Big Fish & Be­go­nia

Animation Magazine - - Front Page -

SC Films In­ter­na­tional [U.K.] | Loews 650 Screen­ings: Wed. Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m. & Fri. Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m. — Broad­way Cine­plex 2

The in­ter­na­tional growth of an­i­ma­tion has been par­tic­u­larly strong in Rus­sia, where Wizart An­i­ma­tion has scored a world­wide hit with its Snow Queen fran­chise and fol­lowed it up with Sheep and Wolves, the TV se­ries Yoko and plenty of other plans for the fu­ture.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est is Wizart’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with China-based Flame Node on the Snow Queen fran­chise, which helped the com­pany pen­e­trate that mar­ket with a suc­cess that is the envy of many non-Chi­nese stu­dios.

We caught up with Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­ducer Vladimir Niko­laev for an up­date on Wizart’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: What is go­ing on now with the Snow Queen fran­chise?

Vladimir Niko­laev: Cur­rently, it’s de­vel­op­ing on a very ac­tive level. We’re fin­ish­ing the pro­duc­tion of The Snow Queen 3. Its in­ter­na­tional re­lease is go­ing to take place at the end of 2016. Be­sides, we’ve started to work on a TV show for the Snow Queen fran­chise. The show will have 52 episodes, and its tar­get au­di­ence is go­ing to con­sist of chil­dren aged 7-9. We’re also dis­cussing the joint pro­duc­tion and start­ing our work on The Snow Queen 4. We be­lieve in its suc­cess, be­cause this fran­chise al­ready has big per­spec­tives. An­imag: Where in the pro­duc­tion process Snow Queen 3? Niko­laev: The Snow Queen 3 is now at the fi­nal stage of pro­duc­tion — which means our cur­rent job is fi­nal ren­der­ing, which is fol­lowed by com­pos­ing and mix­ing.

An­imag: How is Wizart plan­ning to use this movie to grow the fran­chise in new ter­ri­to­ries and new mar­ket sec­tors such as live en­ter­tain­ment, mer­chan­dis­ing, etc.?

Niko­laev: Now we’re in­ten­sively de­vel­op­ing the mer­chan­diz­ing. We’ve started mak­ing aug­mented- and vir­tual-re­al­ity games, which, in our point of view, con­trib­utes to the pro­mo­tion and, as we hope, will be­come an ad­di­tional in­come item in the fu­ture. At the present time, we’re ac­tively mov­ing for­ward in new mar­kets. We’ve signed a sin­gle agree­ment with Cal­i­for­nia Film, which will en­able us to re­lease the movie in all of Latin Amer­ica at the same time. This is a big achieve­ment.

An­imag: What at­tracted Wizart to China as a mar­ket?

Niko­laev: To­day, China is the sec­ond largest in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, and it’s very prob­a­ble that it’s go­ing to be­come the first in the fu­ture. So, of course, it means money, so us­ing it is a good idea. This mar­ket is more or less free, so it’s eas­ier to move there than in the North Amer­i­can one. If we stick there now, it’s go­ing to be a huge achieve­ment not only for Wizart, but also for the whole of Rus­sian an­i­ma­tion.

An­imag: How did the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Flame Node in China come about?

Niko­laev: First, it’s a de­vel­oper, just like us. We un­der­stand each other, so it’s con­ve­nient for us on the level of un­der­stand­ing tech­nolo­gies, de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion. That’s why we un­der­stand how they’re mov­ing, and they un­der­stand how we’re mov­ing. And we speak the same lan­guage.

Then, Flame Node had quotes and was in­ter­ested in the pur­chase of our prod­ucts in China — Flame Node sug­gested terms that suited us, so we agreed.

An­imag: How is that col­lab­o­ra­tion work­ing? Which com­pany is re­spon­si­ble for which el­e­ments of the movie?

Niko­laev: The Chi­nese side is re­spon­si­ble for a part of fi­nanc­ing, while our side’s re­spon­si­ble for the whole cre­ative ac­tiv­i­ties. The Chi­nese side also makes a part of an­i­ma­tion as well as par­tial ren­der­ing and com­posit­ing.

An­imag: What are the ad­van­tages to col­lab­o­rat­ing with a Chi­nese com­pany?

Niko­laev: Our price for­ma­tion is quite sim­i­lar, and it’s also very im­por­tant that they’re ready to lis­ten to us. It’s much more dif­fi­cult to make an Amer­i­can com­pany work with us — they’re so used to do­ing things their own way that in fact they just tell us what to do. Un­like that, we can be equal part­ners with the Chi­nese.

An­imag: What are at the plans for dis­tribut­ing the new Snow Queen movie in China and mak­ing it as suc­cess­ful as pos­si­ble at the box of­fice and as a fran­chise?

Niko­laev: Now we’re wait­ing only for The Snow Queen 2 dis­tri­bu­tion, and we’re plan­ning The Snow Queen 3 dis­tri­bu­tion ap­prox­i­mately in the spring 2017. It’ll be done in co-pro­duc­tion al­ready — that is, as a Chi­nese project.

A good box-of­fice re­quires that the pro­mo­tional cam­paign should be started in ad­vance. Usu­ally, in­de­pen­dent movies start their promo ac­tiv­i­ties one or two months be­fore the re­lease, which isn’t enough to get the loyal au­di­ence. We need to do it ear­lier, take non-stan­dard steps — like aug­mented re­al­ity (projects) and their lan­guage adap­ta­tion for the Chi­nese users.

An­imag: Do you ex­pect to con­tinue to col­lab­o­rate with Flame Node? Are you open to work­ing with other Chi­nese com­pa­nies?

Niko­laev: We’re open for co­op­er­a­tion with other Chi­nese com­pa­nies. We’re al­ready work­ing in this di­rec­tion. An ex­am­ple of our joint projects with China is a short movie ti­tled The Silk Road, which is go­ing to be re­leased next year.

An­imag: What is next for the fran­chise af­ter the third movie?

Niko­laev: We’re go­ing to make Queen 4.

An­imag: What other projects work­ing on right now?

Niko­laev: We’re cur­rently work­ing on the Sheep and Wolves se­quel and TV show Yoko. That’s all for now, but we’re plan­ning to open one more fran­chise in the spring. [

Vladimir Niko­laev

Wizart’s fea­ture Snow Queen 3 is a co-pro­duc­tion with the ac­claimed Flame Node stu­dio in China.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.