The new European animation film made with 12 million, is preparing to conquer the cinemas. This is Blackie & Kanuto directed by Francis Nielsen.
„The Movie is a co production amongst Spain, Italy and france. The character design has been developed in Spain, animation has been done 30% in Spain and 70% in France, Stereoscopy Texturing Lighting and Rendering in Italy”
Blackie and Kanuto will be in the theaters in France on April 17th, it has been launched in Spain, will be in Belgium, Russia, Italy, Turkey and probably rest of Europe.
Executive producer of the film, Franco Bevione, and director Francis Nielsen, talk to animationmagazine.eu about Blackie & Kanuto.
Interview with Franco Bevione.
Please tell me about Blackie & Kanuto. What is it about? What animation technique was used for Blackie & Kanuto?
The Movie is a co production amongst Spain, Italy and france. The character design has been developed in Spain, animation has been done 30% in Spain and 70% in France, Stereoscopy Texturing Lighting and Rendering in Italy. All the production last more or less 30 months. The software used is MAYA and many other tools properly developed for the production pipeline.
I suggest to go on the website www.blackieandkanuto.com where you can find (and copy) the synopsis, trailer photos etc.
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Adventure, Romance
Length: 81 min
Animation, 3D and stereoscopic 3D
Languages: French, English, Spanish, Italian, German
Directed by: Francis Nielsen
Produced by: Art’Mell – Baleuko – Lumiq
Line Producers: Miguel Gómez-Tejedor, François Cohen-Séat, Franco Bevione
Executive Producers: Javier Vivanco, Bénédicte Gardies, Franco Bevione, Valentina Canclini
With the participation of : Maria Bayo in the part of the singing cow Téodora (www.mariabayo.net )
The image of Karl Lagerfeld in the part of Karl Wolf, the designer wolf.
YES with a primary target 5-10 years and family in general.
When it will be released? In which countries will it be distributed?
It will be released World wide. At the moment it started theatrical in Spain, next month in France, in the next two months in Russia and Turkey, the rest of the world is under the sales process. Every country has its own distributor.
What does the work as animation filmmaker in Europe means?
If your company it’s not a major It’s a hard and tricky work compared to doing cinema with real actors. I can make this comparison ‘coz I am executive also for real (not animated) movies and the whole story is really different.
In animation you have a much longer time to develop and realize your project. 2-3 years (or more) against 3-5 months.
In 3 years many things can happen: the broadcaster change his policies and strategies, your partners can have problems, market can change etc. Then… big risk.
Generally the budget for an animated movie is higher than a normal movie. Let’s say from 6-15M€ (in 3D) against 1-6M€ (average of normal movies also with some big name in the cast). A higher cost means a higher difficulty to recoup your investment and a longer time to do it. These are, really in few words, some of the reasons of a very fragile market.
What is your job?
I am the executive producer for this movie. Normally I work as executive producer (https://pro-labs.imdb.com/name/nm3277956/) or sometimes as producer. My work, before the start of production is to find possible co-producers, financing sources, construct the legal structure of the deal with lawyers, define with the leaders of the departments how to structure the work and how much it will cost, working with the line producer in building up the necessary crew. In few words… try to make all happen :). In more words…taking care of time,cost and quality of the movie continuosly talking with all the figures, with different skills, involved in the project.
Can you tell us about the backstage production Blackie & Kanuto?
Many young guys. Around 45 in Torino. In total more than 150 people involved in the project considering Bilbao (Spain) and Paris. Some of them very skilled, coming back, after big international productions, from London, Sidney, Berlin, Los Angeles. Modelers, Graphic Designers, Riggers, Animators, Editors, Compositors, Lighters, IT specialists, Software developers etc. A sort of big family destined to be separated at the end of production. This is one of the big problem of our sector. How to keep continuity? How to keep the best resources in your company when a project is finished waiting for the next?
From where did you obtain financing?
It depends from the country and its specific sources. In Spain, so let’s say 40% of the project, finance came from Broadcaster Partecipation, Government and Regional Funds and a part of investment from the producer.
In France (30% of shares) more or less the same. In Italy we didn’t raise up money from Broadcaters nor National funds so we financed the project by ourself (60%) using all the tax credit facilities for producers (15%) and private investors (25%).
How many people worked on Black & Kanuto?
As I said before between 150 and 200 hundred.
What do you think about European animation”industry”?
It would need some european rules for all the countries. It’s evidently easier to produce in countries like France or Belgium or Germany because of existing country laws. Europe should be and move like a unique country. The broadcasters should work in a real common environment. Today one of the most difficult thing is to try to start a production with all the countries involved signing the start at the same time. Example: For the movie Blackie and Kanuto we had a TV serie ready to start with the same co-producers. At the moment we have lost it, and we have lost the 90% of the crew already in our companies, because Spanish broadcaster was on board with a signed contract, in France the broadcaster was almost there and in Italy there was interest but no way to have an official commitment until 12 months (MAY BE)
What would be the solution for the development of animation in Europe? We know that some European countries have reduced subsidy for animated productions.
I would like to have a clear answer but I don’t, except what I have written above. There should be a Strong association of producers dialoguing with the EC trying to find solutions for this specific field of film production from a european point of view.
Interview with Francis Nielsen.
Please tell me about Blackie & Kanuto. What is it about?
Blackie is a black sheep and Kanuto is a dog who’s going to fall in love with blackie.
What animation technique was used for Blackie & Kanuto?
Animation technique is CGI animation. 250 persons did work on this movie and we used maya for the animation.
What other animated films have you done?
I have directed recently „The Dog, the General and the Birds” which was the very first animated movie in official selection inVenice film Festival, we had a price for the music… I’ve also directed recently „Emilie Jolie” produced by Teleimages based on a classical musical comedy written by Philippe Chatel, a very successfull french artist.
Before that, I’ve directed many commercials and TV serie.
Blackie, a black sheep, is the terror of the farm
She is obsessed with going to the Moon. Kanuto, the dog, is obsessed with Blackie… but doesn’t even want to hear about rockets! Obviously, they take the journey.
They meet opera singing cows, gallant wolves, illegal sewing spiders, weird hippy birds and a strange pack of dogs that have a rocket ready to launch. And Pinky, the godzilla-sized pink sheep with a bad attitude of lunar proportions!