LONDON, February 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Could Cloudbabies and Slugterra work together to dominate the cartoon world?
Manchester-based TV chiefs and animation studio heads are visited by cartoon company bosses from booming Vancouver today (Thursday 27 February). The Canadian cartoonists are seeking new commissions and co-productions which could see cartoons made in Manchester reach more audiences all over the world.
The group will hold a roundtable with CBBC at Salford's Media City to discuss potential ideas and co-productions. They will also hold a meeting with the Controller of CBBC and the Head of Animation at CBeebies and tour the studios of Blue Peter and Newsround, before an early evening tour of Studio Liddell, producers of Cloudbabies and Roary the Racing Car.
The delegation from British Columbia includes the makers of popular children's series such as Slugterra and Atomic Betty and from DHX Media, who in 2013 bought rights to Teletubbies and Rosie and Jim from BBC and Ragdoll productions. Vancouver is also where children's favourite Thomas the Tank Engine is brought to life in Thomas and Friends. Mobile app sensation Angry Birds' first feature length film is to be animated in Vancouver by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
The Canadian animation hotspot is part of a wider $4bn creative cluster based in Vancouver, employing some 80,000 people.
Parallels have been drawn between the growth of Vancouver's leading edge animation sector and the opportunity afforded to Manchester, focused around Salford's Media City.
That opportunity may have been further 'animated' by Chancellor George Osborne's decision to extend generous tax credits to the animation sector in his December 2012 budget. The credits mean that for instance, an animated children's TV series, produced in Manchester, could have 20% of a typical £4 million budget subsidised by the Government. Since the credit was introduced last April, over £42m has been committed to the production of TV cartoons in the UK.
Robert Wong, Vice President of Creative BC, said the key ingredients for a cluster - talent, infrastructure, money and government support - were present in North West England:
"Manchester and Vancouver are cities that have a lot in common. They both attract the best in young creative talent, are famous for their cultural scene, have spectacular scenery on their door-step, and provide a 'quality of life' alternative to working in the capital city.
"Manchester, like Vancouver, is creating a successful digital hub with the Media City development. We hope that animation companies in our two cities can find ways of collaboration to create the equivalents of Thomas the Tank Engine and Rosie and Jim for the next generation."
What is the secret behind Vancouver's animation success? Liz Shorten of the Canadian Media Production Association said:
"Vancouver has found that technically and creatively talented people plus supportive national broadcasters and consistent government encouragement, in the form of a helpful tax regime, has given rise to an entrepreneurial spirit, with existing companies growing and new ones springing up. British Columbia has developed into a world leading hub for animation."
The visit is supported by Creative BC, CMPA-BC, MPPIA-BC, Vancouver Economic Commission, Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
Notes to Editors:
Available for interview:
Robert Wong, VP of Creative BC, sponsor body for the province's film and media sector.
Liz Shorten, VP of CMPA-BC, trade association representing producers and distributors.
Other animation company executives - subject to schedule
Show reels and stills also available
SOURCE Creative BC and Canadian Media Production Association