Home Entertainment Sergio Pablos, Alberto Mielgo Help Build Madrid’s Vibrant Toon Scene

Sergio Pablos, Alberto Mielgo Help Build Madrid’s Vibrant Toon Scene

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The Madrid region of Spain is becoming one of the most important animation/VFX centers in Europe.

The Madrid region of the country’s capital owns more than 32% of Spain’s active audiovisual companies and about 31% of animation and VFX companies.

The regional animation and VFX player built around the Pixel Cluster in Madrid netted 72.6 million euros ($72.6 million) last year and created 1,855 jobs.

“Animation and video games are strategic sectors of the Madrid economy,” said Ignacio Carballo, head of the Madrid region’s audiovisual industry. “They are the elements of the future, the powerhouses.”

The region is becoming the cradle of high-profile toon production, gaining international recognition and growing in recent years.

Its importance is demonstrated by several prominent moves, often associated with animated films:

*The third issue of The Lost Explorer Ted. Emerald Tablet, currently dominating the Spanish box office, The Legend of “Tad” is Spain’s highest-grossing animated film franchise and international sales, produced by Madrid-based Telecinco Cinema and Lightbox Animation Studios.

*Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtle by Salvador Simó is a 2019 production at Sygnatia Madrid, in Annecy and Spanish Film Academy) and the European Film Academy trophies for top prizes.

*Sergio Pablos, co-founder of Illumination-Universal’s global blockbuster “Despicable Me”, returned to Madrid to start SPA Studio, producing Anne and BAFTA winner and Oscar candidate “Klaus”. The SPA is now preparing a second feature “Ember” for Netflix.

Lost Explorer Ted.Emerald Tablet

Courtesy of Mediaset España

*After winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for “Windshield Wipers,” cartoon director Alberto Mirgo recently won a new Emmy for Best Animated Series “Jíbaro” for Netflix Banner Animation Season 3 Animated Personal Achievement Award anthology series “Love, Death and Robots”. Another episode of the series, Mielgo’s “The Witness,” has already won three Emmys in 2019.

*Zinkia Entertainment’s hit Spanish pre-school TV series “Pocoyó” is broadcast on more than 150 networks worldwide, starting in Madrid.

“With big budget projects launching in Madrid, talent from all over Europe comes to work here. For this, our location and good connections are crucial,” said Nico Matji, President of Pixel Cluster Madrid.

As the industry is booming, Madrid is experiencing a massive influx of talent from abroad and strong financial support from international companies such as Madrid Skydance Animation, which was established in 2020 to create a team of more than 350 animators of global integrated studios.

The streaming revolution and the consequent staggering increase in demand for animated content and VFX is helping to boost Madrid’s industrial influence.

Madrid-based visual effects studio El Ranchito, recently acquired by Fuse Group, is known for making fantasy blockbusters like The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones and Stranger Things.

Orca Studios has established its first VPX soundstage in the region, providing a fully functional environment for virtual productions.

Netflix’s first European production center, launched in 2018 at Secuoya Studios in Madrid’s Tres Cantos, also provides service productions for foreign TV series and film projects, not necessarily involving Spanish producers.

The move saw Madrid shut down the industry and bring the services of well-known local post-production houses, such as Deluxe, to the table.

“The leading Spanish audiovisual industry makes Madrid one of the main European production centers in Europe, especially in the fields of animation and VFX,” said Carballo.

In another growth symptom, January 2021 launched Pixel Cluster Madrid, a pioneering initiative aimed at focusing on industrial and technological development in the animation and VFX industries.

The Pixel Cluster organizes initiatives such as Next Lab to promote the application of new technologies in animation and digital content.

Last year, the Madrid regional government unveiled an action plan to develop the local industry to attract and celebrate international animation and VFX events.

The first step in this direction is to ensure that the next edition of the famous pitching event, Cartoon Springboard, will take place from October 25th to 27th.

“We have become the benchmark in Europe. Now, we have to live with this pull and trust that this boom from the platform will continue for some time over time,” said Nico Matji, president of the Madrid Pixel Cluster.

Although still not big, Madrid has begun offering a 2.4 million euro ($2.4 million) subsidy to support the region’s audiovisual industry, including the production and development of cartoon films and animated series.

“We’re seeing a 50 percent increase in requests for development assistance for animation projects compared to 2021,” Carballo said.

In addition, the Madrid City Council allocated $2 million last year to support the production, promotion and distribution of audiovisual projects, including animation.

The lack of an available workforce, especially specialized animation and CGI technicians, is one of the challenges currently facing Madrid, which is somewhat mitigated by the 3,600 newly trained professionals that the regional schools bring to the market each year.

“Madrid is unprecedented. We need to strengthen our position further, but the seeds have been sown,” added Matji.

Sergio Pablos, Alberto Mielgo Help Build Madrid’s Vibrant Toon Scene Klaus

Claus

Provided by Netflix

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