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Radovan Surý

Radovan Surý
BareBear Production
Czech Republic
Pitching: Acorn Elves

What is the biggest problem facing the animation industry?
In the Czech Republic the situation is still the same. We have only 10 million inhabitants and only one public television channel that is only a little bit willing to invest in animated content. Commercial TV prefers to buy ready-made content in one package for less money. It’s less risk for them because they can’t sell their own content abroad, so our only option is to find international partners and distributors.

What is your company doing about this?
We have many experienced animators and animation studios, so we are trying to show the world that we can create content as good as that in bigger countries. It’s slowly improving but it will take some time before foreign distributors see us as equal partners and trust our results. I know we can produce the same quality as elsewhere and maybe at a lower price than abroad. The price might be an opportunity in the time of Covid to get partners who would like to create with us.

Are physical animation studios necessary, or is working from home the future of the industry?
The advantage of animation studios is that it is definitely possible to work from home. It’s not ideal for the long term, but it’s certainly possible for productions. This was proven during the Covid pandemic when animation studios had more work, at least in commercial production.

What do you think of Disney’s decision to close many of its television channels around the world?
It’s a logical step and it would have to come sooner or later. Covid, in my opinion, has only accelerated the decision about where to invest and where to save money.

Tell us about the project you are presenting at Cartoon Forum.
Acorn Elves (26×11’) is based on poetry and the desire to show nature with the help of our oak friends who are all around us even when we can’t see them. We would like to show children how human behaviour can affect the lives of creatures smaller than themselves. The advantage of our series is that it is based on a book and has a fan base in the Czech Republic, which we hope to expand abroad. We are currently in talks with the online platform and Czech Television about possible cooperation and investment of money in our project. At Cartoon Forum, we would like to show the potential of the series and get partners on our side who would help us to move it forward.

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