Richard Browne, Business Reporter
Reel Rock GSW Animation Limited, a Jamaican animation company, has announced that it will be co-producing a cartoon series aired on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.
Up to 80 Jamaican animators could be employed for the project.
Reel Rock, which started up in February 2012, is one of Jamaica's pioneering companies in the field of animation. It has secured a contract with Imira Entertainment of Spain to co-produce 52 episodes for the second season of Lucky Fred. The cartoon series is currently distributed to more than 160 territories around the world, according to a news release.
Reel Rock is part of a five-country partnership for the Lucky Fred project, the others being Italy, Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg.
"The global animation industry is estimated at more than US$200 billion (J$22 trillion), with most segments growing at a rate of seven per cent per annum and we are pleased to be a part of this," the release quoted Wayne Sinclair, chief executive officer of Reel Rock as saying.
According to the Lucky Fred website, "Fred Luckpuig is a high-school freshman, upbeat, cheerful and enthusiastic. An impulsive and social guy, like most 15-year-olds Fred prefers to take the easy way, or the coolest way, when it comes to solving difficult problems, especially if they involve school."
His best friend in this futuristic cartoon is a transformer robot called Friday, while his neighbour is a secret agent.
Under the terms of the agreement, Reel Rock will receive a percentage of the ownership of the global intellectual property rights of the project together with the other partner countries.
Sinclair was unavailable for comment when Sunday Business tried to get comments.
However, the release also quoted him as saying that as the project grows, it could require up to a total of 80 local animators and illustrators to effectively service the contract.
He said 14 recent graduates of an animation training programme for residents of inner-city communities are to be considered for jobs on the project. Those selected could begin working as early as March 2014.
The training module was administered by the Professional Development Institute and Girls, Town at Maxfield Avenue in Kingston. The programme was made possible by contributions from the World Bank, the Embassy of Japan, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Toon Boom Animation, and Reel Rock.
The company also gave significant logistical and organisational support to the KINGSTOON Festival held in June this year.
Reel Rock started in Kingston with a staff complement of 15 trained animators.
The company has already had some success winning a significant project for Studio Red Frog in France. The 13-episode animation series was completed in January 2013 and is aired on Junior Disney.
The directors of Reel Rock are Sinclair, who has experience in the creative industry; Fayval Williams, a financial services professional, and Lorna Green, a well-established information and communications technology professional and entrepreneur.
The company has as its business mentor its software partner Toon Boom Animation, software developers based in Montreal, Canada.
The company's services include concept development, character and background illustration, pre-production and storyboarding, digital and traditional animation, digital colour, compositing and post production, according to its website.
Reel Rock GSW Animation also includes among its clients the Caribbean Examination Council, University of the West Indies, Jamaica Stock Exchange, and the International Organisation for Migration.