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Think launches animation hothouse

Anime Innovation Tokyo to facilite projects

TOKYO — Think Corp., a Tokyo-based animation producer, has launched Anime Innovation Tokyo, a subsidiary for developing, producing and marketing animators’ work.

Initiative has ¥300 million ($2.6 million) in backing from the Tokyo city government and gives animators a rare chance to share in profits.

AIT is accepting project proposals from animators until June 30. Over the next four years, it will produce 15-20 pilots, each about half an hour long, to present to potential backers in Japan and abroad.

Funding will come from production consortia, principally limited liability partnerships, with the government of Tokyo and private companies as participants. Production budgets will average $86,200.

“We will work closely with the creators on each project,” Think CEO Yuji Mori said Friday at a symposium sponsored by the Tokyo Intl. Anime Fair. Idea, explained Mori, is to make pilots “with the potential to become something far bigger,” be it a TV series or feature film.

Revenues from local and worldwide rights sales will be shared among all the limited liability partnership participants, including animators.

The usual Japanese practice is for animation houses receive a set fee for their services.

By producing several low-budget pilots at the same time, outfit aims to limit its downside.

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