Jamaican animation company to produce Disney, Nickelodeon cartoon

Date: Dec 2013

JAMAICAN animation company Reel Rock GSW will co-produce 52 episodes of The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon cartoon series, 'Lucky Fred'.

Reel Rock GSW Animation made the disclosure this week along with other details of the production contract with Imira Entertainment of Spain for Season 2 of the "Lucky Fred" cartoon series that is currently being distributed to more than 160 territories around the world, aired on The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.

Reel Rock GSW Animation Limited announced in September that it had secured a contract to produce 52 episodes for a globally distributed cartoon series, but did not reveal the name of the cartoon and other details. The local company is part of a five-country partnership for the "Lucky Fred" project -- the other countries being Italy, Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg.

Under the terms of the agreement, it was disclosed that Reel Rock GSW Animation will receive a percentage of the ownership of the global intellectual property rights of the project together with the other partner countries.

"The global animation industry is estimated at over US$200 billion, with most segments growing at a rate of seven per cent per annum and we are pleased to be a part of this," said Wayne Sinclair, CEO for Reel Rock GSW.

Sinclair noted that, as the project grows, it could require up to a total of 80 local animators and illustrators to effectively service the contract. In fact, he said 14 recent graduates of a training programme for residents of inner-city communities as animators and illustrators are to be considered for jobs on this project. Those selected could begin working as early as March, 2014.

The training module was administered by the Professional Development Institute and Girls Town on Maxfield Avenue, in Kingston. The programme was made possible by contributions from The World Bank, The Embassy of Japan, The Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Toon Boom Animation and Reel Rock GSW Animation Limited.

Reel Rock GSW began operations in Kingston in February 2012 with a staff complement of 15 trained animators. The directors of the company are Sinclair, who has experience in the creative industry; Fayval Williams, a financial services professional, and Lorna Green, a well-established ICT professional and entrepreneur. The company has as its business mentor its software partner Toon Boom Animation, software developers based in Montreal, Canada.

One of few local animation studios, reel Rock GSW had previously secured a contract to animate Disney Junior France kids show Quiz Time for Studio Red Frog in France.

National investment promotion agency, Jampro, has indicated that it views animation as a growth area for the creative industries, which also includes film, photography and music.

In 2012 Jampro facilitated expenditure of $1.16 billion for the creative industry sector, up from $313 million in 2011, according to data from the Economic and Social Survey published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica. Jamaica's competitive advantage includes its language, talent pool, and close geographical proximity to Hollywood in the USA.

The global animation industry was valued at US$222.8 billion in 2012, with many of the animation-outsourcing jobs going to countries like India, South Korea, and the Philippines, according to a Jampro release.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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