Superprod Animation is one the leading animation studios in Europe that constantly develops global titles (including series and feature films). You can find their titles on many global animation platforms such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Netflix, and many European TV channels. They have co-produced several award-winning animated feature films such as Song of the Sea (2014), Cafard (2015), and White Fang(2018).
They have an in-house special creative team consisting of the select top professionals of each animation business section, producer, director, character designer, production designer and background artist. Centering on the creative team, the studio has been developed animations with diverse visual styles, both in 2D and 3D. It enables them to develop the best visual style and animation for each story and target audience. Superprod Animation develops animation for not only their IPs, but also for other big animation IP producers such as Batwheels (currently in production) by Warner Bros. Animation.
We had the opportunity to learn about Superprod Animation comprehensively from Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner, the founders of the studio. We are happy to share their precious words with you.
Interview with Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner
Hideki Nagaishi (HN): What were your objectives in establishing Superprod Animation in 2010? What do you think is the major reason why your studio has grown so successfully?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: We created Superprod with the idea of establishing an independent production house able to produce both TV series and feature films for the international market, with a diversity of genres, styles, and inspirations.
It all happened thanks to the hard work of our teams and the partnerships we built with our co-producers, the amazing talents of French and international artists, and the trust our partners, broadcasters, distributors and coproducers in Europe, Canada and the USA put in us.
HN: What do you think the strengths of Superprod Animation are, and how did the studio achieve them?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: A strong creative team, a solid organization, a great team spirit and a long-term approach. And of course, our passion for animation.
HN: Could you let us know what roles the studios in France and Italy and the office in the USA have?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: Our studios in France and Italy handle the production of animation series and feature films from A to Z. Our US base is associated with most our productions, to source talents, manage sound and voice studios, be close to our clients and partners in North America and also to structure some deals.
HN: How has Superprod Animation achieved the diverse genres and visual styles of your animation titles? And what is your criteria for deciding a new project to start or selecting a title that you will join?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: What is always key to us is to build a strong vision for each project and to execute this vision in the best possible way, in the sincerest way, at the service of both the creators (writers, showrunners, directors) and the audience.
The partners we are doing our projects with are very important and a major motivation. We also always try to think of what we can bring creatively, production wise and how we can structure a global approach, including financially, that will make the project happen.
HN: In addition to the previous question, I’m also interested in what your studio takes care in the most to make each animation project successful. Which part of the production process, such as the story setting, character design, deciding on the director and scriptwriter, etc., do you place importance on?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: An animation project is a complex machinery, and all the elements and parameters have to be adjusted and work together smoothly, they’re all very important and we have to make them work consistently.
HN: Superprod Animation’s projects have been international from the beginning of the studio. Could you please let us know how you acquired the sufficient business knowledge, experience, and network to start and make international projects successful?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: Well first because working with international partners, setting up co-productions and working with talents from all over the world is something we love. And that’s something we had already be doing for over 10 years in the previous company we worked with, Alphanim (which latter became Gaumont Animation). So, we already had this pleasure and experience and decided to push them a lot further with our own company Superprod.
HN: What do you think are the strengths and merits of a project being international? And, in your opinion, what are the key features that studios need to have to be successful in international projects?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: The animation market and audience are more global than ever. And it is also a very competitive market. There are many great studios out there.
We were lucky to work in this context since the beginning of our careers and we tried to learn from it. This never stops: we keep learning and still have a great appetite for new animated adventures.
HN: What do you think are the differences between co-producing animation with European companies and American companies?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: I am not sure there are many differences in terms of production. It is mainly a question of scale of the projects that you do with US or European partners.
Then of course any intercultural multiparty projects come with its own challenges and discoveries, its own communication and production processes. Especially when they are long, complex and creative as animation productions are.
And this is also true for a co-production between two European co-producers.
HN: Superprod Animation is a large studio developing several high-quality titles at the same time. Could you please let us know the studio’s strategy on how to keep enough skilled creators onboard to constantly produce high-quality animation titles?
Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner: We try to keep them excited creatively with the new projects coming to the studio, may they be our own productions that we develop and produce (such as Anna & friends) or projects we produce for our partners (Netflix, Warner Animation, and others). But also to offer a fair, safe, diverse and inclusive work place.
Eventually being a reliable company and building a strong pipeline and production process certainly also helps.
But being agile is essential, we always try to improve and we keep being excited by the great shows and films our teams produce now and in the future.