RESEARCH REPORTS: Digital Transformation + SIIL Feasibility Study

Two new reports highlight how digital transformation and converging technologies are key to the longer-term success of the Irish screen industries.

  • The Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report highlights the impact of digital transformation on the future of work in the creative screen industries in Ireland.
  • Examines how leading organisations have integrated digital technologies, solutions and approaches into their operations providing case studies
  • Highlighting future opportunities and challenges within the Screen sector.
  • Report recommends the development of a Screen Industries Innovation Lab (SIIL) to drive innovation, enable collaboration, and support Ireland’s capacity to compete internationally to create jobs and help build a sustainable talent pipeline.

November 1 2022 Two new reports funded through Skillnet Ireland’s Industry Insights series, highlight how digital transformation and converging technologies are key to the longer-term success of the Irish screen industries. The Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report was commissioned by Animation Skillnet and carried out by Strategic Innovation Partners. A Feasibility Study for a Screen Industry Innovation Lab (SIIL) was commissioned by Screen Skillnet and carried out by Tech Ireland.

Michael Culligan, CEO at Furthr at Furthr said: “Since 1988, Furthr (formerly DublinBIC) has provided ambitious founders with everything they need to start and scale their businesses. From our deep engagement with creative companies who call the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) home to overseeing the three creative Skillnet Networks (Animation Skillnet, Screen Skillnet and Immersive Technologies Skillnet), Furthr are excited to see the launch of these two new reports which provides further evidence that embracing technology and upskilling talent is critical to creating a global competitive advantage for the creative industries.”

Tracey Donnery, Executive Director, Policy and Communications at Skillnet Ireland, said: “Ireland’s creative screen sectors are expected to grow rapidly over the coming decade. Skillnet Business Networks within these sectors provide extensive support to companies in developing the technical skills of businesses and workers in animation, digital screen and immersive technology sectors. These reports offer industry insights into innovative ways to continue developing a sustainable talent pipeline within the creative sectors to support this growth.’

The Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report finds that for Ireland to continue its role as a global leader in the creative screen industries, it is vital that the talent base reflects not just the current business demands, but also the challenges of future growth in existing and new markets.

This report provides a number of action-oriented case studies on the impact of digital transformation on the future of work in the creative screen industries in Ireland. By examining the way in which a number of leading organisations have integrated digital technologies, solutions and approaches into their operations, it is intended that a better understanding of both the opportunities and challenges will emerge. The case studies further explore key drivers, outcomes and results of the changes, challenges encountered and lessons learned to inform future practice.

The case studies cover four key areas:

  • Virtual and digital production
  • Digital creativity and collaboration
  • Digital and online learning
  • Digital distribution and consumption

The report’s author Laurie Knell, Director, Strategic Innovation Partners, notes “We are thrilled to be launching the Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report today. Ultimately the report finds that successful longer-term digital transformation requires constant learning and adaptation. Organisations which undertake digital transformation must constantly seek to implement, learn, iterate and refine their digital processes and associated offerings. Working with Animation Skillnet on the project, we could really see the vital role that organizations such as Skillnet Ireland play in the future of work”.

The Feasibility Study for SIIL undertaken with enterprise within the sector reveals there is overwhelming support for a Screen Industries Innovation Lab; an umbrella space for the screen industries of film, animation, games, augmented and virtual reality technologies to come together to drive innovation, enable collaboration, and make Ireland a global leader in the future of content production.

Overall, the study finds that the SIIL project is a worthy and worthwhile one that is sorely needed by industry which could contribute to several tech sectors that have exciting potential for growing Irish jobs and exports.

The consensus is that SIIL should focus on Training, Research, Information Sharing, and Collaboration, with physical and online elements. The study also suggests that the physical space(s) would ideally be co- located with digital production training facilities and research facilities.  The online element should focus on the meeting of minds, fostering a network for cooperation and collaboration and building a community.

The report outlines the importance of engagement and investment from all key stakeholders would be essential for the establishment a centre to support a sustainable business model.

