The path to full financing these days is, unfortunately, clogged by financial muck. However, the fact that economically-challenged European and North American prodcos are outsourcing more of their work to the East to keep costs down means that times are good for some Asian companies.
In the past five years, Hong Kong’s Colorland Animation has produced more than 450 hours of animation, including two seasons of Tabaluga and Flipper for Australia’s Yoram Gross and one of Wheel Squad for France Animation.
But while service work will always be a part of what the company does, Louis Sek – founder, group chairman and CEO – sees it more as a financial stepping stone towards original production rather than his sole source of income.
Colorland’s first original project to get underway is Oh Max, a 26 x half-hour 2-D/3-D series for kids six to 12. The show stars an overly imaginative, accident-prone puppy named Max (whose frequent mishaps are lovingly called Maxidents). His waking life is rendered in 3-D, but his many blunders trigger outlandish 2-D daydreams. In one ep, for example, Max has tumbled into a mud puddle, and his owners try to give him a bath. The scene transitions into a spoofed adventure, with Max imagining that he’s The Fugitive trying to escape from federal marshals.
Budgeted at around US$250,000 per episode, Oh Max is currently in production with L.A.-based Tundra Productions for a Q2 2004 completion date.
Colorland is also working on a 3-D feature-length video with Tundra called In Search of Santa for Christmas 2004.
Sek’s focus at MIPCOM will be on finding broadcasters and distributors for the properties, rather than co-pro partners, since both Oh Max and In Search of Santa are fully financed by Colorland and Tundra.