Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2013 Contents BG6 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MAY 2013 • WEEK FOUR
Jason Lindsay, managing director, Full Circle Ani-
mation Studio, said the animation film the company
is working on is an example of how the Caribbean
Investment Forum (CIF) has helped local business-
Full Circle Animation Studio took part in CIF 2012 and is
now producing a 25-minute animation film with help of a
Trinidad-born Los Angeles producer.
Noka Wheel is the title of the creature live and animation
film being developed and it will be directed by Los Angeles-
based Trinidadian Shaun Escayg of the Shaun Escayg Film
Company, which will also use local and American actors and
Lindsay said some of Escayg s credits include such Hollywood
animation films as Transformers and Dark Side of the Moon.
"I am the evidence of this investment forum. I benefitted
from some of the relationships that came out of that. It has
been an effective platform for local businesses looking to inno-
vate and develop their business models and to have that oppor-
tunity to access investment opportunities."
He spoke at the May 7 launch of CIF at the Hyatt Regency
Trinidad hotel, Port-of-Spain.
Lindsay, who participated in CIF 2012, showed excerpts
from Noka Wheel at the CIF launch and used the Harry Potter
series as a reference for the kind of animation film being devel-
"We have understood the model and understood what
investors want and what markets to access and how we can
link to those markets and then adapt our story accordingly,"
Lindsay described the content of Noka Wheel.
"This story is a simple tag line and is based on the relationship
between a mother and her son. The son has schizophrenia
and the challenges they face as they follow a journey. It is
something very global. It is live action, what we call in ani-
mation, photo real with creature animation, something like
Harry Potter. It also involved our folklore," he said.
Lindsay said the animation characters, although based on
T&T folklore, like a soucouyant, will be modified for a Hol-
"We incorporated traditional folklore characters and brought
it to life in a cinematic approach. A lot of the pre-production
has already been done in Los Angeles, and the shooting will
be done in T&T in July. It is a blend of local and Hollywood
actors. Those animators will be coming to T&T to do the play
Lindsay said it is important the local and Caribbean diaspora
see the film, but the overall objective is to target a global audi-
"This is for a global audience and yet, at the same time, tell
our stories and develop our intellectual property. The challenge
with engaging the diaspora is that sometimes they do not believe
there is that environment to sustain them here. So we have to
find new ways to engage them and Noka Wheel is one of those
projects. This project became a reality through the efforts of
InvestTT and other stakeholders as we came together to support
a Hollywood-type cinematic project for our intellectual prop-
Lindsay said he s hoping the film will be developed into a full-
length feature film.
"The reason for the 25 minutes is to get into the international
film festivals," he said.
The film has a budget of $1.2 million and is being made with
private equity and InvesTT sponsorship.
"The benefits for the industry are income and employment
and knowledge from working with these guys as we have Skype
calls every week and capacity building," he said.
Full Circle Animation Studio was established in 2006 and
is a design studio focusing on animation, outsourcing in 2D Ani-
mation and 3D effects. The studio currently employs ten persons
full time and up to 20 on a project basis.
The company also specialises in real flow technology, new
media production and training.
This animation film comes on the heels of other films, both
locally and internationally produced being shot in T&T.
These include the Canadian-produced film, Home Again,
which was shot in T&T and used local actors, and A Hero For
Time, based on the life of a Trinidad-born World War II veteran
Lindsay said trade and investment shows like the CIF are
important in helping local businesses and industry to understand
how to look for markets and, when they find them, how to
operate in them.
"In many ways, the creative industry has been a challenge
locally because some of these business plans are not always
aligned to the expectations of investors and financiers. Animation
is an export-oriented industry and there is just not enough local
consumption to sustain it," Lindsay said. "The regional base is
the very minimum as the animation industry needs to engage
and realise profit and access sustainable markets. There is also
Through past TIC shows, Lindsay said the studio made part-
nerships with foreign investors in this sector.
"Through the support of InvesTT, we have made significant
connections to animation investors in India, Canada and the
United States. InvesTT has also supported, through this forum,
capacity building for local studio resources as we have had the
opportunities to interface with global leaders and diaspora
expertise in the industry and maintain a long-term mentorship
"As a follow up from CIF 2012, InvesTT also visited major
production studios in Los Angeles and has given us considerable
insight into the approach to access these markets," Lindsay said.
InvesTT backs local
animation film Noka Wheel
Jason Lindsay, managing director, Full Circle
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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