British animation studio Cosgrove Hall Films is setting up a new division called Cosgrove Hall Digital. The 15-strong unit will operate alongside the Manchester-based studio’s stop-frame and 2-D animation divisions, and will be overseen by managing director Iain Pelling and run by Jon Rashid. The number of CHD creatives is expected to triple in the next 18 months, and it’s anticipated that the initial US$300,000 investment will double in the next two years.
CHD is a response to the growing interest and demand for animation across multi-media platforms, as well as to develop the toonco’s expertise in CGI. This remains under the tutelage of founder Brian Cosgrove, who will act as a CHD consultant. The new division intends to create digital content for websites, broadcast transmissions, CD-ROMs and WAP phones, and will wade into sectors new to Cosgrove Hall, including advertising and telecommunications. Pelling says: ‘We are already experimenting with new technologies and techniques to maintain a cutting-edge reputation, and this will allow us to service our existing business in the digital age-without the need to outsource any elements-as well as to facilitate our move into new growth areas.’ In addition to using new techniques to create Cosgrove Hall’s kid fare, CHD will enable the company to diversify into more teen and adult content across multi-media platforms. CHD will officially launch at MIPCOM in October, when it hopes to announce several new initiatives.
Current properties being worked on by CHD include Wild and Wonderful, a preschool show, and Albie, a CITV commission combining drawn and CGI techniques for transmission in fall 2001. Two adult properties are also in development: The Inbreds, unveiled at MIP-TV and hailed as a `revolting family reminiscent of characters from the film Deliverance;’ and IKBOD, conceived as an interactive digital show featuring `a Fear and Loathing meets One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest type of character.’