Tell us about your company/organisation?
Triggerfish is a 26-year-old animation studio that has produced three feature films and animated a number of award-winning short films. The studio is currently producing three TV series for global streaming services. We are based in Cape Town, South Africa and Galway.
What does your company/organisation do?
We’re a 3D animation studio that works on our own films and TV series, as well as providing animation services to other studios.
How long have you been in business?
What’s the company’s origin story?
The studio came from a stop-motion animation background (think Wallace and Gromit styled animation) with our CEO, Stuart Forrest producing and directing a number of Takalani Sesame (The South African version of Sesame Street) before we boldly committed to doing our first computer-generated feature film, Adventures in Zambezia. The film went on to make the Top 5 grossing films in South Africa ever.
How many people are working for you now?
Our crew scales quite significantly depending on the size of the productions we’re working on. At a peak we’re over 300 staff worldwide.
Describe the type of products/services you offer?
Animation, story and script development, creative IP design such as characters, graphic novels.
What type of customers does your company have?
We sell mostly to the global streamers, such as Netflix, Disney+, Entertainment One, Nickelodeon etc., but interestingly we market our studio primarily to animation creative professionals as without them we’d have nothing to offer. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t market directly to the end consumer – those who watch our films – that’s done by the streamers.
What would you describe as the main unique quality of your company?
We’ve always pushed for the highest quality in our animated films, regardless of the production budget, while having a great respect and care for the artists who work with us. It makes for a highly inspiring environment to work in.
Have there been any other particular landmarks in your company’s journey?
Each film has picked up a number of awards, but the Oscar-nomination for the BBC Special, Revolting Rhymes (produced for Magic Light Pictures) stands out as being rather special.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
We’ve traditionally been very flat in our management style, but we’re having to change that as we get larger and need more specific reporting lines. As with most creative studios, we like to be fun and light-hearted but focused on the work that needs to be done. We’re learning to adapt to remote working – in the past we had our full crew in one location which really made it much easier to build a great team spirit. We’re trying our best to hold onto that culture.
What brought you to Galway Technology Centre?
Strategically we needed a European-based studio in order to compete with other global studios, particularly for the best animators and artists. The IDA has been extremely helpful in selling the vision for Ireland, and specifically the lifestyle benefits of living in Galway.
How do you rate Galway as a location to do business in?
It has been a little more tricky than expected – finding decent accommodation for our animators and producers, and the lack of other similar sized animation studios, being the two main ones. However the support we’ve had in setting up the studio from the GTC in particular has been incredible. Thomas, Noreen, Sheila and the team have really made it feel like the best decision we’ve made.
What are the main corporate challenges you are facing at the moment?
Hiring staff across different countries, both from a tax compliance and time-zone perspective.
What are your company/organisation’s future plans?
We have a number of exciting titles in pre-production at the moment which is going to make 2023 really interesting (and busy!).
Where can we find out more about you?
Find us online at Triggerfish.com
Or follow us on LinkedIn