Studio AKA

 Studio AKA

“a multi-BAFTA winning & Oscar-nominated independent animation studio & production company based in London. We’re known internationally for our idiosyncratic & innovative work, expressed across an eclectic range of projects …”

“close knit team that include, directors, designers, animators, writers, technical artists & producers who create & consult on projects with a strong emphasis on Story, Design & Character …

We’re individual creators, but we work very closely with each other to tap into combinations of specific skills that we each possess. Consequently, we have a reputation for an ability to find & apply the best creative solution to a problem, and create innovative & bespoke work unique to each project. “

There are a number of highly skilled creators within this business, and they collaborate with one another to tap into each others skills – and create a large variety of work and styles. They use the mixed media because they have their network of specialists which will give them the chance to apply 2D – 3D animation together – in a trendy way)

“Our Story involves a creatively diverse group of artists who often work in close collaboration with each other as part of our studio process. Much of what we do is work related to a projects journey and not its final destination, ideas we discard, concepts which are set aside, and work which is just lost along the way. Mostly these images are either stuffed in the drawer or sat on a shelf, but a few get rescued onto the walls of the studio.

Emphasis on collaboration between each other in order to arrive at a final project – not afraid to discard bad ideas and present them on their site for all to see. A group of artists who often worked together started a company which creates innovative ideas as they work with one another to progress ideas forward.

Source: http://www.studioaka.co.uk/

Animation Industry


New Technology / software

As a new generation of online activity emerges – new technology and softwares are being created. Mobile phones and apps mean faster networks and new platforms to engage with new technology – will change the way that animation will engage with mobile phones and apps. New purposes for animation which never considered will create more sectors for the animation industry. Jobs which haven’t been created – innovation and the profit from this. New softwares created aimed at 2D and 3D combination as it becomes more popular and software is created. Making it easier access for animation to use and get a better understanding of ways which they can be combined.

Tax breaks

Tax breaks has already showed a great impact of the British Economy and will perceive the animation industry as it draws in productions from all around the world. The tax breaks are some of the most generous – having to compete with places such as Ireland, France, Canada and Japan. The tax break has helped to keep the British creative sector strong and ready to compete against ‘rivals.’

Starting from a position of strength

The United Kingdom are extremely lucky because already existing position strength and acknowledgement from other parts of the world for our animation industry. For many years animated children’s programmes such as Noddy and Thomas the tank engine are seen around the world – showing our culture and position in the world. Only recently has this been underjepardy. With the introduction of tax breaks – out animation industry could have slowly disappeared; we have an opportunity to work out industry until it meets others expectations and higher – although it is currently strong.

World Leaders

Currently the UK appear to be at the top of their game. The UK often is the first to pioneer with new technologies which is noted by the audience. For instance Sky television creating a processor which could how 3D images could be a possible you come. UK are on of the top innovative countries in the world – creating more jobs for animation. We have opportunities to work with companies from around the world because of our successful name.

Transition from TV to other

Currently there is the start of a ‘move’ from normal broadcasting, television to on demand broadcasting. Netflix offers hundred of films and series. Some of these series are exclusive to Netflix, and therefore can be watched all at once. Therefore the old fashioned television is being outdated. Although television may not disappear and still be as popular – currently online streaming and watching on the go is more accessible to those with busy schedules. Furthermore without the need for a television license but a subscription – could this cross over the television. The potential that this could have on animation could be very positive – without adverts, or a need to fit an episode in a certain time slot series and episodes could be as long as needed.

Animation for adults

Animation is often associated with children’s cartoons. Too often there is a mistaken misconception that animation is for kids and adults cannot enjoy it the same – because of this stigma. Animation feature films are just as popular with adults and children when appreciated. Animated series such as the Simpson and family guy are just a few examples of how animation can target adults well. Animation at the end of the day is just another tool used to express a story. There is a market for animation to target adults in a way not yet done before – in western cultures. This could have the potential of many outcomes and could earn alot of money if the write idea was to pass. Animation which is based solely for adults – not from children.

Exploiting the rights.

Another way which animation can make money is from exploiting the rights. This has been done for many years – selling the rights to particular shows internationally and is a large income for the animation industry.

Rendering faster – advantages and Disadvantages – saving money – storage

In animation saving time and hitting deadlines is crucial. Therefore in the future, rendering faster could save alot of money, for the companies and clients. However it could mean that the 3D animation becomes a cheaper source (consequently making 3D more accessible – cheaper to render and more people able to get the same result as companies.)