Speaking ahead of the launch John O’Dea, CEO, Tech Ireland who authored the report says “Our research involved both a qualitative and quantitative approach.  The study is based on an industry survey of more than 70 Irish businesses, as well as interviews with over 40 industry experts, both here and abroad. We are also extremely grateful for the support and input from the expert steering group from across the screen sectors. We hope this report is a useful first step towards realising SIIL, a creatively focused but technologically driven incubator for the Irish creative sector”

Commissioned by Animation Skillnet, Screen Skillnet and Immersive Technologies Skillnet, and supported by Skillnet Ireland, both reports were launched at the Emerging Futures: Creative Content, Technology & Innovation in the Screen Sector Programme at Further Fest in the Convention centre Dublin.

Full Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report is available to view here.

Full Feasibility Study for SIIL report is available to view here.

New Freelancers Guide Launched for Irish Screen Sector

Free online event for new entrants from all backgrounds to learn about writing for children’s animation.

Screen Ireland, Animation Ireland, Animation Skillnet, and Screen Skillnet have today launched an online Freelancer’s Guide.

The Freelancer’s Guide was created to support freelancers across the Irish animation and screen industries. The site functions as a manual and directory, offering guidance in the areas of personal development, business, and marketing. The website was developed with the support of the BAI Sectoral Learning and Development Fund.

Commenting on the launch of the website, Gareth Lee, Skills Manager at Screen Ireland said,

“The Freelancers Guide is a welcome addition to the suite of supports that our collective organisations offer freelancers. Covering topics that range from networking, to tax, to CV writing, the website offers information for freelancers at any stage of their career”.

To coincide with the launch of the website, a series of free Lunch & Learn sesions focusing on some of the site’s topics will take place from January 31st – February 4th 2022. 

Registration details below. 

Date: Monday January 31st / 1pm – 2pm
Lunch & Learn: Marketing Yourself with Michael Downey 

In this session Michael will take a look at the marketing tools that all freelancers should have in their armory, including an online presence, cover letters and CVs. 

Register: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (Please check your spam)

Date: Tuesday February 1st / 1pm – 2pm
Lunch & Learn: Time Management with Anne Hennessy

Join Anne as she discusses the importance of time management for freelancers covering topics such as boundary management, self-awareness, and avoiding the dreaded zoom gloom. 

Register: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (Please check your spam) 

Date: Wednesday February 2nd / 1pm – 2pm
Lunch & Learn: Understanding your Tax Obligations with Peter Daly

In this session Peter will take us through the main tax obligations of freelancers, including: 

  • Who needs to do a tax return. 
  • How to do one. 
  • When it needs to be done. 
  • What are the main pitfalls.
  • Some tips and tricks to simplify the process.

Register: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (Please check your spam)

Date: Thursday February 3rd / 1pm – 2pm
Lunch & Learn: Master Your Mindset as a Freelancer with Kate O’Dwyer

Success in freelancing means a lot more than simply being great at the work you do; equally important to your career is adopting the right mindset. In this workshop, you will learn how to master your mindset to set yourself up to build a sustainable and enjoyable freelance career. 

Register: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (Please check your spam)

Date: Friday February 4th / 1pm – 2pm
Lunch & Learn: Minding Creative Minds with Ann Marie Shields

In this session Ann Marie will take us through the well being and advise services provided by Minding Creative Minds. Ann Marie will also go through some simple tips for looking after your own professional and personal well-being and provide an opportunity for a short peer discussion in breakout rooms.

Register: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (Please check your spam)

Please note the session will take a ‘meeting’ format with all participants visible in the room. Spaces are limited so early booking is advised. Please register for each individual session that you wish to attend.

Lunch & Learn Speakers

Michael Downey

Michael is an experienced Talent Acquisition professional with over 8 years of experience as a recruiter in busy operations environments. Currently, he is a consultant recruiting talent for studios around the world. His recent work has helped studios complete 2D TV Series, 3D TV Series, five CG Animated Features, and one 2D Animated Feature. Previously he worked at Boulder Media, recruiting talent for their upcoming CG Feature My Little Pony and 2D projects. Michael has extensive experience bringing candidates through hiring processes from start to finish. His industry experience includes Animation, Technology, and Cybersecurity. Educational credentials include a Post Graduate Certificate in Animation Production Management from IADT and a CIPD Diploma in HR from NCI.

