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News18 » Business
2-min read

Animation industry looks for talent

Indian animation companies are getting work from big clients abroad. But they have very few experts to handle it.

News18test sharma |

Updated:April 1, 2007, 12:45 PM IST
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Animation industry looks for talent
Indian animation companies are getting work from big clients abroad. But they have very few experts to handle it.

New Delhi: If there is one industry in India that’s facing dearth of talented professionals, it is the animation industry. On one hand the companies are getting work from big clients abroad, while on the other hand they have very few experts to handle that work.

While it is an incredible feat that Indian animation industry is growing internationally and at a fast pace, there is an urgent requirement of more animators and graphics artists. The companies might have to resort to "reverse outsourcing" to fill up the talent gap.

"Until recently, Indian companies were relying on production works outsourced by Disney, Paramount, Imax or Sony. Now they are confident of taking up pre-production, production, and even post-production work on their own," Director, Pentamedia Graphics Sumathi Sreedharan, told PTI.

Several animation projects in India, produced by indigenous firms have come out very well. Hanuman, Little Krishna, Ramayan, Pandavas, Legend of Buddha, Ali Baba and Son of Ali Baba—the animation films produced by big animation houses have many more projects at their disposal.

The Rs 7-crore success of Hanuman which was released in 2005, proved the fact that Indian audience has "grown up" for a full-length animation film, says K Chandrashekaran, creative director, Toonz Animation.

However, a serious challenge before the industry is a shortage of professionals. To fill the gap, it could go in for reverse outsourcing. The cost of producing a half-an-hour animated programme in the US and Canada is $2,50,000 to $4,00,000 whereas in India it’s just $60,000.

"Though India has an edge over other countries with regard to cost factor, due to the deficit in our talent pool, production could be outsourced to countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan," Chandrashekaran noted.

A survey done by Arena Animation Academy found that there would be a requirement of three lakh professionals in the filed of animation and related services by 2008 in the country.

R Krishnan, executive director of Aptech Ltd, the parent body of Arena revealed that the industry has only 20,000 skilled hands at present.

Global assessment firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers in its recently released report on the Indian entertainment industry, predicted that the animation sector, which now earns Rs 1,200 crore, would mop up Rs 4,200 crore by 2009.

Several independent projects are coming up at animation houses, including ones on filmstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth.

The film on Bachchan has been initiated by Toonz while they are still working on Hanuman-2 in association with Percept Pictures, which places the "baby simian god" in the contemporary world and is set to hit the theatres soon.

Adlabs Films Ltd plans two films in 2008—one on Tamil superstar Rajnikant and another on children apparel retailing brand, Gini & Jony. Media Factory India has lined up a $5 million 3-D project, Magik for release in the summer of 2008. BR Films plans to release its Krishnaleela in May.

Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. has lined up Ghatothkach: Master of Magic for later this year. Pentamedia, which has already produced six animated films on its own, is working on Sindbad sequels, Tarzan and Aliens and Ramayana.

With excerpts from PTI

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