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Tamsin Lyons

Tamsin Lyons
Ink & Light
Ireland & Finland
Pitching: Ivy’s Bookshop

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry?
I feel really optimistic about the industry right now, but the biggest thing for us is knowing that our shows are probably going to be predominantly consumed on streaming platforms or catch-up apps. So we have to think about how we can make sure that we stay visible beyond the first initial splash on the homepage at launch.

What is your company doing in response to this?
We’re trying to make sure we build out a really strong marketing pack, as well as thinking about partnerships. For example, with Ivy’s Bookshop, we’re planning a companion set of resources that we will partner with dyslexia associations around the world on so that we make sure we’re getting to those audiences. You usually want to spend your budget on making the series as good as it can be, but that’s not enough anymore. We need to take a lot more responsibility for marketing and promotion and offering that additional content.

Are physical animation studios essential or is working from home the future of the industry?
Because we have bases in Finland and Ireland we’ve always worked remotely to a degree. The nice thing for us is it has allowed us to be much more open to a more diverse crew while making sure the industry is more accessible. We can draw from bigger pools for our crew; we don’t just have to draw from a small crew that is available who can afford to live in the city centre. We’re always going to need to get together for maybe one day a week, particularly for writing and brainstorming and for briefings and so on, but I think it’ll be a hybrid model, with people working much more from home.

How do you feel about Disney’s decision to close many of its TV channels around the world?
The channels have such a strong sense of identity, so I’m really curious to see how Disney is going to carve that out in the Disney+ model. Disney has said it is going to be making much more ambitious feature scale TV series, so as a viewer I can’t wait to see what it comes up with.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
Ivy’s Bookshop (pictured, 39×7′) is a 2D preschool series about a little dragon with dyslexia. RTÉjr is on board in Ireland and so far it’s an Irish/Finnish coproduction with Ink & Light on both sides. We’re looking at another English-language coproducer and are already working with different coproducers in the UK and Canada to see if we can get the financing on board. Then we’ll see which one we can go with.


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