

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 2:41pm by Helen Dugdale

The Cosgrove Hall archives are now on display, thanks to curator Westley Wood – and he's looking for support to continue the project. Takeaway: The Cosgrove Hall Archive is made up of 200 complete production pieces, figures and sketches from forgotten shows, and is currently on display at Sale Waterside Centre. In 2018, Cosgrove Hall Archive is set to become a charitable trust and is looking for deep-pocketed donors! Westley is now looking for designers, filmmakers and app developers to get involved. It’s part of our collective culture – so, support it! Detail: The Cosgrove Hall Films archive is one of the most significant contributions to the development of British animation and children’s television, and is currently housed at Sale…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Panel 1, Europe: Potential & Pitfalls 10.05-10.45am

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 1:21pm by Helen Dugdale

A discussion about Brexit, what’s known, what’s suspected, what’s feared and where the opportunities lie. Takeaway It’s about early planning and scenario planning to try and predict the negotiations in Europe. Animation UK is leading the case to increase our tax breaks with key competitors. Creative industries in the UK is worth £87 billion. European culture is much better at putting emphasis on art, culture, and creativity. We have to do a lot of work with schools and getting kids into companies to raise the standard of the talent pool. Detail Moderator: Kate O’Connor (Animation UK) Speakers: Phil Chalk (Factory) Louise Cornally (Brown Bag) Phil Dorbee (Jellyfish Pictures) Tom Van Waveren (Cake/Animation in Europe) The panel gave their insight and opinions…

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Manimation 2017: Report – Keynote Opening Address: A Plan For European Animation

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 12:39pm by Catherine Trewavas

Tom Van Waveren shared the vision for European animation, with emphasis on the impact of Brexit and the importance of continued collaboration. Takeaway: Continued collaboration is key Communication is extremely important We need to retain and train talent more successfully Finance remains crucial and creative financial solutions can benefit everyone Detail: Tom Van Waveren has been working in animation for over 20 years, and said he “has loved every day”. He is currently CEO and Creative Director of CAKE Entertainment, based in London, and the company distributes, develops and produces series, with the aim of optimising commercial success with partners. CAKE Entertainment works with studios and companies all around the world. He has also been instrumental in the founding of…

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November 2016

Manimation 2016: Report – Panel 5: Training and Development – New Initiatives, New Entrants

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:38pm by Helen Dugdale

Speakers: Belinda Peach Peachy Abigail Fairhurst, Brown Bag Films Steve Swanborough, Freelance animator, motion designer and editor Praveen Zacharias, Brown Bag Films, Rose Marley, Sharp Futures Helen Brunsdon, Creative Skillset Adrian Healey, The Manchester Growth Company Takeaway: Getting ahead in the industry is about hard work, dedication and work experience, whether that’s in relevant positions or simply by improving your social skills working in Costa Coffee. Detail: The panel looked at: The changes to the apprenticeship schemes coming in April 2017 and what will be expected of businesses. Why universities and industry need to work together more. How the transition from education to work can be improved The beauty of growing and nurturing apprentices and watching individuals grow and flourish as…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Panel 3: Brave New Worlds

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:28pm by Helen Dugdale

Speakers: Ben Mills, Desk Dragons Jonathan Newth  Focal Point VR Nick Pittom, Fire Panda David Sproxton, Aardman Animations and member of BAFTA VR Advisory Board Takeaway: VR and AR technology is still developing, meaning there will be big changes in the next 5-10 years – but for now the industry and users are yet to be convinced about the type of controls and their relevance in the whole VR experience. Detail: The panel discussed how it’s an exciting time to be working in and involved with VR and AR, and how the industry is all still learning about what’s possible, what works and what doesn’t. They talked about how VR has the potential to do great things in education, such…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Panel 2: Creative Snapshot with the BBC

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:21pm by Helen Dugdale

Speakers Westley Wood, CITV (moderator) Sarah Legg, CBeebies Jo Allen, CBBC Tim Searle, CBBC Productions Takeaway: Like cream, the best ideas always rise to the top! Spend time watching the channels to see what we’re doing and if you have anything different to offer. CBBC is on the hunt for a strong female-led series for 6-8 year olds, not pink princesses. The BBC still has lot of hope for kid’s content after Brexit – it will affect producers rather than the channel. Detail: Areas of discussion from the panellists included: Sarah Legg On the whole, CBeebies is looking for new ways to inspire and educate – big ideas for little people, such as 'Messy Goes to Okido', something that’s fresh,…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Presentation 3: TV and related media in the lives of UK pre-schoolers

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:17pm by Helen Dugdale

Speaker: Fiona Scott, University of Sheffield Takeaway:  The traditional belief is that when preschool children consume TV and related content it is a solitary and sedentary experience – but the truth is parents tend to watch TV with, and engage with, their young children. Detail: Fiona’s research focuses on the lives of eight pre-schoolers and their families living in mixed households across Sheffield. Fiona showed footage of her research subjects. On the video, children were seen to be keen to do other thing while watching their favourite shows; colouring, talking about the content and often dancing and singing. The young children also take what they’ve learnt on screen and play it out as a game later. Plus, pre-schoolers tend to use their understanding of…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Keynote: The Times are a changin’ … what lies ahead in a post Brexit future for the screen industries

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:01pm by Helen Dugdale

Speaker: Cat Lewis, Nine Lives Media Takeaway: Big changes are coming with Brexit, so lobby to have your voice heard. Organisations such as Save Kids Content UK, PACT and the Creative Industries Federation are working hard to ensure that changes are in the industries' favour. Detail: What lies ahead in post Brexit? Cat talked about how 2016 and beyond is a time of great change, and industry bodies are committed to making the future as much in our favour as possible. She urged everyone in the industry to push their opinions, lobby and use the industry bodies to get their voices heard. Areas Cat touched upon included: PACT, which is working to help independent producers have access to the same materials…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Showcase 1: Motion in the North

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 4:47pm by Helen Dugdale

Speaker: Jonathan Ashworth, Mighty Giant Takeaway: Manchester’s animation industry is highly regarded and distinct. The creative talent is attracting attention from the across the UK and internationally. Recruiting talent can be tricky, building strong allegiances with the regional universities can help this. Detail: Jonathan introduced a video featuring members of Motion in the North, a Manchester-based group for motion designers, animators, filmmakers and VFX artists, talking about their experiences of getting into, and working within, the Manchester animation sector. The message was that the Manchester animation scene is growing and developing nicely, and the strong talent pool is making its mark on the world at large. The Manchester animation industry is also really optimistic and excited about VR and is…

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