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Co-production and Its Difficulty

What do you think about international collaboration and co-production?

Let’s be clear about international collaboration. It is a necessity. If people could do it in house all alone, everybody would prefer that. Everybody does co-production because they have the financial reason. That’s the clear truth. Co-production makes it more complex. You have to explain two times or more to make people decide. It’s complicated, but you have to do it financially.

We don’t have the market in Europe. I mean there are three countries that have the markets to do it alone. They are Japan, China and the United States. That’s it. Three countries who are apparently able to do from A to Z within one country, without having co-production at all.

We are situated somewhat in between. We can work within one country or a few other countries within the European borders. We are used to co-production. This happens all the time.

Are you interested in co-production with Asian countries?

Actually, we tried. We wanted to co-produce with Japan, but it did not go further. It was a great project, but we could not agree with the script. It was a French author and he did not want to let it go to professional writers and wanted to write it by himself.

What kind of difficulty do you foresee when you consider co-production? Is cultural difference going to be the most difficult part?

Yes. It was funny because I was with a producer in Denmark, and all the Nordic people collaborate together because they are used to do so. And when they co-produce with a bigger country, they work with Germany because of the cultural resemblance.

Culturally, we go to Belgium, Luxembourg, or Canada because of the language.

For example, if we work with Japan, cultural shocks could be big from both sides, even if they have respect to the tradition of each other’s animation. I think it could be a difficult thing to do. People have their own certain way of doing things. In an animation project, if it goes wrong, it can go wrong very quickly and financially.

Future Projects

What are the kinds of animation would you like to produce in the future?

I’m interested in producing both 2D and 3D animation with stories that carry a message that is funny and well told. Of course, it has to be a little bit commercial. If you don’t meet public demand, you are not going to be able to produce another film, so it has to be commercial. But it does not mean that it is badly done. In France, people sometimes say if the movie is not commercial and nobody has seen it, “Oh, it’s art!“. But art can meet the public. What I hope to do is produce films which will be well respected by my colleagues and by the industry as a great animation, but also have great public potential. That’s what I would like to aim for.