Source P22: http://www.animationuk.org/files/report-pdfs/docs/4I6KD5YW2J.pdf

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When working freelance or wanting to earn a little bit more cash – a good way which animators could engage with is selling merchandise of their product (e.g characters, or illustrations) on websites such as Society6 (above). The website lets artists upload their designs onto this website, then give options on different products which can sold such as T-shirts, prints, phone cases, mugs, bags and even pillows.

“The artwork on Society6 is created by hundreds of thousands of artists from around the world.

When you buy a product from Society6, we produce it using only the highest quality materials, and ship it to you on behalf of the artist.

Artists! Learn more about selling your artwork as gallery quality art prints, iPhone cases, t-shirts and other fine products – without giving up control of your rights.”

To join this website is very simple, as little as entering an email and name. Above is a direct quote from their websites which expresses the popularity of the site and how it sells artwork without ‘giving up control of your rights’ – which is a huge worry for artists. All that the site asks is a small percentage of the work. This company has created an entrepreneurial site which means artists can have a change to sell their work to the public without the hassle of setting up and also make money themselves from the large amount of artists that upload their creations to be sold:

“Selling your artwork as a product on Society6 is as simple as making a Post – except you make money from it. All you have to do is post your artwork to make it immediately available for sale as a variety of products. When you sell a product, we’ll produce it, package it and ship it for you, so that you can focus on making more art!”

There are opportunities for animators who are not large by any means to sell their concepts or character work to the public and make money from it whilst keeping the rights to there work. Online platforms are serving for more ways for animators to gain money and show their work to the public at little cost. A service which is vital and innovative in creating opportunities for all.

Source: http://society6.com/help/about

Children’s Animated programmes (Merchandise)

“There is limited data available on the value of merchandise sales in UK stores linked with licensed content from UK animation programmes. It is known, however, that the two leading UK animation brands, Peppa Pig and Thomas and Friends, generated a combined £400 million in merchandise sales in 2010. Accounting for other animation brands and market growth, it can reasonably be concluded that the licensed merchandise sales market was worth an estimated £500 million in 2013. Based on a model of the economic impact of retail sales, which takes into account average retail margins and average salaries in the retail sector, it can be estimated that £500 million in sales would generate £72 million in GVA and 2,500 FTEs of employment for the UK economy.”

page 75 – http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/economic-contribution-of-the-uks-film-high-end-tv-video-game-and-animation-programming-sectors-report-2015-02-23.pdf

The majority, if not top revenue income of animated programmes in the UK, is merchandise – It is large part of the animation industry as the BFI (above) expresses. Selling the DVD copies of these animation, will give the right holder multiple profit from the sells. The exploitation of the rights international on large animated programmes such as Peppa Pig will also create a large income to the British Economy. 


In the future, I know that freelancing and the process of finding jobs will be a large part of my career. Therefore I want to look into how to Freelance in this industry/sector – and the skills I will need to learn so that I am prepared to find work. There is a very high chance when working in the animation industry that I will be working as a freelancer – or if I get a job within in a company will only be there for a year or two if I am lucky. Personally working for myself is an appealing idea – . Unlike the generation before when people would have only one job throughout their lives – we now must have multiple jobs. Working freelance, working from one job to the next means that I could work with many clients and meet many people however there can be a great deal of stress involved with this – I have below looked into some of the important factors that I need to concern myself with and familiarise so that I know what to expect when working for myself.

Time Management

Time management is a very important skill in freelance. Why? Simply because you are independent. There is no one there telling you when to get to work – or scaring you too get to it. Especially when you work at home – there is a great chance of distraction, and a need for self motivation. When working alone, it can be easy to give up and return later. To easy to wake up late, clean up your whole house, bake a feast before starting the work – unlike going to a work place where you focus on the job at hand – working at home means we get that same feeling of relaxing and so we can be tricked into doing less work or working more slowly. It is crucial when working as a freelancer that you stick to those deadlines – especially when you are trying to keep vital clients. You want to present yourself as a professional – because those clients could recommend to others and etc. Lastly for your sanity – keeping up with the workload will mean less stress and late nights. Better to do now than later. Making schedules and meet up with clients means that you can give yourself targets at a pace which is possible (achieving your best work.)

