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D3 Media studio general producer: The core of our audience now is mainly young people from 13 to 22

InterviewOctober 03, 2013 20:24

On the eve of the biggest international film markets MIPJUNIOR (5-6 October) and MIPCOM (7-10 October), we proudly present interviews with studio general directors, that take part at RAFA booth. Interview with D3 Media studio general producer Konstantin Barnukov:

What projects does the studio specialize in (for children, for adults)?

Most likely for adults, but it’s better to say, that we specialize in youth projects. First of all we promote the only home-made animation teenage brand “School 13”, popular in Russia and Eastern Europe. Besides the animation serial “School 13” we have launched a very successful animation show “School 13 - Gameorgies” with Dimon Hezekov, already well-known to youth character. The first season of the show set several rating records on “2x2” TV channel and has become the most popular games show in Russia. Now we are going to launch the second season.

As a matter of fact «School 13» prepared grateful audience for our studio, that is more than 200 000 subscribers just on our channel youtube.com. The core of our audience now is mainly young people from 13 to 22..

Youth audience has its own habits of watching video content: they seldom watch something with their parents and perceive the world through school routine, contacts with friends, computer games and films.  

Our project “Secret agents” is a high-quality fusion of teenage content  and content, which is clear for teenagers parents. It’s  much more a producer project. It is an attempt to make an animation serial, which can get together at the TV screen or in Internet the audience aged 20 as well as 40. Due to intelligible plot lines it is clear to teens parents. There are no flashbacks with recognizable by teenagers Internet memes, which leave their parents quite indifferent. Actually, tracking of these narrations combined with our skill to produce primarily youth content brought us to a high-grade symbiosis, which we are going to keep up through the whole first season of “Secret agents” serial.

Besides, now we are looking for partners to produce two more serials, aimed primarily on youth audience. TheseprojectsareTyomaandCatsandSand-box

The project “Tyoma and Cats” narrates about the world, where the war between cats and dogs has recently ended. One unscrupulous rowdy-dowdy cat, hiding from his law obedient congeners moves to a dog’s district. His flatmate is a kind, sympathetic and simple-hearted dog Tyoma. Tyoma appears to be the only dog ready to share the roof with. Regularly they will together come across problems, well known to each inhabitant of a city and solve them in an unordinary way. Each 20 minutes series is a remarkably dynamic and answers to a world-level project. Already now considering the first international success of “School 13” we understand, how globalized is the world, the young people in megapolises live in. Theyseethesamefilms, playthesamegames. Onthewholetheyhaveacommonvaluesystem. That is why if “School 13” is an everyday life depiction, somewhat Environment of events, that occur regularly in teenager’s life, then “Tyoma and Cats” is collisions and challengers, the society comes across all over the world. The plot is incredibly dynamic and flavoured with humour. The project is distinctly segmented to the audience from 16 to 30.

“Sand-box” is a more grown-up project. According to its plot the main character is an extraordinary scoundrel. As a result of his short criminal life he falls into coma and manages to agree upon prolongation of his life taking responsibility to change his course of life. An angel will look after the improvements and help him on this way. In each series the main character will change professions and fight against his bad habits – a whole bunch of them. This project will not be like our other projects, including the audience. In this case our audience is more likely aged 30.

Till the end of the year we are also planning to start the second season of “Magic Laboratory”. It is an educational and popular science project. Thefirstseasonwasaboutnanotechnologies. We developed it together with leading experts from ROSNANO.

Is animation for grown-ups essential in Russia?

No. There is “2x2” TV channel, which shows “Family Guy”, “American Dad”, “South Park”, “The Simpsons”. The same channel is our partner in the work on the “Secret Agents” serial, and Russian TV premiere of it will be on this very channel. Apart from “2x2” the interest in brands popular among teens and youth is growing among Russian licensees. Since our brand is actually the only one on the Russian market, it depends only upon us, if we could stir up this interest. We are planning to start licensing activities around company’s brands next March, so by the end of 2014 it will be possible to answer this question in detail.

Is it an easy thing to find investors for “grown-up” projects in Russia?

Nobody stands in line. As for grown-up animation it is almost impossible to develop clear financial model to return investments on Russian market. Such model has been quite formed for children animation serials. It is rather difficult to speak about getting profit on the world market since one must produce content of sufficient quality at first. It is much easier to think out a plan, how to conquer the world, than to make it true, and investors understand it. I think it is necessary to wait for the project, which will blow up the market and bring serious profits to the current beneficiaries. Whenthishappens, theinterestofinvestorswillgrow. Such a thing took place with “Smeshariki” project. Despite lots of difficulties the project survived and proved solvency of license financial model in Russia. Thereaftermoneycameintheformedniche. 

Many of your projects have strongly pronounced Russian mentality (Secret Agents, Vasserman). What about your plans to promote these projects to the West, do you think that these projects can be easily adapted for foreign countries?

Well, first of all, more people around the world than in Russia saw our lead project. For example, if you take Poland, more than one million people saw every series of “School 13” only on youtube.com.

As for “Secret Agents”, this project initially was planned as a Russian home project, best understood primarily by Russians. There will be definite attempts to promote it, for example our German partners offer certain variants of adaptation. Moreover, we can see that every new series makes this project truly international. Activity of each series takes place in different parts of the world and we keep our eye on the scripts in order to think out several international analogues to each joke or plot line.

If we take “Magic Laboratory”, the adaptation is very simple in this case. Wetakeapopularpersonintheregionforpostscoringinlocallanguage. If necessary, we can create his or her animated image and put it in place of professor Onotole.

Tell us about “Secret Agents” serial. Do you have plans to export it?

“Secret agents” is a humorous serial about life and activity of Secret Intelligence Department, shortly SID. In each series three main characters – lady-killer Smirnov, simple-hearted and experienced Tsun Dun and a general’s son, young slob Petskov under the guidance of a wise chief Isaev save Russia and the whole world from various disasters and conspiracy plots. The first season has 16 series 22 minutes long. It is planned to be shown in Russia weekly on prime time on "2x2" TV channel. The premiere will take place in November 2014. As for export, we together with “2x2” TV channel are translating and dubbing the first series in English. Our company will in the first place be engaged in licensing and realization of rights in Intenet. TV rights belongs to “2x2” TV channel.

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