Thiland and Malaysian Governments pump in money into animation properties
It is a well known fact, that behind the co-production deal decisions is the subsidy that a Government gives in a country. Till Indian government sleeps over this fact, countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, etc are taking lead in moving over animation projects to their countries.
Thailand-Malaysia animation co-production Super Panda is set for international distribution, boosting the reputation of both countries.
With the common goal of raising their international profile, Thailand’s OPA Studio and Malaysia’s Visual Xtreme agreed to the co-production with the support of both governments, said Apichai Akkachaichanvet, Managing Director of OPA.
The two-year project, to be produced in 3D over 52 episodes, is funded by Sipa Co-Production Asia under Digital Media Asia 2010 (DMA 2010) to promote Thailand’s creative industry, and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC ) in Malaysia. Both governments will contribute at least 25 million baht to the project.
Super Panda is about a hero bear who has a mission to save animals from threats of natural disasters and human sabotage. It is intended that 20-30 percent of the content will be designed to educate young viewers about environmental issues.
Pre-production aspects such as character design, story and backgrounds will be handled by OPA, while post-production aspects such as voiceovers, localisation and sound effects will be isual Xtreme’s mandate.
“We have spent six million baht and two years researching our target group and designing characters and producing a trailer that will appeal to them,” said Apichai.
“In discussing the project and its market potential with third parties, we have received positive feedback, helping secure the co-production deal with Malaysia.”
Meanwhile, this joint collaboration can strengthen both countries’ appeal to the international market.
The sale of spin-off merchandise often represents a lucrative extra revenue stream for animations, but this requires an economy of scale, so the best approach is to target the international market.
However, at the first stage, animators should not expect high profits, as the focus should be on getting the cartoons on air as much as possible, so as to increase the awareness and fan base of the productions. After this is achieved, further revenue sources can be explored.
Apichai cites an example from Japan, in which new animations are often offered to TV channels for free or at low cost in order to capture as wide an audience as possible, which can lead to lucrative opportunities in future.
Sipa chairman Jeerasak Pongpisanupichit added that the agency plans to set a formal signing agreement between the two countries to show its commitment.
This project is a good starting to expand Thailand’s animation opportunities and the combined strength of the two companies will help them expand together.
In the new fiscal year, Sipa will allocate funds to continue DMA projects to help promote and sustain the industry.
Reference: based on reports on bangkokpost.com