The Government of Singapore provides a wide range of support to accelerate international animation business. The editorial team of Animationweek picked up The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA). The MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information, which promotes and regulates the media sector. Animation is one of the sectors that the MDA is helping to develop. They offer funding assistance for production, marketing and talent development, and have supported animation projects to reach a wider global market.
2. Overview of the animation industry in Singapore
According to the MDA, one of the characteristics of the animation industry in Singapore is that international animation and visual effects companies have set up their offices in Singapore. This includes Lucasfilm Animation from the USA and Double Negative from the UK, with intention to co-produce an animated series for international broadcast with animation companies in Singapore. While there are active co-productions, original content is actively developed by studios in Singapore. Four animated titles below are examples of animations co-produced or produced in Singapore.
Examples of co-produced animations
1.Dinosaur Train: co-produced by Sparky Animation (Singapore) and The Jim Henson Company (USA)
2.Rob the Robot: co-produced by One Animation (Singapore) and Amberwood Entertainment (Canada)
Examples of original animations from Singapore
3.Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens: produced by Tiny Island Productions and owned by Turner/Cartoon Network
4.The Dream Defenders: produced by Tiny Island Productions
3. A list of animation schools and studios in Singapore
The MDA provides basic information and contact addresses of animation schools and studios in Singapore. You can find a list of them in The MDA’s brochure from the link below.
4. Support program information
The MDA has several support schemes for animation. We picked up two notable programmes which support story telling and the early stage of production.
4-1. Story Lab
Story Lab programmes are expected to start in 2016 and more details should be provided at a later date on their website. It aims to build capabilities in story ideation, research and development, as well as scriptwriting for different formats. A series of programmes are planned for not only media professionals but also primary and secondary school students and the general public.
4-2. Development Assistance
The MDA has a scheme called “Development Assistance” for individuals who are a Singaporean or Permanent Resident, and Singapore-registered companies with Media as their primary Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) code. This scheme intends to provide grants that enables companies to develop an idea into a script, manuscript or storyboard. We believe this scheme is helpful for those who wish to develop original content. For animation, they support the following research and concept development activities up to $150,000:
- Presentation bible (digital & printed)
- Style guide (for L & M)
Further details can be found on the page “Development Assistance”.
If you are interested in looking at other opportunities, you can find different kinds of support on the page of Grants & Scheme on the MDA website.
1. The Media Development Authority of Singapore (2016) [Online] Available from:<http://www.mda.gov.sg/Pages/default.aspx>. [6 January 2016]
2. Sparky Animation (2016) DINOSAUR TRAIN Trailer (2013). [Online] Available from:< https://youtu.be/ziOHbM-OblA>. [6 January 2016].
3. MDA Singapore (2016) Rob The Robot (2015). [Online] Available from:< https://youtu.be/GLO-v6_1N1c>. [6 January 2016].
4. ToonBarn (2016) Ben 10 Destroy All Aliens Teaser Trailer (2011). [Online] Available from:<https://youtu.be/IjggS1Fa7lI>. [6 January 2016].
5. The Media Development Authority of Singapore (2016) Dream Defenders – Tiny Island (A Dream Waiting For You) (2013). [Online] Available from:< https://youtu.be/GYMhXur0qlQ>. [6 January 2016]