A Johannesburg-based company responsible for some of the most cutting-edge commercials on TV, Luma Animation, has made a breakthrough into the prime time television filler market with an exciting concept.

Luma, which also has its own in-house game development division and has produced titles for Mini, Garage Games, Cadbury, Nokia and Apple I-Phone, recently embarked on an opening for their showreel � for this, Jason Cullen, part owner of Luma, conceptualised the animated characters Bun&Bunee.

This proved to be the start of a breakthrough into the filler market � and is aimed at the family demographic comic relief slots between programmes � as well as appealing to a large market worldwide.

Managing Director, Paul Meyer, explains: �These fillers are generally one minute in duration but could go up to five minutes. Cullen�s concept is original and fills our criteria which is that they are self funding, we are able to create them without bringing in any partners and that they must not be attached to a broadcaster as they would demand rights etc. For this concept, we are looking at straight sales deals with no attachments.�

Cullen adds: �We will make 52 one minute animated episodes. The series will be available in full HD, standard definition and mobile format. Bun&Bunee is characterised by slapstick comedy, starring lots of quirky characters in creative comical scenarios of madness and mayhem. In short, the series is fast paced, fun and funny.

Luna has already sold to SABC3 in an exclusive deal for the next three years, due to go on air in July this year, which will reach a viewership of some 30 million people.

Cullen says they recently took the show to the international MIPTV and have had very positive results. �We have also secured global distribution and they will be selling the full 52 episodes.�

Meyer continues: �This suits our criteria. We have made 13 episodes thus far, so the pre-sales on the remaining episodes will offset the production costs. We will need to gear up to accommodate the production timelines etc, and while currently it takes one person between six to eight weeks to complete one episode, we will be setting up a team of seven people and will be using concepts from all of them to create the content.�

�It�s not just the TV fillers comments,� Cullen. �The Bun&Bunee concept will go to web and WAP where there will be downloads, plus a free desktop wallpaper including a regular newsletter for fan club members. Mobile content will be launched per territory in line with the worldwide TV roll-out.

�A large part of our business is games and Bun&Bunee will be no exception. Bun&Bunee Island Hop is an action puzzle mobile game, ready for distribution and a full 3D version for iphone, X-box Live Arcade, WiiWare and STEAM ports. There are also many more games in the pipeline.

�We will also be doing print with a full colour cartoon strip printed monthly in Free 4 All, the largest accredited youth tabloid in South Africa. The main readership ranges from 10-17 year olds and consists of over a million readers. There will also be merchandising, including greeting cards and back to school and social stationary lines,� says Cullen

Bun&Bunee is a great concept and visually highly entertaining due to the use of sophisticated 3D graphics. The sound track is �pantomime� and can be adapted to suit the various broadcasters.

Watch out for this filler which stars Friends, Villains, Side kicks and Alter Egos, and for further information go to the website www.bunandbunee.com