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7 tips for making your studio stand out

04. Craft the story well

Song of the Sea tells the epic tale of Ben and his sister Saoirse, the last Sealchild

Song of the Sea tells the epic tale of Ben and his sister Saoirse, the last Sealchild

I hope [that the reason The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea have been so well received is] a combination of the recognition of the craftsmanship of the teams involved and the universal appeal of the stories.

05. Do it your way

Cartoon Saloon is busy working on the second season of pre-school series Puffin Rock

Cartoon Saloon is busy working on the second season of pre-school series Puffin Rock

Irish animation has been booming, with Irish companies working on projects for major studios that are seen all over the world. I've noticed our own work from Cartoon Saloon being used as an example of how it's possible to create something of value outside the traditional studio system. I feel other animators look to us as an example of what's possible in the independent realm.

06. Keep showing up

The Secret of Kells earned Cartoon Saloon its first Oscar nomination

The Secret of Kells earned Cartoon Saloon its first Oscar nomination

I think the biggest lesson we learnt was to keep showing up. Even when times were tough we always went to every festival and market we could, and the connections made there eventually paid off – as well as the constant presence showing a commitment and staying power that many companies don't have.

Eventually you become a trusted part of the scene. But underneath all that you have to keep a focus in quality and good relationships with your friends and competitors in this small industry.

We're reporting live (opens in new tab) from OFFSET 2015, so stayed tuned for all the news, tips, tricks and industry insight as it emerges – plus exclusive interviews with some of the world's leading creatives.

And don't forget: to celebrate OFFSET 2015, Computer Arts is offering 13 free issues (opens in new tab) with a two-year subscription (for a limited time only so be quick).

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