LONDON — Film London (www.filmlondon.org.uk), the capital's screen industries agency, has announced a renewed commitment to the animation industry. London produces more than 50 percent of the UK’s animation output and employs over 2,500 people. Film London’s new strategy aims to bolster this by working with the region’s studios and producers to help the sector grow commercially and creatively over the coming years.
The new animation strategy draws on a study of all London-based animation studios and producers in the third quarter of 2020 which sought to understand the shape of the sector in London ahead of and during the global pandemic. The research identified six consistent areas of concern from the industry: tax credits; the funding of production and IP development; training, skills and diversity; infrastructure; animation as a separate commercial sector; and the celebration of London’s animation success.
Film London’s animation strategy has a number of key themes and actions to support the industry, from training and inclusion to funding of productions and IP development. This year, for example, saw the launch of Flamin Animations, a new program of commissions for four early career black-identifying artist animators living in the UK.
A twice-a-year New Entrant IP session will also be established, allowing new talent, not usually able to access top-line studios and producers, to be introduced. A speed-dating model will be used, where new talent will have a fixed time to pitch their ideas to several studios in one session. Several key studios have already signed up to participate in the venture.
A program of panels and seminars by leading animation talent will be curated to encourage school-age children from diverse backgrounds to explore career opportunities and inspire graduates to follow a career in animation. Film London will also continue to work in matching the needs and skills gaps within the industry with the higher education curriculum, working with the GLA and Adult Education organizations.
“Global demand for screen content, including animation, has never been greater,” says Adrian Wootton, OBE, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission. “The UK has an absolutely golden opportunity – one which London is seizing – to ensure our capital and other regional animation hubs can harness this. We have world leading animation creatives, producers and facilities in London. Our strategy is as much about supporting the next generation of talent to continue that, as it is about bringing in ever increasing inward investment. We want London to remain at the very forefront of global animation for years to come.”