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Morten Kaufmann

Morten Kaufmann
Toolbox Film
Tiny Toot

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry?
The biggest problem in the industry today is financing, because buyers want an enormous number of episodes for a paltry amount of money. Often, broadcasters want more than 100 episodes at a time because they have empty slots in their schedules that need filling at short notice. It is not possible to develop projects in such a tight time frame and the money offered is simply not enough to begin production.

What is your company doing in response to this?
We are desperately trying to find cheap ways of producing content. We are coproducing a series called Woodlings (52×3’30”), which is being pitched at Cartoon Forum by Vilstrup Film & Projects, and that was not expensive to make. Costs were lowered by having one rather than multiple backgrounds and by only featuring three characters.

Are physical animation studios essential or is working from home the future of the industry?
I feel that physical studios will be necessary because working together in the same room is different and more inspiring. Working at home is fine but not if you need to ask questions or collaborate closely as a team.

How do you feel about Disney’s decision to close many of its TV channels around the world?
Toolbox Film mainly produces feature films for cinemas. We also produce animation in between our film projects, although it is more of a passion project as all of the team at Toolbox started their careers in animation. So due to my background in cinema, I’ve never worked with Disney, so I’m unable to comment.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
Tiny Toot (pictured, 52×7′) is a series targeted at the youngest preschool children. The director and writer Maria Mac Dalland came up with the idea for the show because she became a young grandmother. She would talk to her grandchildren about everyday curiosities, such as what is water and why do some animals fly. In the show, Tiny Toot and her friend go on various adventures where they unpick facts and learn about life.


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