Monday, February 1, 2010
Irish animation earns its keep with revenues of over €40m, writes PAMELA DUNCAN in the Irish Times today.
IRISH ANIMATORS are continuing to draw international attention with two Irish animated films on the shortlist for Oscar nomination, and two more shown at Sundance Film Festival.
The Secret of Kells has made the last 16 in the animated feature film section at the Oscars, while Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty has been shortlisted for nomination in the animated short film category. The final five nominations in each category are to be announced tomorrow. Old Fangs, produced by Kilkenny company Cartoon Saloon, and Please Say Something , directed by David O’Reilly, also from Kilkenny, were both shown at Sundance.
But aside from earning plaudits, the Irish animation sector is also earning its keep. Dubbed the “star performer” of the film and TV industry in this year’s report of the Audiovisual Federation, the sector’s total output reached €38.9 million in 2008, with €43 million estimated for 2009. Animation is the only independent audiovisual sector which predicts growth this year. It is now the largest provider of full-time employment in the Irish independent film and television sector, with 337 jobs in 2008.
Kevin Moriarty, chairman of the Audiovisual Federation steering committee, says that the animation industry is a perfect example of the smart economy.
There are innate advantages to animation. Firstly, there is a wide audience given that animation is easily dubbed into other languages. Good for employees is that it takes time: 30 seconds of animation can take a week. “The gestation period for productions can be one, two or three years – so . . . people have regular employment,” Moriarty says.
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Star studios: top producers
Brown Bag Films
Best known for Oscar-nominated short Give Up Yer Aul Sins . Successful TV series include Olivia for US Nickelodeon and Noddy in Toyland .
Producer of the Year at Cartoon Forum in 2008 and Producer of the Year at Cartoon Movie in 2009. Tomm Moore, director of The Secret of Kells , was named Director of the Year at Cartoon Movie in 2009. The Secret is one of two 2D films on the shortlist for nomination in the animated feature film category for the Oscars. The studio’s Skunk Fu! series has been broadcast in over 120 countries.
Achieved critical acclaim with the BBC series Roy , which centres on the trials and tribulations of a cartoon boy who lives in the real world. The series was born out of a short called Badly Drawn Roy .
Currently working on a feature length animation, Little Caribou .
Series Garth and Bev is broadcast on CBeebies. The company has just signed a deal with Yowza to bring Mort Walker’s comic strip Hi Lois to the small screen.
Series Ballybraddan was launched on RTÉ in 2009. Its Fluffy Gardens series was a global success.
Niko and the Stars was distributed worldwide.