Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Co-Production Deals

... mean co-production risks.

Shanghai Hippo Animation Design and Australia’s Vue Group are expanding their 3D animation co-venture.

Last December the two entities unveiled plans to co-produce three films with aggregate budgets of more than $57 million.

This week Shanghai Hippo Animation Design CEO Kerr Xu and Vue Group MD Alan Lindsay told IF they will collaborate on four to five films a year. They say they are able to produce 3D animation much faster and far more cheaply than the US studios.

“We don’t need 20 executive producers. We do the character design in- house and I direct, produce and write," Kerr tells IF on a visit to Vue’s VFX facility in Bunbury WA. “We save an awful lot of money.” ...

It's not just about saving money. You must also have a movie that film-goers want to see. Without that, you're nowhere. Because you bring in a really inexpensive movie that nobody goes to see, you still lose money. And you're not just dead in the water, you're circling the drain. Witness this from early 2009:

... Trade sources confirm that Bollywood has had a bad run with animation this year. Between Hanuman Returns, Krishna, Roadside Romeo, Dashavatar, Ghatotkach and My Friend Ganesha parts 1 and 2, insiders estimate animation losses will total up to about Rs 70 crore.

"Indian animation has suffered quite a few hiccups,'' says a trade source. "What's worse is that many animation films that are complete and awaiting release have no takers.'' ...

Memo to Hippo Animation Design and Vue Group: It's not enough to make an animated feature with a lower budget, you must make a picture that people want to see.

On the other hand, despite the sad box office results for Indian animated features a half-dozen years ago, the demand for animation is growing, not shrinking. South America has produced profitable animated features, also France, also Russia. Just because many of these specimens don't get a release in the United States doesn't mean that they don't prosper in other parts of the globe.

It isn't just Pixar .... or Disney ... or DreamWorks that does well with cartoons. Wrapped up in domestic product the way we are, it's easy to lose sight of that reality.


Darrel said...

Once again...It's the studio exec's egos creating grand delusions within their owns minds...

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