Multi-Platform Technology Expands Opportunities for TV Networks in Virtual Entertainment

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Upstart studio Cilantro Animation is ready to bring 3D animation and appropriate multi-platform content to the US Hispanic market.

In entertainment circles, presence used to refer to the intangible quality that makes a movie star, but not anymore. Presence now defines an entertainment conglomerate's ability to deliver programming on multiple platforms, such as websites, iPods, smart phones and computers. This is particularly true in the emerging US Hispanic market.

According to the report, The Multicultural Economy, 1990-2009 by the Selig Center for Economic Growth, by 2009 Hispanics will account for 9 percent of this nation's buying power. And the Washington Post reported that by 2011 Hispanic buying power will have grown to nearly $1.2 trillion. As such, television networks and entertainment executives with the skill to connect with this diverse community are most likely to prosper.

Salvatore Cavalieri, co-founder and CEO of Cilantro Animation Studios, sees a future ripe with cultural and technological opportunity, but with a caveat. 'Networks have to recognize the cultural clues that will help them feed this hungry consumer group. And, unfortunately, many TV networks don't yet realize that Hispanics won't necessarily watch shows just because they hear 'hola' in the dialogue,' explains Cavalieri.

While attending the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) 2008, Cavalieri discovered an entertainment community eager to embrace the future.

'Entertainment executives need programs that capture the growing demographic in the Hispanic community, yet doesn't ostracize the mainstream population,' Cavalieri said.

To that end, Cilantro already has several original 3D animation shows in development that exploit the comedic clash of cultures interacting. And unlike other mainstream television shows with Hispanic characters, Cilantro programs reveal the diversity within Latino circles.

As the capability of delivery platforms expand, don't expect all downloads to be in strictly traditional formats. The TV executives that approached Cavalieri had a variety of needs for Cilantro's 3D animation.

'TV executives were asking how we can deliver characters and stories through different means than television. For instance, one-minute episodes for cell phones that have the potential to create a cult following for a show. The user has a quick laugh, a kick, and then they're waiting for the next one. That is powerful,' he said.

Other possibilities include characters - often animated and conversant - that can be offered as electronic wallpaper for cell phone display screens or interactive video games with unique or familiar characters from TV shows that can be downloaded.

But Cilantro Animation Studios is already ahead of the curve with the development of TV shows such as: Johnny the Roofer, La Carta and Usuy. 'From conception to final product, our TV content is created with multiplatform integration capabilities for video games, web, and mobile. We support the latest technologies like Blu-ray to create 3D animation that has an easy-to-access interactive component,' Cavalieri said.

Since these types of entertainment can be downloaded by millions, networks could rapidly assess what is attracting a large audience. Characters that win popularity can be enlisted to brand a business or inspire new television programs.

'Five million downloads would tell a network that a character's star is rising,' he said. 'Obviously, the technology creates these opportunities. But you have to have the vision to see it - and be on it.'

For more information about Cilantro Animation Studios visit http://www.cilantroanimation.com/ ; email info@cilantroanimation.com ; or write Cilantro Animation Studios, 1200 North Federal Highway, Suite 200, Boca Raton, Florida, 33432; Or Phone/Fax (866)741-6075.

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HEATHER METCALFE

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