Preparing your studio to qualify for funding

By Anonymous | 11 January, 2011 - 18:24

From L to R - Johnchill Lee Executive Director and Deputy Secretary General, China Animation Association, Jawad Ansari Co-Founder & Managing Director, G Cube Capital, A K Madhavan - CEO, Crest Animation Studios, Anand Gurnani - Co-founder, CEO & Managing Editor of, Leah Hoyer - Levity Entertainment Group; Former Director of Development, Walt Disney Company and Zareh Nalbandian - Co-founder and CEO, Animal Logic

Moderated by's Anand Gurnani, the funding panel at Kre8tif 2010 paneled by Leah Hoyer, Levity Entertainment Group, Los Angeles, Jawad Ansari, G Cube Capital, USA, AK Madhavan Crest Animation, India, Zareh Nalbandian Founder Animal Logic, Australia, Johnchill Lee, China Animation Association, Beijing had insights on the funding dynamics.

Jawad Ansari from G Cube spoke on How to monetize your efforts? He says the world today is 'World 2.0 - your life app sized, micro transacted and delivered on your tablet.'

"We are today in the Game 2.0 Online/Interactive Eng Experience, where the games are being made at a budget of USD 20k to 500k, Micro Transactions are big part of the monetization model and Online marketing expertise is very essential along with ability to edit your online product instantaneously based on consumer feedback"says Jawad.

The factors driving this growth are

    - new gamers due to intrusive nature of games
    - social interactivity - social networks wrapped inside the game layer
    - 'Appification' of games
    - Platform agnostic, 'E360' Non intrusive.

He says focus on game play and brand creation. It's about planning how your game will involve the audience using today's and tomorrow's technology tool. Study the entire value chain to seek value for your product offering. Develop and integrate proprietary technology in your game. Make a product a smaller one, may be an app and gauge if the market for your product exists.


Leah Hoyer, Levity Entertainment Group, Los Angeles says that it is your ideas and your content that bring you to the market. That's where the dialogue starts. One has to understand the dynamic global market place where a decade back there were like only 50 companies looking for funding, which is not the case today.

She says one of the ways of getting funding for your project is by dividing the cost between partners from different markets and for this, one has to share some rights and ownership of the project. And this in turn along with funding, also gives your project access to different markets. Spend the time and resources and put efforts in the idea. Start small to test the markets with products like web comics and webisodes. You have to be number one in local market before going global.

AK Madhavan CEO Crest Animation India says as a studio Crest has tried various types of funding, combination of debts, equity and co production. It is difficult to get the initial monies he says as nobody usually puts the initial development risk money.

Zareh Nalbandian Founder Animal Logic shares that this is an industry of relationships and one has to invest in making them. Do great work and money will come. Do your best and when the time is right you will get the exit strategy but you have to focus on what you are doing. In your initial days you can't choose all the work you do, sometimes you just survive. But don't be afraid of pitching and continue doing that.

Quoting a famous line from Hollywood '95% of the work in Hollywood is about making the deal, 5% is the work involved in the deal,' Zareh says it is never easy to get a deal done anywhere in the world.

Johnchill Lee, China Animation Association, Beijing says that money is the last step in the creative process. And you should choose the money and not let it choose you.