Open Workshop FAQ

Below you can find a list of some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Open Workshop.

FAQ Categories:
  1. General Questions
  2. Support from Open Workshop
  3. Applying for an Open Workshop residency
  4. Applying for financial support from the Open Workshop
  5. General questions about applying to The Open Workshop
  6. If your application is approved
  7. Staying at Open Workshop

1. General Questions

What is Open Workshop?
Open Workshop is a film workshop and artist residency, hosting and supporting project development and production for animation and animation-related projects such as animation shorts/series/features, comics and graphic novels, games, cross- and transmedia projects and artistic installations. The Open Workshop is located in the Danish city of Viborg as a special talent department of The Animation Workshop, VIA University College. It is supported by The Danish Film Institute and the municipality of Viborg and is a part of the national film talent development organisation, Filmtalent. Every year Open Workshop supports numerous and diverse projects – from big animation film productions made by professionals to young aspiring animation talents working on their portfolios.

What is Filmtalent?
Filmtalent is a collaboration between the four major film workshops in Denmark: Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Viborg. The aim of the Filmtalent Fund is to develop national strategies for talent development in film and related media. You can read more here:

Do I have to apply for an Open Workshop residency?
Yes, see down below for more information on how and when you can apply for Open Workshop residency or financial support.

What is an Open Workshop residency?
An Open Workshop residency is an opportunity to work on your project and/or portfolio for a given number of weeks or months. The Open Workshop provides a workstation with access to software such as Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro, and all necessary materials and equipment. During a residency, Open Workshop also offers production supervision and planning, professional consulting from film/artistic consultants or individual project meetings with members of the staff at Open Workshop. Last but not least, you’ll be part of a creative space of likeminded animation professionals and have access to The Animation Workshop, VIA UC’s vast network of national and international guest professionals.

Many of our residents use their time at Open Workshop to develop their own projects such as animation fiction or documentary, games, graphic novels or any other animations related projects. Some also spend their time here to develop or improve their portfolios or show reels to apply for The Animation Workshop, VIA UC’s Bachelor of Arts programs or other artistic educations in Denmark and abroad.

There is also the option of applying for financial support – look under what kinds of support does The Open Workshop offer?

Be aware that Open Workshop is NOT a production company, and we do not provide staff to work on your project. However, we are able to find and cover the fees of consultants to help you with critical steps in your creative process, as well as cover project expenses and award cash grants to external productions by Danish studios.

What do Open Workshop look after when selecting artists for Open Workshop?
The Open Workshop accepts applications with projects in different stages of development and production – this means that the selection criteria depend on the specific project. However, when we are assessing your application and project some parameters of evaluation are important:
  • A strong story, though if you wish to show your technical skills through your project such as modelling and texturing, the narrative of your story becomes less important.
  • The visual side of your project.
  • A clear and precise description of your project and what you wish to achieve during an Open Workshop residency or with the financial support from OW.
  • A realistic budget and schedule.
  • Your motivation.
  • Experience – experience is not always a prerequisite for an accepted application at Open Workshop because our aim among other things is to mix new animation talent with more experienced animators. However, it is on some level expected that Open Workshop can evaluate on your previous work or art that you attach or link to in your application
You can read more about the criteria and evaluation procedure here.

2. Support from Open Workshop

What kinds of support does Open Workshop offer?
  • An Open Workshop residency: support in form of hosting and supporting animation-related projects.
  • The Open Workshop also organizes feedback, consulting, and individual mentorships with more experienced artists as well as various individual and group training situations and events for Open Workshop residents.
  • The Open Workshop provides residents with workstations, computers and software, Wacom boards, drawing tables and all necessary materials.
  • Housing. We have a limited number of rooms available to offer for free to Open Workshop artists. You can apply for a room through the application form

    • The Open Workshops primary form of support is in form of a residency but in some cases OW does support a production financially with a maximum amount of 20.000 Danish Kroner.

        • Development Support: support during the development phases of mostly larger-scale projects such as professional short films, feature films, TV shows, games and more. In some cases, this also includes salaries for crewmembers. An important aspect of the development support is to secure further development and production funding for the projects, and it is a main goal for Open Workshop that such projects are taken on, financed and produced by one or several Danish and/or European production companies.

        • Production Support: The Open Workshop can also be home to and (co-) produce productions both in large parts or entirely. This is mostly aimed at short films or music videos but also include numerous other projects such as books, music, web or games, etc. made by young talents who are making their first professional project or professionals who are taking a break from their career to realize a project of their own.

        • Festival distribution. Open Workshop can help sending out your animated film to a large number of international animation- and short film festivals.

            • Cross organizational talent development programs.

                • Quick Support: This support can only be used by current residents of Open Workshop. This support can be used if a resident wish to extend the stay at Open Workshop or by people who need short-duration support. The Quick Support has no deadlines and you can apply at all times during the year.

