What’s the biggest problem facing the animation industry?
In the animation industry in the Czech Republic we have had a lot of success and investment in short films, but we do not have funding for feature films or series. This is on top of the fact that we don’t have large broadcasters who have a lot of money to spend on local content. The only option is to find financing from foreign investors.
What is your business doing in response to this?
Vernes has forged partnerships with local producers and post-production studios, and we are looking for platforms to finance and develop our projects. We managed to secure an investment for our Czech Film Fund animated series The Seniors, but it was a first for us.
Are physical animation studios essential or is working from home the future of the industry?
Working in work environments is essential because if you are working from home it is more difficult to focus on the job at hand. It is also very important that the facilitators come to the office to be able to reflect, as it is not as effective online. I work in production and it’s better to have a workspace that you leave at the end of the day, to go home with a clear mind and the ability to decompress.
What do you think of Disney’s decision to shut down several of its TV channels around the world?
It’s a logical decision to concentrate everything on one platform. Some research in the Czech Republic revealed that people were willing to pay for just two SVoD platforms. Therefore, it makes sense to have a hub for your content as it makes you more competitive in the streaming market.
Tell us about the project you are presenting at the Cartoon Forum.
The Seniors (10 Ã 22 â²) targets a young adult audience and its tone is similar to that of a sitcom. It takes place in the near future, as the world grapples with overpopulation, which means that there are strict reproductive controls and only the rich and the elite can have babies. For the rest of the world, the other option is to adopt an elderly person from a special shelter. These seniors have been trained to educate, tell stories from the past and help with household chores. It is a role reversal of today’s adolescents. Our show follows four seniors who live in one of these shelters.