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Dunja Bernatzky

Dunja Bernatzky
Arx Anima
Pitching: Chill Out, Zeus!

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry right now?
Talent! It always has been but due to the current situation of way more productions and an increase in content creation in the past few years, talent has become more scarce than it used to be. Senior talent with great communication skills, who can independently run things while creating great output and keeping the team spirit high while staying on budget, is tough to get. Junior talent, who need to be told what to do, is widely available on the other side.

What is your company doing in response to this?
We are setting up leadership training that allows junior artists to learn about leadership and management. At the end of the day, if you have a team, no matter how small, someone needs to take the lead, make decisions, clearly communicate and plan ahead. These things are typically not being taught in school. We try to focus on teaching artists those basic tools so we have stronger teams that have more fun producing great work that make kids’ and adults’ eyes light up with amazement.

How do you see the rise of the metaverse impacting animation?
It may be another hype that big corporations pour millions into. But even if not much comes of it in the end, it does create work that helps companies provide well-paid jobs in our industry, which help families to live a better life. I do strongly believe humans are social beings and therefore will always search for social interactions, which the metaverse wants to facilitate.

Chill Out, Zeus!How do you work with YouTube Kids and is it a platform that supports high-quality animation producers?
In 2015 we produced the first show for YouTube Kids, Talking Tom & Friends, which premiered with the launch of the app. So we were there right from the start. It is a great tool for content creators, because there are no gatekeepers so everyone can put their content there, as long as it is appropriate for kids to watch.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
Chill Out, Zeus! (wt, 52×11’) is a fun show about hot-blooded and easily agitated Zeus who gets a temper tantrum at every possible occasion. It’s not easy living under the constant threat of an almighty god with hefty mood swings. Luckily his teenage kids Heracles, Athena, Aphrodite and Hermes keep him mostly under control and entertain him by hurling themselves into the most thrilling adventures of Greek mythology. Zeus loves nothing more than a great story.

Kids will notice the plethora of modern-day influences from Greek culture: the Apollo space programme, Hermès fashion label, Hermes parcel service, Sisyphean task, Achilles’ heel, Herculean task, Pandora’s box, the Midas touch and the logo of fashion house Versace are just a few of the many examples of modern-day references to Greek mythology.

The series is set up as coproduction between Germany, Austria and Spain. German broadcaster ARD is already on board and we are looking for additional broadcaster/s to close the financing.


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