Time without work

Without clients – there will be times when there will be no work and .. unfortunately no money. As a student this is okay but when you have rent, food bills, and what ever else to think about that money is going to be needed. Therefore when working freelance you will need to be prepared for the lack of work – by putting aside a chunk of the money earned on a big project for when there is a lack of / or no work. And from listening to other talks by freelancers – preparing the next job for the end of a deadline will means there will be less times without work. Building up a client base over time will mean more work – this can be achieved by creating a positive experience with your client / networking – meeting up with potential clients. Making sure you can make those relationships which will gain you more work. When starting out – it may be wise not to fully depend on freelance income until this client base has been built.

Contract  – Although not often referred to as a contract. Having a document between a client and freelancer is useful for many reasons. It shows that the two have had an agreement of amount to be paid and the amount of work expected encase any one of the parties does not fully fulfill their part of the deal – furthermore if their is any said ‘confusion’ over the amount of work expected then the document can be refered back to as evidence upon the agreed sum and amount of work/ type of work expected at the beginning of the deal.

How to be paid – e.g hourly / amount of work / seconds and Negotiation

The amount of money to be paid can often be a difficult part of the job – that, as well as being paid. There can be a number of ways which can determine the amount of pay – and it can be the difference between being paid fairly. One way which could determine the pay could be hourly – just as in any job, paid for the amount you work in a day this could be anything around £200 – £300 a day (£20 an hour) – however the amount which is paid depends on the size of the client, the amount of work and the experience that you have. Another two ways which you could be paid by could be per every second created / the amount of work produced. Lastly a fixed price might be agreed upon for the whole project by the client. This may be difficult however if the client wants to keep changing the design, or the project lasts longer or more difficult then planned – clients will try and get the best deal out of you. Therefore negotiation will be a key skill, and putting your foot down if the project pays too little for your time – which can be difficult if you are in need of some cash. It can be very easy to be unpaid or neglected as a freelancer. Tony Trimmer (a illustrator and concept artist) expressed a key point in his talk with the class that as freelancers we have to pay for our own pensions and other expenses and it is too easy for companies to use freelancers instead of contracting a freelancer because they do not have to pay for a pension and etc. We should keep an eye out for this. Understand your fee – whatever you choose to be paid and whatever method, only you can know what you should be paid and the time spent. Furthermore knowing certain factors can determine the price of your work : media, length of time, amount, and etc.
– Henk Dawson

Working Unsocial Hours

Another perk to the job is working unsociable hours – this may apply to quite a few jobs – if not all in the creative sector. However it is even more so when working for yourself / freelancing. If there is a deadline then it has to be reached no matter what – losing a client could mean losing more income. Therefore staying up late, working on the weekends, evening or no even sleeping a couple of days may be the future. Of course this can be reduced if time management is well planned in advance to prevent to much damage on your life. Although you may have to work those unsociable hours – you still need to be able to escape and meet up with friends – having  a healthy personal life will only benefit your work and keep you healthy – its about finding that balance right for you!!

Regular Meetings with the Client (at milestones) – Handling Rejection

I’ve previously mentioned that a good way to keep up with deadlines is by meeting up with clients at milestones during the project. This can be done for the initial idea stage, animatic, and etc – this way you can keep on top of the work by meeting steady deadlines. Another good reason for this is so that the client can see what you are making and can reject an ideas they do not like. A client may change their mind from their initial vision of the piece after seeing what it may look like – as professionals we shouldn’t be precious over our work and handle rejection as it comes. Not everyone is going to like our work and others will – but by setting up these regular meetings your client can feel apart of the loop – and can express how they feel towards ideas your making and the final piece.

Showreel / Presenting yourself well / Know your stuff

Getting work 

Being Unique –

Having a good show reel for any line of work in the creative industry will mean a better chance of beating the competitors. Normally as a rule, putting the best work at the start will grab the company or studios attention. Sticking to the best work – better to have 15 seconds of outstanding work than of a 1 minute of okay work. A show reel should be used to present your self – therefore you should show the bad bits; a future client or employer might only look at the first 10 seconds anyhow – therefore make sure you have your best bits where they will see.  It may seem obvious – but yet still need to be said, you need to present yourself to future clients – and throughout the client relationship. Being punctual to meetings and deadlines, polite and friendly will build a better relationship – and can mean more work. Furthermore it can be the difference between you gaining a job and a person less friendly (and may even know more than yourself) not. Lastly, knowing as much as possible, even learning small things from other disciplines / being a generalist will make you a key member of a team. And again mean more work as you are a useful asset. Show your stuff off let others see your work and keep it up to date – uploading your work onto websites and forums where it can be noticed can gain you work and appreciation. Furthermore keeping up to date and relevant to the type of work you want to be hired for – makes it easier for yourself and client to understand what you are offering.

