Feature Film Production

High End Production of Animated Feature Films

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How To Produce and Develop an Animation


The first thing any film requires is a great story, no matter whether it is live action, 2D, 3D or Stop Motion, you must always focus on putting together a strong synopsis so you have a full understanding of your core story, cover all of the three main acts and put together a biography of each of your main characters so you have an understanding of who exactly they are and their background.  This can all be done by the creator, it is exactly what we would be looking for if somebody is submitting a concept to us.


Where does Nottage Productions come in?

If you were to come to us with a concept we loved then we could come on board as a production company, Tony Nottage would normally take on the role of Executive Producer or Producer depending on the level of input required for the feature and Nottage Productions would help you develop your production.  This comes in a variety of stages and requires seed investment of anywhere between £50,000 to £150,000 to enable us to develop the production to a level where it can be pitched to Distributors and Studios.


The Stages of Development...


  • Screenplay - The first step is to write a first draft of the screenplay, this is the heart of your film and regardless of anything else this is the most important starting point, we always recommend bringing on an established and experienced screen writer, you as the creator may have put together a first draft of the screenplay, but having an experienced screenplay writer attached to the production will not only enhance the quality of the screenplay, ensure the structure flows smoothly and the dialogue is natural, but it also helps when pitching to distributors, even the best story in the world, if not written well and structured properly, can be thrown out by distributors without even being read properly.

  • The Production Pack - This is often referred to as the Production Bible.  This has two uses, the first as a visual guide to demonstrate the quality, style and look of the film, who the cast and crew are and visuals of the main characters, locations and details about how the film may be connected with the real world, why did the idea come about and the passion of the creator and and production studio.  The second use of the production pack, and the most important part for financiers and distributors alike, is how the film can be made, the budget, the schedule, the production partners - Nottage Productions works with some of the worlds leading studios for pre-production, Animation and post production and sound, these partners have worked on major feature films and bringing partners like these on board and having a realistic budget and schedule, will demonstrate that the film will not only be a high quality film, but that it actually can be produced by the skilled team behind it within budget and schedule.

  • Sample animation - this is where budget comes in, often distributors will want to see what the actual finished film will look like, so the ability to be able to secure production partners and a good director is essential, if budget allows producing a small sample scene is an ideal way of showing the quality of the film.  We recommend taking a scene from the film itself which focuses on two characters and one location so the costs are kept to a minimum but the scene has to be strong enough to demonstrate both the style and mood and could be used by distributors to help them sell the film throughout the world.

  • This is a business - Often creators get so absorbed in their film that they forget to step back and remember that this is a business, your production pack is a business plan and your film is your business, you must have a clear understanding of your goals, your target audience, will your budget provide a return on investment - always try and step back and look at your film from the financiers and distributors point of view as well as just a creative one.

  • Pitching to distributors - Once the screenplay and production pack are both at a level you are happy with, they are ready to be pitched to distributors, this can be a slow process, Tony Nottage will often go to the main animation events such as Annecy and MIP to pitch projects as well as meeting up with distributors directly to discuss productions, if your idea is strong, your screenplay is good and your production pack proves to the distributor the film will be made to the highest quality and they love everything about it, you can receive offers in quickly, it can then take months to agree deals and sometimes it is not the right time to actually agree the deal, this all relies on finance, if you do not have the finance to produce the film then that is the next step, but having interest from distributors is essential to being able to raise the finance, investors will want to know that the production is going to be picked up and released - some films raise their finance first, produce the film and then try and sell the finished film at markets but that relies on you being able to raise all the finance for the film without a distributor or any form of minimum guarantee and runs the risk that your film may sell for less than you anticipate.


How does the Production get financed?

If you are lucky enough to get an offer from a distributor, this will normally come with an offer of an MG (A minimum Guarantee), this will be a percentage of the budget, unfortunately the remainder of the films finance needs to be raised, this can be from a mixture of tax incentives, grants, investors or even people you know who can use schemes such as the SEIS and EIS schemes.  Unfortunately Nottage Productions does not finance features, if we have come on board as a production partner we will help in any way possible to find productions partners, grants and tax incentives but we rarely bring investors to external productions.


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