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Denis Alenti

Denis Alenti
Recircle Studio
Pitching: Shadow’s World

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry right now?
On a global level, our biggest issue is changes in the way projects are financed, because streamers have their own rules, which are different from, for example, the established ways of traditional linear broadcasters, film funds etc. So it is necessary to adapt to the newly created conditions, especially in early phases like pitching/development, and it remains to be seen whether over time someone will establish a simple enough and transparent system for these sources too.

At the local level, our biggest issue is the lack of qualified staff, especially animators, who participate in the production in the largest numbers, and because training animators is a lengthy process, we need to plan production requirements much earlier in the process.

What is your company doing in response to this?
For changes in financing structures, we do not feel that anything can be done except to adapt and react to the new opportunities such as streamers, NFTs, crowdfunding and investment funds etc.

We can do a lot about our specific problems, such as the lack of qualified staff, and we do our best to improve the situation through training in the studio, specialised workshops, influencing local politics and raising awareness about the animation industry in general. We emphasise how animation is a good career choice from which one can live decently and, if one wants to, even change the world a bit.

How do you see the rise of the metaverse impacting animation?
We are currently in the golden age of animation, as unprecedented amounts of excellent content are being produced. In movies, series and games for young and adult audiences, animation is almost everywhere around us, so it is to be expected that the metaverse will only contribute to new and unexpected opportunities and ways of expression.

At the moment we are a 2D studio and it is not super easy for us to produce content for 3D/virtual reality, so at the moment we are just observing what is happening and looking for opportunities to transfer 2D aesthetics to a 3D environment. But we are looking forward to watching and enjoying the great things that are created in the next few years.

How do you work with YouTube Kids and is it a platform that supports high-quality animation producers?
Currently, we have not yet had the opportunity to work with YouTube Kids and produce content with them, but some of our IPs are present on the platform. A few years ago, we experimented a bit with the IP that we made exclusively for the platform, but regardless of the quite good start we had to prioritise other productions and put that project on hold for now. There is definitely great and high-quality stuff on YouTube Kids. For example, the recently released series from talented director Evgenia Golubeva, Millie & Lou, is a really lovely show.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
With our latest project, Shadow’s World (26×7′), for the first time we are doing a more ambitious international IP for a slightly older audience than our usual preschool target group.

Shadows’s World is a 2D animated comedy-adventure for 6-9s that follows magical misadventures of a seven-year-old cat-boy called Shadow and his best friend and neighbour, an eight-year-old girl called Molly, who both attend elementary school in fictional little town River Island.

One of the most difficult moments for a child while growing up is going to school for the first time. Long absences from home, brand new friends, learning new things – all this can be quite stressful. So we decided to make a series that uses this as its main theme, but told through the eyes of a special little cat. We think that the fantastical elements will provide excellent opportunities to defuse tense situations with humour and that the introduction of mythical elements of Slavic origin, like a walking house, can serve as a small bridge for other territories and their own cultural and mythological heritage.


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