What Happens When Book Authors Meet Animators?

March 27, 2016 2:24 am Published by 2 Comments

On March 9, 2016 The Jamaica Animation Nation Network (JANN) and The Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) had an event with Jamaican Animators and Children Book Authors. This took place in the heart of New Kingston at the Spanish Court Hotel.

Original content is ultimately where the Jamaican Animation Industry needs to be heading and the best place to start is with content that already exists. Jamaica has many authors and to ensure the preservation of the stories they have told, we need to diversify and modernize the way these stories are distributed. Animation is an excellent next step.

The chair of the Kingston Book Festival (KBF)/Book Industry Association of Jamaica (PIAJ) Publishing Director Kellie Magnus and President of JANN Kevin Jackson, welcomed the attendees and kicked off the meeting with an animation reel show casing JANN members works and a look at several BIAJ members books. Kellie and Kevin expressed their desires to see children’s books turned into animation for local TV in the short term with regional and international distribution in the future. Kevin emphasized that in order for this to work a partnership needs to be formed, one seeing animators work with book writers who have very simple content that can be quickly and easily adapted into short form animation.  Present were Mobile App developers, 2D and 3D animators, Educators, Publishers and Authors; The combined skills of these practitioners could solve several long standing problems. Turning our culture and content into programming for local TV, Mobile platforms and the Internet, giving our animators more to work on and eventually generate revenue for both animators and authors. Of course the big question is HOW?

Well we have already given one solution which is to focus on short simple animations which would mean turning the simplest of children’s stories into content. If animators could commit to working on a simple 2-5 minute animation for each book concept, essentially 30 minutes of original content could be premiered on TV and other platforms as a proof of concept. The interest in the animations could spark new sales for the authors allowing them revenue to pay the animators to do more or even seek investments to hire animators on a long standing basis to turn these animations into ongoing series.

Kellie went on to talk about her popular book series “Little Lion” that follows a young Caribbean boy overcoming obstacles in his daily life, a character she hopes can one day be as popular as Dora. One animator who was excited by the project expressed interest in working on the animation. Following Kellie’s story, several book publishers who were present also expressed the conversion of their educational material into mobile apps, games and animation. This then lead to the start of a working session where the attendees were split into 3 groups. Each group contained animators, illustrators, writers and publishers and each had to come up with ideas for stories, distribution and marketing to be pitched at the end.

The 3 pitches had very different storylines and addressed different topics. One was educational and tackled a major health problem, another was an adventure that explored the theme of consequence and responsibility and the last explored self discovery and boundaries. It was a very productive session.

JANN and BIAJ are very thrilled this event was well attended and active; of course the next steps will truly determine if this pairing will bear fruit. The two entities have committed to working closely to further along this initiative and email contacts will be shared so that further dialogue can take place to get some of these and other projects off the ground. These projects might take a while, but with help they will happen. If you are interested in volunteering to work on a project, contact us at info@animationjamaica.com. The collaboration of our various creative industries and the combination of our skills is the key to ultimate success for everyone.

 

 

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This post was written by Kevin Jackson

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