Business

Bristol production company expands into second animation studio

An independent animation production studio in Bristol has expanded into a new studio for its growing workforce working on productions for a major US network.

A Productions, which is known for its award-winning work on children’s programmes, has taken on additional space on the fourth floor of 15 Colston Street, close to the Bristol Beacon venue in the city centre.

The company, which has 150 staff, has an existing studio on Old Market Street where it will continue to work on productions for CBeeebies.

The business’ new facility will allow it to fulfil animation work for HBO Max, which screened a special programme it produced for Sesame Workshop, the organisation behind the long-running US children’s show Sesame Street.

The Monster At The End of The Story , the first-ever animated Sesame Street special in more than 50 series of the show, earned A Productions and its collaborators a Royal Television Society (RTS) West of England award, as well as two Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

A Productions managing director Katherine McQueen, who co-founded the company with animation director Mark Taylor in 1985, said the company was “thrilled” to have expanded into a second studio in Bristol, which she described as “a hotbed of production for TV and film.”

Ms McQueen said: “This expansion will support our hugely talented and growing team, our strong pipeline of productions and allow us to invest further in new projects in development.”

Ms McQueen added that the business was “proud” with its recent success at the RTS West of England Awards, where a CBeebies programme it had produced, Jo Jo and Gran Gran, was also nominated in the children’s and animations category.

The programme is the first UK pre-school animation series to centre around a black British family, and won the Best Pre-School Programme prize at the Broadcast Awards in May.

Ms McQueen said: “Both shows were produced during the upheaval of lockdown, and we owe huge thanks to our staff and creative teams who adapted to working from home and continued to deliver content to such a fantastic standard.”

A Productions which offers training to people looking to work in the industry, specialises in traditional and digital 2D stop frame, CGI, AFX, Flash and live action, both in studio and on location.

Bristol is also home to the Academy Award-winning Aardman Animations studio, the creators of Wallace and Gromit , and Wildseed Studios, which recently agreed a licensing deal that will see its animated series Dodo shown on Cartoon Network.

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