Israeli virtual animation studio Aniboom Ltd. is collaborating with Sesame Street. Aniboom CEO Uri Shinar took his first steps in television at Sesame Street, taking an internship on the show 30 years ago.
"Sesame Street's producer is part of the reason why I'm in television," says Shinar. "I have a warm spot in my heart for the show." He is now closing the circle. Aniboom and Sesame Workshop are producing the Aniboom Awards 4 Sesame Street contest for the Fourth Annual Aniboom Animation Awards.
This marks the first time that Sesame Street, now marking its 40th anniversary, is participating in a world-wide competition for content in its history. Cash prizes will be awarded to category winners and the Grand Prize winner's animation will appear on an episode of Sesame Street.
"I'm very excited," Shinar told "Globes" today. "It's great pride and a vote of confidence in our model."
Aniboom no longer employs animators to produce original content. The company is now a virtual studio, whose website links customers with the animators' community.
"At Keshet, for example," says Shinar, a former president at Channel 2 franchisee Keshet Broadcasting Ltd., "you outsource production or creators contact you, and you choose, give a grant for development, pilot, and series. We do the same thing here, but without a studio. Today, there's no reason to own a studio when you can bring the most talented people via the Internet."
Aniboom's collaboration with Sesame Workshop is reportedly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. "The agreement gives us and Sesame Street first refusal rights to all content created through the venture. The prizes alone to the winners are $50,000, so it's possible to assume that the deal is larger than this. It's only the start of the deal. The continuation is in the economic potential that they can create from this, that you get your hand on something that you have no chance of getting without Aniboom."
"Globes": What does the animator get from you?
Shinar: "He or she gets a chance of money or work with companies like FOX, with whom we've had a similar competition. We've now signed development deals with five of the winners. The animator gets the credit, and basically everything that a professional social network gives."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 18, 2010
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