The Advisory Board of Cinekid for Professionals welcomes its new members, one of which is Eric Goossens from Belgium. Goossens founded the Production Company Walking the Dog with Anton Roebben in 1999, since developing many interesting projects. Read the interview with Goossens below.
Q&A Eric Goossens
Can you tell us something about your background and current function?
I studied politics & communication at the Catholic University of Leuven. After that I started working in audiovisual production firstly at the company Little Big One and later at Trix. It was there that I met my partner Anton Roebben. We wanted to produce (artistically and technically) more challenging animated movies, so we decided to found our own company in 1999: Walking the Dog.
The first project Walking the Dog was involved in was the Oscar-nominated animation The Triplets of Belleville by French director Sylvain Chomet.
The second Oscar-nominated film we worked on was Brendan and the Secret of Kells by Irish director Tomm Moore. Aside from the co-production of animated series (Kika & Bob, Picknick with Pie,…) and animated shorts, Walking the Dog was involved as co-producer both in the succesful CGI movie A Monster In Paris by Bibo Bergeron, a co-production with EuropaCorp, and in the 2D animation features Pinocchio by Enzo d’Alo and Le Jour des Corneilles (JC Dessaint).
In 2012 the animation studio Walking the Dog worked on the new and very innovative film The Congress by director Ari Folman.
In 2013 Walking The Dog co-produced the CGI feature length animation movie Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (directed by Mathias Malzieu and Stéphane Berla) with EuropaCorp. The film was released in February 2014.
Currently we are involved in the production of Richard the Stork and Another Day of Life. Richard the Stork is a stereoscopic 3D animated movie made with partners from Germany, Norway, Luxembourg and Belgium. Another Day of Life is a hybrid documentary (64 mins animation combined with 21 mins of. live action). The film is co-produced with Poland, Germany and Spain.
As well as producer at Walking the Dog, I am also the chairman of anim.be, an association of Belgian animation producers, a guest lecturer at the LUCA school of arts, owner of the documentary production company Off World and recently board member of Cinekid for Professionals.
How would you describe the strengths of Cinekid for Professionals?
You have a chance to see a wide variety of high quality international programmes and films. And of course you get to meet other professionals. It is a unique platform within the world of children’s television and media. A lot of attention goes to cross-media projects that have an eye for innovation, and this makes the event particularly interesting. All the attending partners (producers, sales agents, distributors and broadcasters) can anticipate together what will be the future of children’s media and programmes.
How will you look to contribute to Cinekid for Professionals as an Advisory Board member?
I hope I can bring some experience from Belgium to the role, as well as from the European co-productions we made at Walking the Dog. I have attended Cinekid for many years as a producer. Now, as a board member I want to contribute to the future task of keeping the quality of television and media for our children as high as possible.
What advice would you offer producers who wish to be selected for the Junior Co-production Market?
The Junior Co-production Market is a great opportunity to present your project to ‘the world’. Make sure your presentation is concise and clear. And try to be innovative and engaging. I believe the challenge for all producers is to find the perfect link between content and (new) media.