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Dmitrij Gorbunov

Dmitrij Gorbunov
Pitching: TinkerBen & Motor

What is the biggest issue the animation industry is facing right now?
The biggest issue the animation industry is facing is market contraction. This is due to some of the platforms cutting their budgets, while we’ve also lost a pretty big Russian market with good YouTube profits and VoD platforms that actively licensed content. So this means profits decline and investment comes with a high risk.

As for content, we’re facing an unusual global situation which requires us to find new values, inspire kids and help them to build a world they want to live in. We have to find a way to do that. It’s not enough just to make something funny anymore.

What is your company doing in response to this?
We’re looking for ways to uphold good quality with pretty low budgets to overcome the first problem. And I’m sure we will succeed. When it comes to the content, we try to find a simple way to inspire kids to live in peace and make the place they live in better. We work with experienced writers from all over the world, as well as psychologists and scientists. We try to speak really simply about very hard things.

How do you see the rise of the metaverse impacting animation?
I don’t think the metaverse will influence animation more than virtual reality games do. If we speak about preschool and bridge content, nothing will change. Maybe adult content will be inspired by the metaverse and some new genres will emerge. I think the metaverse’s influence is overestimated. The classic formats will change, but this will happen due to the influence of the general market situation and new trends in content.

How do you work with YouTube Kids, and is it a platform that supports high-quality animation producers?
Unfortunately, we don’t work with YouTube Kids. I’m not sure it is interested in high-quality animation. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of trash and piracy on YouTube. We’ve used YouTube in different regions for pushing our content, but only if there was a lack of traditional media. It was always kind of a plan B.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
TinkerBen & Motor (52×11′) is an animated show for preschoolers about a boy-genius engineer who teams up with his robo-dog pal and his talented friends to help out friendly folk using cool gadgets, ingenuity and imagination. They are small engineers, artists and builders who use their skills to solve everyday problems in their community. TinkerBen inspires kids to take care of their surroundings. He shows that making your city better is like a game in a sandbox.


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