Anne Hennessy

As a chartered business psychologist Anne has worked on numerous projects supporting the development of organisations and individuals. As an executive coach she coaches senior leaders and executives from various business sectors with a particular interest in transition coaching. She has the capacity to create reflection space and through supportive challenge brings about fundamental change and personal growth. As a group facilitator she has designed and delivered various leadership programmes, facilitated team coaching interventions and delivered various talent assessment projects.

Peter Daly

Peter is a Chartered Accountant with 20 years post qualification experience. He trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers and worked in various private and publicly quoted companies in the years since qualifying. Peter set up his own accountancy practice, Peter Daly, Chartered Accountants in early 2015. The practice caters predominantly for freelancers – many of whom work in the arts – and small companies, including some arts organisations. Alongside his accountancy work Peter works as an actor, and more recently a writer. He has worked with most of the theatre companies in Ireland including The Abbey, The Gate, Rough Magic, Druid, Fishamble and many others.

Kate O’Dwyer

Kate O’Dwyer is a freelance casting producer and a mindset coach for creatives and entrepreneurs. She has worked as a freelancer in the Irish TV industry for the past 10 years. Her most recent work includes working as the guest booker on The Tommy Tiernan TV show for the past 5 series. She is a qualified coach with the International Coaching Federation and recently received a first class honours post graduate qualification from Trinity College Dublin in Workplace Wellbeing. She is passionate about coaching creatives on how to thrive rather than survive in the freelance world of work.

Ann Marie Shields

Ann Marie Shields is Head of Careers, Industry, Guests and Events at BIMM Institute Dublin. She was on the team that successfully acquired University accreditation for BIMM Dublin’s degree course prior to opening. She designed and taught the BA3 Music publishing module and BA4 Professional Development module for many years. Ann Marie is a director of Minding Creative Minds. Ann Marie has her own AMS Records label, with releases from Side 4 Collective, Shelley Bukspan, SELK, and Vernon Jane who she also manages. She has worked extensively in the music industry working closely with bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, Rumer, Rob Ells (PJ Harvey) and Charlotte Hatherley (ASH/Bat for Lashes). Ann Marie spent 3 years on the steering committee and interim board of AIMI (Association of Independent Music Ireland) to successfully launch the association in Ireland and she spent 6 years at Warner Bros. flagship label Reprise Records based in London where she also managed label imprint Morpheus Records. Ann Marie moonlights as a film music supervisor with ‘Music 4 Movies’.

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Animation, VFX & Games Graduate Traineeship 2021/2022: Participants and Host Studios Announced

Animation Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland, the skills development unit within Screen Ireland, and Animation Skillnet are delighted to announce the Animation, VFX & Games Graduate Traineeship participants and host studios for the second programme of 2021.

The traineeship, which has been running since 2016, has a great track record with over 90% of participants going on to gain further work in the industry, either with their host studio or with another studio. Earlier this year 6 trainees were placed in four studios for the first programme of 2021.

Targeted at developing skills and talent in the Irish animation, VFX, and games sectors, this interaction of the programme will take place over a 3 month period. It will involve a mix of on-the-job learning and mentoring with studios remotely as well as additional specialist training delivered through Screen Skills Ireland and Animation Skillnet.

The five participating studios and 10 trainees for the second Graduate Traineeship programme of 2021 are:

  • Cartoon Saloon: Robert Bowler, Lucy Hirst and Olga Pelihh
  • Jam Media: Zoe Robinson
  •  Lighthouse Studios: Ellen McCullough, Sean Roberts and Lapo Moson
  •  Piranha Bar: Flauberth de Carvalho and Alessia Lorio
  •  StoryToys: Tara Jay Burke

The traineeship kicks off on Tuesday the 26th of October with a week of specialised online training, featuring talks from experts on the latest creative and technological advances in the area of VFX and animation, as well as soft skills such as emotional intelligence and time management.

Speaking about the traineeship, Gareth Lee, Animation Skillnet Manager, said, “We are very pleased to be launching this year’s second iteration of this highly successful programme. We are delighted to be able to support 16 trainees in total over the course of 2021, especially in light of the many new challenges facing graduates in the sector currently. The Irish animation, VFX, and games sectors are hugely important to Ireland’s digital and creative economy and the traineeship continues to be an integral link to bring new talent into the sector.”