Be it 5000 years ago, today or 5000 years hence, listening to and telling stories has always enamored man. And of course visually depicting and watching them too!
And if centuries ago, man lived in caves and made sequences of symbols to tell stories, in today’s digital age we use sequences of digital animation to listen and tell, see and show our stories. Back then, it was the wall of a cave which was the medium, today it is a digital signal on a chip or video on fibre or probably in thin air!
Introduced a couple of years ago by Dr. Brij Kothari, Bookbox produces ani-books, animated digital storybooks for children in more than 20 languages from across the world. BookBox storybooks are based on the methodology of Same Language Subtitling (SLS) in which text, audio, and visual media are synchronised to create an educational and entertaining reading experience for children.
Speaking to AnimationXpress.com about Bookbox, Communication and Research associate Nikhil Kulkarni shared, “BookBox stories not only promote a love for reading through extremely edutaining and culturally inclusive content from around the world, but also to give automatic reading practice to children as proven through sophisticated eye-tracking research. For example, a folk story from Brazil is available in Tamil or a Japanese Samurai story is available in Spanish, Dutch or Italian! In fact, each of our stories is available in all the 20+ languages. Thus, it also helps in second language learning”.
With a team of 20 members their main production unit is at Pondicherry while the marketing units are in Mumbai and California (USA)
Although the BookBox team creates all the content in-house, right from story selection, editing, designing and final creation in flash, they are exploring other avenues also. “We license high quality books already produced, this way we donâ€?t have to spend effort on editing story or making graphics. We then directly edit and animate the images and our anibook is ready. Of course we have to share our revenue with those who have provided their content”, said Nikhil.
The internationally acclaimed BookBox, claims creating products licensed around original IP as their core competency.
Talking about the content production, Nikhil shared, “While most of the content is sourced from authors from respective countries, the production is carried out at our Pondicherry office. We have in-house designers, flash programmers and developers to adapt this content to different platforms – internet viewing and downloads, CDs, VCDs and DVDs and iPod videos. We are currently in the process of adapting the same to mobile and wireless platforms”.
Creating affordable but high quality animated, educational stories for children in all major languages of the world and distribute them on all mediums is a part of their business plan as they are already established on the online downloading front. They also plan to join up with local distributors for physical products and collaborate with content aggregators to sell anibooks in different formats such as Mobile and IPTV.
Commenting on BookBox future plans, Nikhil concluded “We are trying to get distribution relationships for all the content we produce which is anibooks, CDs, DVDs and books both online and offline. We are also exploring alternate mediums like IPOD downloads, IPTV and mobile downloads. The good news is we are on the verge of some very promising distributor relationships. We are also trying to build business partnerships with companies in India and globally to obtain copyrights so that we can convert hard books into BookBox anibooks”.