Nigeria's first 3D-animated TV series is about to hit the screens. "The O Twins" is the title of an upcoming animated comedy sitcom featuring 'Tami', 'Timi', 'Mom' and 'Dad'.
LAGOS, NIGERIA (FILE) (FUSION MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY) - A homegrown 3D-animated TV series may seem long overdue for an entertainment industry as robust as Nigeria's but there is a lot of excitement building up to the launch of "The O Twins", a sitcom about a nuclear family living in the sprawling commercial city, Lagos.
Timi, Tami, Mom and Dad make up a modern middle class Nigerian family. Thirteen-year-old Timi and Tami are twins who exhibit a typical sibling rivalry to the irritation of their traffic-exhausted parents.
Michael Akindele, the brains behind the show, says the concept was born out of a need to portray real life in the country's most populous city.
"I wanted to look at developing original content and I was looking at ways to sort of explore, using local authentic stories to sort of like share you know well produced content that people globally can be entertained, so the idea behind the O-Twins was looking at how my cousins and how every time they used to always watch this same Tom and Jerry cartoon and I said okay, I wanted to create something that was original, that they could sort of see themselves on screen and at the same time it was different, it was Nigerian but at the same time still funny comedy, and the idea behind it is like bringing families back together," said Akindele, an Information Technology degree holder.
With a keen interest in multimedia, graphics and web development, the American born Akindele returned to Nigeria in 2007.
He began the production of "The O Twins" in 2009, taking on an intricate process that involved drawing images on paper, scanning them and turning them into digital renditions.
Akindele says each season of the show will consist of six episodes, each costing about 150,000 US dollars to produce.
The animator's initial plan was to launch the series in 2010, but after posting a teaser on the internet, a flood of responses from around the world made him postpone the release date.
"We've got a lot of feedback from producers in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Los Angeles, I mean we have literally taken this teaser that we created and shopped it around, we've sat down with the likes, I mean with studios in the States and with TV stations here locally, and we've received a lot of feedback to improve the show and make it better, so I'm actually kind of glad that we went through that process of having this lapse were we did this teaser and we wanted to launch immediately but now we are actually ready to launch in 2013 and we already have couple of partners on board that we would be announcing soon," he said.
Unlike the thriving Nollywood film industry - the third largest in the world after Hollywood and Bollywood in terms of the number of movies produced per year, that is worth 450 million US dollars, animation is relatively unestablished.
A majority of animators struggle to complete their projects due to lack of proper studio facilities, funding and government support. With no adequate training available in the country, most artists in the sector are also self-taught.
However, analysts say, if the success of Nollywood is anything to go by, theanimation industry's growth potential is great.