Coinciding with its 100th anniversary, media and production services company Technicolor spent a good chunk of 2015 strengthening its business through consolidation with French animation studios OuiDO! Productions and Mikros Image, IT leader Cisco (its set-top box division was purchased) and British advertising-focused visual effects studio The Mill.
“For 100 years, Technicolor has been a creative partner to the world’s best content producers, but to be a great partner you need to have your business together,” says the head of Technicolor Animation & Games, Robert Winthrop. “For our business in L.A., and certainly the Bangalore studio in India, it took some time to ensure we had the right people and management structure in place, but once we did towards the end of 2014 and into 2015, the time was right to expand. We now have approximately 1,000 employees across our three bases.”
With the purchase of OuiDO! (now Technicolor Animation Productions or TAP), Technicolor Animation & Games has the ability to finance productions out of France, manage animated content from pre- to post-production, and tap into OuiDO!’s L&M and development expertise. “Some of the pieces that we didn’t have with just the studio in India were the financing pieces, and France offers some great advantages in financing,” says Winthrop.
Led by co-MDs Sandrine Nguyen and Boris Hertzog, TAP has produced global hits including Alvinnn!!! and The Chipmunks and Sonic Boom. It’s now in development on preschool series Monchhichi based on the plush toy from Japan’s Sekiguchi.
“Boris and Sandrine have done an amazing job partnering with great creators and brands, and securing L&M and distribution rights,” adds Winthrop. “A lot of the work we do in India is work for hire, and that’s fantastic. But it’s also good to have ownership in the right brands. That’s why the OuiDO! acquisition was a key piece for us.”
Growth is also in store for Technicolor Animation & Games’ L.A.- and UK-based creative development unit (The Deep, Atomic Puppet), led by VP of animation Steven Wendland and VP of IP sales, acquisitions and co-productions Alison Warner. Projects in the works include hybrid comedy Adrenaline Lemmings and 2D European co-production Bear, Bud & Boo.
“We’ve also supervised our first mobile game project for an IP called Airside Andy that will be released this spring,” says Winthrop. “Multiple game clients we’re currently creating a wide range of high-end kids content for include EA, Rockstar Games and Activision.”
This article originally appeared in Kidscreen‘s February/March 2016 issue.