                Who does Open Workshop support?
                In general, Open Workshop supports primarily young Danish animation talents, but we also welcome experienced Danish and international artists and projects.
                There are 4 main target groups:
                • Pre-graduate young talents applying to test/develop their skills before applying to an artistic education (portfolios or animation tests, storyboard competitions, etc.).
                • Post-graduate young talents applying to polish their skills or make a first personal project as new professionals (low budget short films and music videos, show reels, short non-commercial commissioned films, etc.).
                • Professionals applying to take a break from the industry to make a personal project (short films and music videos, development for features or TV shows, graphic novels, books, etc.).
                • Young Danish studios applying for financial support to develop projects before or in connection to applying for development and production support from local, regional and state funds. In certain cases, the Open Workshop also hosts part of the production on such projects.

                What types of projects does Open Workshop support?
                The Open Workshop is interested in supporting any kind of animation-related project using any media and any format, as long as the stories/concepts and designs are strong.

                Projects supported and hosted by the Open Workshop include:
                • Portfolio creation and animation tests
                • Short films, trailers, and music videos
                • Documentary animation
                • Graphic novels, comics including online/interactive
                • Art books
                • Children’s books
                • Cross-media properties
                • Games for all platforms, iPad apps etc.
                • Installations, exhibitions
                • Cross-artistic projects/shows/theatre plays/concerts
                • Compositing on live action films
                • Development on feature films, TV shows, games, cross-media intellectual properties and any of the above types of projects

                Does Open Workshop provide online/remote mentoring?
                Unfortunately not. We do not have the resources to manage online mentoring of young talents as well as manage the in-house artists and projects.

                3. Applying for an Open Workshop residency

                Who can apply for an Open Workshop residency?
                In principle – everyone! One of the main aims of Open Workshop is to create a creative environment for people to do their own projects while also creating a space where people with different nationalities and animation experience can collaborate or work together on different projects. You will see some of our main target groups described above in relation to what kinds of support forms Open Workshop offers.

                When can I apply for an Open Workshop residency?
                The Open Workshop has four deadlines throughout the year for applying for an Open Workshop residency. The four application deadlines are in early February, May, August and November. For specific dates throughout the year, please have a look here.

                How do I apply for a workstation in Open Workshop?
                To apply for a workstation in Open Workshop you must fill out the online application form. Make sure you have all the details/information you need in order to apply!
                If you need more information about what you need to include in the application before you start, you can find more information here.

                4. Applying for financial support from the Open Workshop

                Who can apply for financial support from The Open Workshop?
                Just as anyone can apply for a workstation in Open Workshop, the same applies to the production support. However, Open Workshop addresses for the most part young animation talents working on their first professional film or project, and animation professionals who are taking a break from their careers to make their own project come to life. The Open Workshop also offers financial support to external productions by Danish studios.

                When can I apply for financial support from The Open Workshop?
                The Open Workshop has four deadlines throughout the year for applying for financial support. The four application deadlines are in early February, May, August and November. For specific dates throughout the year, please have a look here.

                How do I apply for financial support?
                To apply for financial support from the Open Workshop you must fill out the same online application form as if you were applying for a residency. You will find the online application form on the right hand menu here. If you are applying for funding, under the ‘what are you applying for?’ box you must state the amount of funding you apply for in Danish Kroner. The maximum amount of funding you can apply for at Open Workshop is 20.000 Danish Kroner.

                5. General questions about applying to The Open Workshop

                Can I apply for a workstation and financial support at the same time?
                No – you just must either apply for a workstation or financial support. If you were to apply for a workstation and financial support at the same time, the financial support would be viewed as your salary and this is not something Open Workshop offers.

                How do I apply for Quick Support?
                To apply for Quick Support, you must be a current resident of the Open Workshop. This support form has no application deadline and can be submitted whenever needed. You apply by choosing the ‘Open Workshop Quick Support (year)’ application on the right side menu, here.

                What is the application process?
                Once you have submitted your application for Open Workshop you will receive an e-mail stating that your application has been submitted and received. Hereafter the Open Workshop staff and an external film consultant will review and evaluate your application. This process takes about 4 to 5 weeks and you will receive an answer by e-mail with either approval of or rejection of your application. This e-mail will also include a short written explanation outcome of your application.

                Who are the film consultants?
                The Open Workshop chooses an external film consultant for each of the four application rounds during the year. The film consultant’s job in regards to your application is to give an artistic evaluation of your project and will form the basis for the final decision.
                The film consultants are selected on the basis of their work and experience in the animation industry. For each application round a new film consultant is chosen in order to maintain a high level of diversity of Open Workshop residencies and projects that are financially supported.

                Some of the Open Workshops former film consultants include:
                • Jeanette Nørgaard, Director, Producer & animator at Sønc.
                • Claus Toksvig Kjaer, Producer and partner at Nørlum, Oscar-nominated for Song of the Sea (2014).
                • Peter Smith, Partner at Tumblehead – Animation and Production House.
                • Søren Fleng, Executive Producer at Happy Flyfish Production ApS.

