ALEXIA GATES-FOALE: “OUR EXPANSION WILL ENSURE SEAMLESS INTEGRATION OF SHARED PIPELINES”

The Head of Animation Production at Flying Bark Productions, describes the company’s brand-new Los Angeles studio and the expansion of its Sydney-based facilities, which cater to a 400-crew capacity.

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Studio 100 Group started 2020 with the opening of Flying Bark Productions’ brand-new Los Angeles studio and a further expansion of its Sydney-based premises which will cater to a 400-crew capacity. Señal News interviewed Alexia Gates-Foale, Head of Animation Production at Flying Bark Productions, to describe the new facilities and goals of the company.

Why Studio 100 Group had decided to open a Flying Bark Productions’ brand-new Los Angeles studio?
“Demand for animated content has increased dramatically over the past few years, particularly with the launch of various new streaming platforms and their appetite for high-quality content. Studio 100 Group already has a solid history of working with the best creators in the world and many of these are based in North America. As a group, Studio 100 is planning to capitalize on the recent success of Flying Bark’s service work for several major studios in LA. We are currently in negotiation for new projects with the local major streamers, animation studios and TV channels that will coincide with the opening of the new facility. Having Ian Graham helm Flying Bark’s LA office will also enable the company to lead creative and production activities specifically centered on development and pre-production of original IP with a focus on the development of a content slate that is targeted at North America and the rest of the world”.

How that new facility will operate together with the expanded company's Sydney studio?
“The anticipated first phase of productions through the new LA office will coincide with Flying Bark’s expanded company’s Sydney studio and will ensure seamless integration of shared pipelines, creative and executive management teams and production work splits. The last two years have been a time of massive development both in terms of the facility itself as well as technological developments for efficient pipelines between Flying Bark partners around the world. Initially, we anticipate the focus in the Los Angeles studio on pre-production in the scripting, design, voices, and story, while maintaining and expanding our 2D and CG animation and postproduction teams in Australia. With Studio 100 Group’s three other animation studios Little Airplane production, Studio Isar Animation, and Studio 100 Animation as well as our live-action studio in Belgium, the company can offer full service from A-Z for producing entertainment content”.

What will be the main production focus of the expanded Flying Bark operation?
“There will be a two-pronged production focus for the LA office. One division will focus on the development and pre-production of original children’s animation IP (in both 2D and 3D) whilst the other division will continue to provide world-class service work across the full spectrum of production requirements. Flying Bark in Sydney currently operates as a full-service production studio and works seamlessly with other Studio 100 production partners. We also have a well-defined process for developing IP across the entire Studio 100 Group which also includes Studio Isar Animation in Munich, Studio 100 Animation in Paris and Little Airplane in New York, and, of course, our creative teams in Belgium focusing on live-action”.

How would you define the value of Flying Bark's pipeline for Studio 100 international expansion?
“Studio 100 has an enviable reputation in the production and distribution of projects for a global audience.  With a strong established presence in Europe, this influence is now expanding into Asia with a notable hit being ‘Mia and me’, which is seen by millions on CCTV China. Over the past two years, the increase in service work at Flying Bark has been matched by an expansion in the production of locally developed IP which in turn has provided additional projects for Studio 100’s distribution arm. Having an English language base at Flying Bark is useful for the company as we continue to produce for the US and UK markets, and we are also geographically well-positioned for further work in the important growth market of Asia. With Studio Isar Animation, our sister studio in Munich, ramping up production, our ability to share projects between studios when appropriate, as well as the increased capacity in Sydney indicates a bright future for Studio 100 internationally”.

By Diego Alfagemez