12.10.15 | Business & Production Skills for Animation & Digital Media (Galway – 3 Days)

This course will be delivered in collaboration with the Galway Film Centre – http://www.galwayfilmcentre.ie/


Course Content:

Business & Production Skills in Animation & Digital Media is an intensive course aimed at individuals in production and creative roles within the animation and related industries. The principles taught will benefit those who are interested in establishing their own production company or are looking to learn more about the management practice of animation development and production. Participants will be immersed in the business and day-to-day operations of a typical contemporary animation production studio. Whether the studio produces for a client or creates its original intellectual property, similar production pipelines must be efficiently established in order to meet tight schedules and even tighter budgets.

By the end of the course, the participant will be familiar with industry nomenclature, marketing, financing, co-production, funding sources, common production software for budgeting and scheduling and basic contracts.

Key Skills covered are:

  • Distribution, how it works and realistic expectations.
  • Animation and related Markets, including MIPCOM, MIPTV, Kidscreen, The Children’s Media Conference, Cartoon Forum and Annecy.
  • Asset Tracking including; Breaking down a script, breaking down a storyboard.
  • Scheduling including issues; ramping up/down, critical lead times, maintaining and troubleshooting.
  • Budgeting including issues; cash flow, the relation between schedule and budget.
  • Contracts including; hiring talent, common production and development contracts.
  • Common Software including; 2D and CGI software packages, Compositing, Scheduling, Asset Tracking and Budgeting.
  • Key Personnel including; creative heads/production heads and making a production matrix.
  • Distribution, how it works and realistic expectations.
  • Animation and related Markets, including MIPCOM, MIPTV, Kidscreen, The Children’s Media Conference, Cartoon Forum and Annecy.

The course has two parts: the lectures and the hands-on workshop. In the workshop portion of the course, the participants will be broken into production teams. Incorporating the topics covered in the lecture portion, each team will create an animation project. The teams will create a finance plan, a marketing plan, and a production budget and schedule using their own project, and they will present these to the other teams.

Course Syllabus

Formats & Demographics
Project demographics, Babies, Preschool and its subcategories, Children 6 to 11, animation versus live action, mixed media, and Boys v Girls.
The Production Pipeline
A basic pipeline explained. Issues associated with Music and Songs.
Key Personnel
Department Heads and qualifications. Who answers to who?
Contracts & Intellectual Property Rights
Issues explored: Intellectual Property. Chain of Title Issues. Work for
Hire/Freelance. Special Issues for Music Rights.

Workshop 01:
Creating an animation project for a specific target audience.

Common Animation Software
2D, CGI, Compositing, Editing, Audio and Foley. Stereoscopic Issues.
Asset Tracking & Software
Breaking down a script and a storyboard.
Tracking with Databases/Software/Service. The Asset Manager and team.
Financing & Funding
Creating a realistic finance plan. Co-productions – Pros and Cons.
Tailoring your project to available financing. Funding Bodies.
Budgeting & Scheduling 101
A Schedule starts with the deadline. Approval Process. A basic budget.
Setting up realistic production quotas. Preparing for Lead Times. The Cash-Flow Schedule. Over costs. Contingency.

Workshop 02:
Creating a finance plan, a basic budget and a schedule.

Distribution Basics
Distributors and Sales Agents. Minimum Guarantees (MGs).
Markets and Marketing
Animation and Film Markets. The costs and working it into a budget.
Pitching Projects
The pitch bible – what goes into it, and what shouldn’t. Teasers, trailers and pilots. The “Hook.”

Workshop 03:
Creating a marketing plan and a pitch.

Tutor Info:

Deirdre Barry and Clifford Parrott co-founded Salty Dog Pictures in 2013 to develop, finance and produce original animation and live action programming as well to work with international partners on co-productions and service work. Before teaming up, Deirdre worked in the industry for 18 years, developing, producing and distributing both live action and animation programming. She started her career in LA working on live action projects with HBO and Overseas Filmgroup/ First Look Pictures, and returned to Ireland in 2001, becoming Head of Production, co-production and Acquisitions at Monster Entertainment, where she was responsible for all company project acquisitions and worked closely with international producers and broadcasters to develop and secure commissions, pre-sales and funding for in-house projects. At Monster Entertainment she produced Inis Spraoi (26×11 mins), The Travels of the Young Marco Polo (26×25 mins), I’m a Creepy Crawly (52×2 mins), and I’m a Monster (52×2 mins). She also produced live action feature film Between the Canals which was released theatrically and on DVD in 2012. She is currently development producer on five projects for a Creative Europe/Media slate grant.

Clifford Parrott has been in the animation industry since 1999. Based in Los Angeles for the majority of his career, he has directed and produced animation for notable networks and clients such as Comedy Central, Disney, Adam Sandler, Damon Wayans, Dana Carvey and Sherwood Schwartz. Along with DisneyXD’s creator of “Kick Buttowski” Sandro Corsaro, Clifford co-authored “Hollywood 2D Digital Animation-The New Flash Revolution in Broadcast Animation” on producing 2D broadcast animation using Flash production pipeline in 2003. In 2008 he moved to Dublin and founded Magpie 6 Media. He created, wrote, produced and directed numerous projects with Magpie 6 including Disney’ Jr.’s preschool series “Walrus and Duck” (20×3 mins), and “Professor Owl’s Class” (10×5). He co-produced “The Travels of Marco Polo” (26×25 mins) and was co-creator, writer and director on RTÉ’s “Inis Spraoi” (26×11 mins). Together this year Deirdre produced and Clifford wrote and directed the award winning live action short film “Walk On By” (6min), currently in the festival circuits.

Date & Times:

3 Days from 9am-5pm, Dates: Monday 12th October, Tuesday 13th October and Wednesday 14th October.


Galway Film Centre, Cluain Mhuire, Monivea Road, Galway – http://www.galwayfilmcentre.ie/


150 Euro

Payment can be made by credit card online (a link will be sent to you) or by cheque/postal order payable to Animation Skillnet C/O Dublin Business Innovation Centre.

Application Procedure:

Please apply by sending an email to: animationskillnet@gmail.com

Deadline for Applications:

Thursday, 8th October.

Course Information


Course Instructor

GarethLee GarethLee Author
This course does not have any sections.