                Can I apply as an international artist?
                Yes, you can apply to Open Workshop as an international artist but The Open Workshop is financed by The Danish Film Institute to develop primarily Danish animation talent. Therefore, if you are an international artist who wants to apply for an Open Workshop residency, it is expected that you are a senior animator/artist from whom the young Danish talents can learn and maybe collaborate with during your stay at Open Workshop or in future collaborations and co-productions.

                Can we apply as two people or as a team?
                Yes – you can apply for more people than yourself for a residency, but please make this very clear in your application. Every application is evaluated separately, and there might be room for more artists. Please be aware that The Open Workshop only has a limited number of workstations, and even fewer rooms available, but we will try our best to accommodate your needs.

                Can I apply with more than one project?
                Yes, but you must do a separate application for each project. If it is a minor side-project you develop at the same time as your main project, you can include a short description in your application and submit only one application.

                6. If your application is approved

                What is the next step if I’ve received financial support?
                You have to contact the Open Workshop staff to have a payment contract made or for information about how to send an invoice to the workshop.

                I’ve been approved for a workstation in Open Workshop – what is next?
                If your application to an Open Workshop residency has been accepted, you will in the approval e-mail find which dates that Open Workshop has reserved a workstation for you. You are more than welcome to pop in to Open Workshop before your residency starts if you have any questions or want to see more of the place. On the day that your residency starts, you will be given a keycard to access the buildings, a login for the computer and of course your own workstation which you are free to decorate as you wish. Just come by The Open Workshop office.

                Do I need to credit Open Workshop somehow in the finished project?
                Yes. If Open Workshop is supporting the development or production of your project in any way (workstation, housing, grant), you will need to credit OW in your finished project.
                You will find the logo here
                Should you need the logo in a different version or color, please contact the OW staff.

                When crediting Open Workshop in your project please use the following phrase: “Supported by the Open Workshop department of The Animation Workshop, VIA UC”.

                Open Workshop retains no rights to your project, except self-promotion rights – this is also listed in the contract you sign when entering the workshop. Every year we must report to the Open Workshops funding bodies (The Danish Film Institute and Viborg Kommune) about all the creative projects that are being developed and produced in the workshop. We therefore need descriptions of the different projects, bios of the artists, stills and statistics that will allow the Open Workshop to receive funding while maintaining and improving the workshop in the future.

                I am an international artist – what should I do before arriving at The Open Workshop?
                If needed Open Workshop happily provides you with letters confirming your residency period and status as an artist at The Animation Workshop, VIA UC. You are responsible for acquainting yourself with the rules that apply to your stay in Denmark.
                On the Animation Workshop website, you will find links to what to do when travelling to Denmark in regards to studying, visas or working in Denmark

                Can I change my arrival and/or departure dates?
                Open Workshop can be flexible in terms of dates in most cases, but please get in contact with Open Workshop staff as quickly as possible to make another agreement.

                7. Staying at Open Workshop

                How long can I stay at Open Workshop, and can I prolong my stay?
                You can stay at Open Workshop for any number of weeks or months but the standard is six months in one residency period. If you wish to prolong your stay at the Open Workshop, you can use the Quick Support form to apply for an extension of your residency. If you leave Open Workshop but wish to come back another time, you are always welcome to reapply!

                Is housing available at Open Workshop? And what kind of housing do you offer?
                Yes, housing is available. When you apply for an Open Workshop residency, you will also be able to apply for Open Workshop housing in the form. This housing consists of your own private room and with a kitchen and bathroom facilities (4 toilets, 2 of them include showers) that is shared with other Open Workshop residents. The housing is located in one of the former barracks less than 100 meters from The Animation Workshop, VIA UC.
                If you are applying to Open Workshop to work on your portfolio, housing is unfortunately not available.

                What does a residency cost?
                Since Open Workshop is supported by The Danish Film Institute and Viborg municipality, a residency is completely free for the artists.
                If you are approved for housing in your Open Workshop application, then the room and utilities is free during your stay here. In terms of daily costs like groceries, Open Workshop does not provide money or any type of personal cash for its resident artists.

                Can I bring my family?
                The housing that Open Workshop offers is not suitable for a family since it is only an 8 square meter room with shared kitchen and bathroom, but if you wish to bring your family or have any special requests or questions please do not hesitate to write to us for more information.

                Can somebody pick me up from the airport?
                No, you will have to find your own way to Open Workshop. A very useful tool is the travel planner, which includes both trains and busses in all of Denmark. You can also get in touch with Open Workshop staff for suggestions.

                Can Open Workshop pay for my flight tickets?
                No, this is not in our budget. Your residency will start from the moment you arrive at the Open Workshop, but Open Workshop staff will be happy to make travel suggestions.

                Does Open Workshop cover meals?
                No, cannot cover meals for you during the residency. When we organize Open Workshop projects meetings where artists show updates from their projects and meet each other, Open Workshop buys lunch for everybody.

                Working hours - Is there any daily start time and end time?
                No, you manage your own time and work independently. However, you should always get in contact with Open Workshop staff if you feel like you need feedback on your work. We recommend that you work while the other artists are in the office, so you can get the most out of the environment.

                If you have another question that you cannot find the answer to here, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Open Workshop staff