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Sgt Stubby's tale is a success story for Kinsale firm

August 23rd, 2018 11:22 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Sgt Stubby is the true story of the stray dog who rose to the rank of Sgt in the US army.

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A KINSALE-based animation studio has plans to create a TV and film hub for animation graduates with the potential to create up to 30 jobs.

Fun Academy Media Group Ltd, based on O’Connell Street and run by filmmaker Richard Lanni, is behind the feature-length animation Sgt Stubby: An Unlikely Hero, featuring the voices of actors Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu.

The movie went on general release last week and was partly funded by Cork investors. 

Executive producer Tom Sheehan from Cork said: ‘It was a rare thing to have the chance to be involved in something as heart-warming as Sgt Stubby, a movie that opens a new lane of family content, demonstrating that learning and entertainment need not be mutually exclusive.’

The investors raised €3m to fund the film –  20% of the net production cost. The funds were raised in early 2016 (€750,000), and a second fundraiser from September to December 2017 secured €2.25m, with the balance of the funds raised in the US. According to the investors, the Cork fundraising was critical because without it, the film would never have been made.

‘I was thrilled to have the opportunity of being involved with an Irish production company in telling this story through animation, and in helping to raise funds for the production. When I heard the story of Stubby I was mesmerised and I wanted to be involved in telling the story, in telling something positive,’ said Tom.

Tom added that much of the editing work on the film, the post-production, in addition to pre-production, was carried out in Kinsale. Going forward, the animation studio will be an incubation centre where projects will be researched and selected to produce TV series and films.

‘The Kinsale studio which will be a research space, will be engaged in pre-production, storyboarding, post-production and editing,’ Tom said. ‘It will employ talent from Ireland and particularly will be a base whereby animation graduates can be trained by the very best in the industry.’

The idea to make a film about Stubby came from businessman-turned-historical filmmaker Richard Lanni, who is also the founder of Fun Academy Media Group, operating from his homes in Cork and France.

‘Sgt Stubby: An Unlikely Hero’ is the true story of a stray dog who rose to the rank of sergeant in the US Army during World War 1 and stars th e voice of Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu. 

Fun Academy Media Group Ltd, based on O’Connell Street and run by filmmaker Richard Lanni, is behind the feature-length animation Sgt Stubby: An Unlikely Hero, featuring the voices of actors Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu.

The movie went on general release last week and was partly funded by Cork investors. 

Executive producer Tom Sheehan from Cork said: ‘It was a rare thing to have the chance to be involved in something as heart-warming as Sgt Stubby, a movie that opens a new lane of family content, demonstrating that learning and entertainment need not be mutually exclusive.’

The investors raised €3m to fund the film –  20% of the net production cost. The funds were raised in early 2016 (€750,000), and a second fundraiser from September to December 2017 secured €2.25m, with the balance of the funds raised in the US. According to the investors, the Cork fundraising was critical because without it, the film would never have been made.

‘I was thrilled to have the opportunity of being involved with an Irish production company in telling this story through animation, and in helping to raise funds for the production. When I heard the story of Stubby I was mesmerised and I wanted to be involved in telling the story, in telling something positive,’ said Tom.

Tom added that much of the editing work on the film, the post-production, in addition to pre-production, was carried out in Kinsale. Going forward, the animation studio will be an incubation centre where projects will be researched and selected to produce TV series and films.

‘The Kinsale studio which will be a research space, will be engaged in pre-production, storyboarding, post-production and editing,’ Tom said. ‘It will employ talent from Ireland and particularly will be a base whereby animation graduates can be trained by the very best in the industry.’

The idea to make a film about Stubby came from businessman-turned-historical filmmaker Richard Lanni, who is also the founder of Fun Academy Media Group, operating from his homes in Cork and France.

‘Sgt Stubby: An Unlikely Hero’ is the true story of a stray dog who rose to the rank of sergeant in the US Army during World War 1 and stars th e voice of Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu. 

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