Mohammad Harib, the creator of popular Emirati cartoon Freej, discusses how he built his team to maximize quality while minimizing cost.
He explains that this involved initially outsourcing the preproduction to India, while employing a Norwegian guy in London to compose the music, while also using studios in Singapore and France.
Harib notes that it was a challenge to ensure that his entire team understood how to create an authentic Arabic grandmother, imitating the way she walks and talks, and yet, as director he was able to coordinate and teach his global team, and then build a strong enough team to do preproduction in Dubai.
Harib also discusses the variety of channels through which he was able to monetize Freej, through DVD series, digital series, television series, creating unrelated commercials on the side, and then creating mascots of the characters, that could attend events in the UAE. Thinking outside of the box allowed him to find sources of income he had not previously imagined.
"You are creating markets as you go on, so don't underestimate the small product of yours, saying it's [just] an animation," he advises young entrepreneurs. "The product can grow beyond the borders of what you have imagined for it."