Triggerfish Animation in Cape Town, South Africa has informed us that it has completed a 14-minute episode of Me and Jessie D, a new children’s series from Alabama-based production company Studio 125. For ‘Fish Fry,’ the second episode in the series, the African animation crew was tasked with capturing the flavor of America’s deep south as they brought to life of a group of animal friends living in the swamps. Triggerfish is expected to produce the majority of the series’ 26 installments.
According to Triggerfish execs, South Africa’s fledgling animation industry is coming of age and is becoming a popular outsourcing option for international producers due in part to the sliding value of the Rand and the lure of high production values a low costs.
Last year, Triggerfish produced 30-minutes of animation for The Rise and Fall of Tony the Frog, a direct-to-DVD movie etension the popular animated children’s series Life at the Pond. The DVD has been widely seen in the U.S. and was responsible for getting Triggerfish hired on Me and Jessie D.
‘Because we are the new kids on the block, we have a brand-new way of managing our production pipeline which is unencumbered by traditional, top-heavy production techniques,’ says Stuart Forrest, a producer at Triggerfish. ‘We’ve been able to concentrate most of the funding on the actual animation, and have stripped away layers of management and committee decision-making. We’ve also developed our own in-house management software which is specifically tailored to our workflow, so approvals, revisions and renders are smoothly handled with maximum efficiency.’
Triggerfish currently has a feature film in script development, and one set to go into production later this year. The company’s long-term strategy is to create its own content and export South African animated features to the world. ‘We want to show the world a different side to South African filmmaking, one that is specifically child friendly and therefore has universal appeal,’ Forrest adds.