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Animation Sector Review Published

Published: 17 Mar 2017

The first comprehensive review of the Animation Sector in Scotland has been published today, Friday 17 March 2017.

The independent study commissioned by Creative Scotland and carried out by BOP Consulting draws on evidence gathered from individuals and organisations working across Scotland’s Animation Sector. This Review describes the people, places, resources and relationships that underpin the sector’s achievements as well as identifying some of the challenges that lie ahead, and ideas for future development.

Animation Sector Review - report

The first comprehensive review of the Animation Sector in Scotland, published in March 2017.

Natalie Usher, Director of Screen at Creative Scotland, commented:

“This Review draws on the experiences of many professionals working across the sector and we’d like to thank all of the individuals and organisations that participated in the consultation.  It clearly evidences a sector populated by highly skilled, talented and ambitious individuals generating high levels of excellence and innovation across all of their work.

“Success stories include BBC Scotland / Ko Lik’s multi-BAFTA award-winning Ooglies, Red Kite’s strong track record of producing popular Children’s TV series, Sylvain Chomet’s animated feature film The Illusionist, produced by Bob Last, as well as acclaimed short films such as Cat Bruce’s BAFTA Scotland award-winning No Place Like Home and Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson’s BAFTA UK-nominated Monkey Love Experiments.

“However, the study also identifies a number of challenges to the sustainability of careers in the sector and how best to develop the necessary scale whilst maintaining quality, ambition and reach. We want Scotland to reach its potential as be recognised as an international centre of excellence for animation.

“Following today’s publication we will bring together sector representatives and other industry partners to consider the findings of the Review and develop a cohesive and co-ordinated response that works towards the sustainable growth we all want to see.”

Today’s publication coincides with news of support for new children’s animation Vitello from acclaimed screenwriter Kim Fupz Aakeson, Director Dorte Bengtson and Producer Bob Last. The Vitello series of children’s books follows the adventures of the mischievous Danish schoolboy. The books proved highly successful in Denmark leading Zentropa and JA Films (Denmark) to adapt the property for the screen. With funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Screen Fund, Vitello will result in substantial animation work being produced in Scotland, and offering opportunities for Scottish based technical and craft talent.

The Illusionist, courtesy of Django Films Illusionist Ltd

Commenting on the review Bob Last, producer of ‘The Illusionist’ and newly announced ‘Vitello’, said:

"It is exciting to be able to work with Scottish talent on Vitello alongside the beautifully incorrigible writing of Kim Fupz Aakeson and director Dorte's Bengston's vision for simple but delightful story telling. Creative Scotland's investment in Vitello has allowed us to bring creative jobs to Scotland and play our part in sustaining opportunities for talent. The Animation Review provides a timely and useful starting point for efforts to renew the focus of support for an animation sector that is not yet resilient and to fine tune the education and development of our future talent base in Scotland."

Ken Anderson of award-winning production company Red Kite Animation said:

“I am pleased to have contributed alongside Creative Scotland and colleagues in the sector to this review, which has been keenly awaited by those of us involved in Scottish animation. The review gives a great summary of the diverse animation ecosystem in Scotland and highlights the need for everyone across Government, Broadcast, Education and Industry to work closely together to build on the huge potential that this sector holds. The recommendations are a terrific starting point for leaders in business and government to work together and to put time, resources and funding behind an industry that will be one of the key areas of development and growth for Scotland in the decades to come.”

Notes to Editors

The Animation Sector Review can be downloaded here: http://www.creativescotland.com/resources/our-publications/sector-reviews/animation-sector-review

Creative Scotland’s Review of EDI in Scotland’s Screen Sector: Equality Matters is available in full here: http://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2017/01/screen-equalities-diversity-and-inclusion-review-published

The review considers good practice nationally and internationally. Headline priorities to emerge from the review include:

  • The need for joined up support and advocacy across government, agencies and broadcasters
  • A new animation forum or revival of the Scottish Animation Network to create a united voice and clear international profile.
  • The establishment of a distinct business-focused network
  • A production initiative to bridge the gap between shorts and long form production in partnership with broadcasters.
  • A stronger commissioning presence in Scotland.
  • Enhanced marketing to attract more animation production locally and internationally.
  • Reviewing and addressing skills gaps across the sector

The Vitello series of children’s books follows the adventures of the mischievous Danish schoolboy Vitello who lives with his mum. Written by author and screenwriter Kim Fupz Aakeson (In order of Disappearance, Perfect Sense), the books proved highly successful in Denmark leading Zentropa to adapt the property for the screen. Dorte Bengtson will direct and Scottish producer Bob Last (The Illusionist, Sunset Song) will produce alongside Zentropa and JA Films (Denmark). Key animation will commence in Scotland in April 2017.

The Review responds to Creative Scotland’s desire to gain a better understanding of the Animation Sector. The review is informed by Creative Scotland’s Film Sector Review published in January 2014 and the 2014-2017 Creative Scotland Film Strategy, published in October 2014. Both call for closer engagement with the animation sector and the need to develop support for animation productions and encourage collaboration within the sector to further develop Scotland’s wider screen sector. The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee also recommended that an Animation Sector review be undertaken.

In March 2016 Creative Scotland appointed BOP Consulting to carry out the Review. BOP Consulting used a mix of methods in the research approach, consisting of desk-based research analysing existing reports and statistics concerning animation and the wider screen sector, a large scoping workshop with a wide range of individuals involved in animation, followed by a smaller focus group and a number of individual interviews to gain further detail and perspectives on the Scottish animation sector. BOP Consulting has also undertaken research on international case studies in Vancouver, Denmark and Northern Ireland which have included desk-based research and individual interviews.

BOP Consulting is a research and policy consultancy specialising in culture and the creative industries. Established in 1997, it has built up a reputation as a leader in its field, especially in understanding the economic and social impacts of culture, media and creativity. BOP has offices in London and Edinburgh. Find out more at http://bop.co.uk.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Media Contacts

Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations & PR Officer, Creative Scotland
Email: sophie.bambrough@creativescotland.com
Direct Line: 0131 523 0015
Mobile: 07747 606 146
Switchboard: 0330 333 2000

Image from The Illusionist, courtesy of Django Films Illusionist Ltd