Dan Roth wrote a sweet article on AD Vision, the American anime distribution and production powerhouse, for Fortune last year. I just stumbled across the version of it on his blog.
One great example of their approach: bringing fans into the creative process, and very early to boot:
The flip side is also true: The fans can help wreck a show if they don't like what they're seeing. With that in mind, Ledford makes a point of keeping his fans in the loop. Since 2003 he's been shopping the idea of making a live-action version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the same show that spurred Ledford's stalker--it is to otaku what Star Trek is to Trekkies. Ledford signed on the Weta Companies, the New Zealand special-effects firm behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the new King Kong, to come up with plans for what the Evangelion world might look like. But instead of micromanaging the project, Ledford had Weta answer to two Evangelion fanatics at his company.I'm thinking he may not have written the title, though:
Richard Taylor, Weta's co-founder, says he's never experienced anything quite like it. Twice a week he'd have a conference call with the fans at ADV, sending them renderings of his designs for things like the 100-foot-tall robots and getting in return their encyclopedic take on the interpretations. "These are people who could be considered scholars on the world of Evangelion," says Taylor. "We had to appease them and find their approval."
Anime: It's....Profitmon! [danielroth.net]