Aardman and Independent Films launch joint production offer

Aardman Studios and Independent Films are joining forces to offer a combined live action and animated video offer for clients with tight budgets.

Wright, left, and Guest
Wright, left, and Guest

While there are no plans to formally merge, the two companies want to provide a "seamless solution" with a single point of contact at Aardman or Independent, depending on whether the idea is action or animation-led. 

Heather Wright, executive producer and head of partner content at Aardman, told Campaign there was a clear message from marketers at Cannes Lions last month about the need for a renewed focus on creativity and craft.

She said: "Increasingly we have noticed that agencies are working on projects with a need for live action performances and animation and looking for creative and financial solutions outside the big post production company model. " 

Aardman, which is best known outside adland for its stop-motion claymation animations, including Wallace & Gromit, says it can keep its cost base low. Headquartered in Bristol, it offers a full-service CGI, animation and post and audio production capability.

Animation includes any type of animated production, ranging from cartoons to sophisticated CGI. 

Independent Films was one of a number of production companies that hit out against a "rigged" bidding system earlier this year. Production companies put their names to a letter warning against a system in which ad agencies invite third-party production bids for contracts they are considering pitching for themselves. 

However, Jani Guest, managing director of Independent Films, said the move was not intended as a response to the row. 

Instead, Guest argued, it would offer a solution that ad agencies could take advantage of at the ideation stage rather than at execution.

She added: "Big ideas generated by agencies can often lead to a mismatch with what the brand is willing to do in practice. How do you achieve a brilliant idea on paper when you don’t necessarily have all the resources that you would want to have to do that?"

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