Starting off – Personal Projects / Doing work cheaply for friends and family / Working for free

A good way of starting your ‘career’ in freelancing is to gain clients by working at a low rate or for family and friends. This way you will feel less pressure – and making some mistakes will be okay. Furthermore your family will be kind and means you can put across your own ideas. You need to gain that experience by being pro-active and gaining confidence with work you can use to show future clients. Also creating personal projects will let you be creative and have no stress over deadlines – you can spend time in creating work you are proud of and passionate for. Lastly you can even use this experience to help you determine your own values and what you are interested in. Be flexible – getting paid little when you have less work but then missing out on a big opportunity can be tough – being able to juggle different projects could be a good skill.

Experience / confidence in what you know / and what you don’t!

Unsure of what you are doing – that’s fine, not many people are gifted with the ability to know everything. Learning from experience and researching what you do not know will become easier over time. Gaining experience early lets you get a feel of the industry and meet others similar to yourself (with innovative ideas) or meeting clients / studios which may be looking for an animator. Not being scared of what you do not know but embracing what you do. Furthermore it is alot easier to find ways of doing things now thanks to the internet – YouTube (what would we do without you) online forums, and so much more. Working in the creative industry will always be tough because of the competition but by ensuring you are ready to learn and are a key problem solver – there should be nothing to worry about. Lastly – radiating confidence will let others feel comfortable in you – clients want you to feel sure in your self – be confidence imputing your own ideas across. And ‘fake it till you make it’ (like many do – learn what you don’t know and be free.


  • Networking – ‘Its not what you know its who you know’ – sometimes in this business its more about being in the right place at the right time and building up those contacts. Someone is mostly likely going to ask help from someone they have met and know their work. Showing of work by networking is an incredible effective way of getting your name out there and noticed by your potential employer or client.
  • Online Profile – Online is the future, using sites such as Linktin and things similar will connect you to more people. Having a professional Facebook page, tweeter, website are all the basic and least you should have when trying to reach potential clients. You want to appear professional and also accessible – if a client cant find out your contact information they will not run around trying to contact you.
  • Social Networking – Online networking. Also collaborating with people on the internet – doing competitions such as a big draw when each artist gets 3 or 5 seconds of animation to create a giant animation.
  • Forums – Looking through forums could help you to identify yourself. Showing of work can encourage clients to choose you, if you large on a forum or even speak professionally then add contact information on your messages – can mean potential clients. 
  • Festivals – The UK is renowned for festivals, but also all over the world where the best time of networking and to find funding for projects. 
  • Intellectual Property / Copyright – Making sure that your work is protected and when you make agreements with a client you both understand who owns what IP – and whether you can use your work on your portfolio (even though this is normally understood make sure that it is in writing as evidence.) Invisible watermarks on work.
  • Government – Benefits / Insurance / Grants – Sometimes the government will have grants and benefits for freelancers or small businesses so looking out and knowing about what the government can offer you may help you out alot.
  • Taxes / Invoice – Make sure that you have an annual invoice which can show tax and to keep can help you alot when it is needed. Make sure to keep on top of this and do it thought the year.
  • Accountant – Having accountant which can help you with finance is a good way to prevent any mistakes of extra stress which is unneeded.
  • Price your work correctly.
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starting up a business

N/A (2015) ‘Start your own business’ Gov.com, Friday 22nd May [Online] Avaliable: https://www.gov.uk/starting-up-a-business/start-with-an-idea (Accessed 29/05/2015)

N/A (N/A) ‘Tax Relief and Incentives for Business’ Great Business, N/A [Online] Available: http://www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/tax-relief-and-incentives-for-businesses-and-investors/ (Accessed 24/05/2015)


Figgins, Kiel (N/A) ‘How to get work (Freelance/Staff) in Animation,’ 3D Figgins, N/A [Online] Avaliable: http://www.3dfiggins.com/writeups/gettingWork/ (Accessed 10/05/2015)

William, Alex (2014) ‘How to Survive & Thrive as a Freelance Animator,’ Skwigly, Friday 31st January [Online] Avaliable: http://www.skwigly.co.uk/how-to-survive-thrive-as-freelance-animator/ (Accessed 10/05/2015)

