One Animation at Cartoons Underground Festival

March 17, 2015
by Tim Rabjohns

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    Unusually for this UK focussed blog we are going to take a trip to Singapore this week…. We were alerted to the presence of a couple of Brits doing very well abroad by “Cartoons Underground” – an underground animation festival in that region.  Their company One Animation,  founded by Steven Read and Richard Thomas has over 40 members of staff  and has had a lot of success with their own IP with series like Insectibles and Oddbods .  Particularly with Oddbods which was winner of Best 3D animation at the 2014 Television Asia Plus Awards and Asia Image Apollo Awards as well as being picked up by Disney and is now showing in the US and the Asia Pacific region.

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    After completing his degree in film theory and obtaining a masters in technology, Steven worked on TV and feature films such as Tomb Raider, Lost in Space and Happy Feet.  He spent a summer in Singapore supervising the making of a movie and saw the potential of starting his own company there. Partnering with his long time friend from university, Richard, who had worked on blockbuster games like Kill Zone 2 and Little Big Planet, he head-hunted local and regional talent to create his dream – now known as One Animation studios in 2009.  Since then the company has really grown and now boasts an office in Jakarta as well.

    One Animation Oddbods on dotmogo
    Steven explained how One Animation differentiates from its competitors in Singapore.  “Coming from a background in technology, I knew the importance of doing our own R&D to help us achieve certain effects, and to streamline our process. This allows us to create TV shows at great quality for a much lower cost,”

    So, it seems that UK talent certainly gets around, and that creating your own IP is pretty crucial to creating a strong foundation for your own creative company.  I found their story very inspiring.

    Any other animation houses got any examples of getting their own IP out there..?

    In case you were wondering Cartoons underground is Singapore’s first underground animation festival which showcases some of the best independent animations from around the world, with a majority of films in the screening list previously restricted in Asia.They are always looking for new submissions by independent animators and you can reach them via the Cartoons Underground Google+ page or email – [email protected]

    Here’s a trailer from last year’s program – with some pretty unusual animation styles and voices…

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