Sanders, Adrien-Luc (N/A) ‘A Realistic Look at Freelance Animation Work,’ About Tech, N/A [Online] Available: http://animation.about.com/od/careertips/a/freelanceprocon_4.htm (Accessed 24/05/2015)

McMahon, Chris (2013) ’20 top tips for CG freelancers,’ 3D artist, Wednesday 20th February [Online] Available: http://www.3dartistonline.com/news/2013/02/20-top-tips-for-cg-freelancers/ (Accessed 25/05/2015)

Tony Trimmer

Tony Trimmer (TonyTrimmer.com)



Illustration – concept design – Animatics

Blue Zoo

Works storyboard straight into Maya. All sets in 3D all characters and props in 3D. Work the camera angles and etc. Focal length, set the scene – red board. Draw on top for any detailed. Very technical – working out what the most economical shot. Hit entertainment – own loads of property (like bob builders) money makers. Ideas taken. Sharks. Crowd funding instead

Get work experience at Blue Zoo

Creative industry is run by accountants not the creative. Blue Zoo graduate and set up their own company. Research.  There age

What is it like being a 3D animator?

A lot of animation gone aboard because its cheaper – south Korea/china. We are starting to get tax breaks therefore its hard to say. Animation is hard work.  Think of other ways of growing your creativity – cant work really hard on animation. Different sectors.

DNEG and the Mill. Children’s animation doesn’t pay well but there are jobs there.

A template unit to think of starting your own animation career / working. New ideas and innovation. Get on Linktin and then you can see what job roles are needed. Little Innovative projects

Children TV and feature film (if there are tax breaks.) Brown bag.

Be prepared – money. Have an understanding of what a contract is, freelancer – what to expect. Might have to start working at a low rate however he can ask for more money. Pensions (: Learn how to manage these things if you know about it. The more you understand about the way that working is then the better. Average 35

How to get people to notice me

  • Its not enough to get you noticed with have a blog and etc.
  • Nice thing about the animation everyone is geeks – so more people don’t have to be formal
  • In forums connect with others. Enjoy networking and making friends. Right place at the right time you can get work.
  • Easy going – not gonna get people upset – a bit of a laugh then you will be a reliable person to that client and etc – they are gonna work with you. You are selling yourself as well as your work.

Blue Post – Design Junction

Be as sociable as possible

Best Piece of Advice. Get away from distractions – and relax – the creativity will come.





Mosaic Films – (Andy Glynne)




These are the notes which I took when Mosaic Films came into Ravensbourne for a lecture. i have included them because they have show how 2.5d has been used effectively to create a gritty feel / dark feel for the stories they animated for the refugees. Furthermore the innovative idea of working on Adult documentaries and the process that they go through in order get funding for their work.

Documentary & animations.

Channel 4 used to make different to now. Heavy  Documentaries – therefore animated documentary. Not used yet inteunewed and created a narrative animated  film.

Low budget. Animted minds.com. Did well, bafta awards. Comission more secondary function. Teaching enviroment / medical / patients. (Explain their stypmtoms – familt) communicate.

Animated documentaries. New genre. Young refugees. BBC 2 – Embedded people could witness and make awareness.

Non – broadcast. Based on 6 defecters escaped north korea. Refreshing- animation can be for adults films.

How can you raise money to make animted films like this.

Broad-caster documentaries budget. 80,000 an hour. Bring money from other places – soft money – grants and foundation.

Animation 6, film post – depression, Welcome Trust – biomedical research / truma / deafness and etc.),  Different hospitals give money to make a medical awareness piece.

Visual Metaphors – described to animators. (MAKING OF)

council bio effects – chldren medical – film about how to engage children for and against.

BBC online/ animation and narration quick turn around low – shorts for the bbc

cel action, Business, Position ourselves ,BBC wants this – pass us all because the documentaries write a script. storytelling a weakness

short animations non – western folk tales / everything (job) research script.

3D – 2D>

boy and the world simple works best.

Coming up with the project fro commision from online platforms.

Pitching. stu dent – paywell passion projects. – Interns outcomers – 18 min close up tectures and etc. Money shots blah  – toon boom

Kick started no likely- momentum etc audience want it. Invested in your education still even if you don’t have a project network up.

Markets doc fest, cartton forum, cartoon movie

Mosaic films went to June Fest Marsey – and got funded for one of their ideas.