Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Globalization Tango

A couple of weeks back, an animator standing in the hallway of a Big Name Animation studio said to me:

We had a meeting with [the Top Dog] last Wednesday. And of course somebody asked him: "Are you sending the work to India?" And he said "No, it's six years too late for that. Wages have come up, the dollar is down, and it isn't cost-effective anymore."

Which doesn't mean outsourcing of product isn't going to happen, as this article from New Delhi attests:

... With global players like Walt Disney, Imax, Warner Bros signing contracts with Indian animation companies for outsourcing and co-production, it is expected that the animation industry in India can touch $950 million by 2009 ...

The problem for India, according to Jaiddep Ghosh (Director of KPMG Advisory Services) is infrastructure and staying up to speed with the large players. “Animation needs a much larger investment and longer production circles ... Although India is the largest media consuming market in the world, [it's] only 1 per cent of the US market size which is estimated at $10 billion" ...

Another wrinkle, which I see from the immigration visas that come across my desk, is that the top foreign talent that American studios want doesn't hang around the lower-paying global neighborhoods for very long. When a European, Israeli or Indian animator begins to acquire a reputation (and many do), he or she migrates to where the pay is higher. Most times, that means coming to Southern California, although the Bay Area and east coast are also occasional destinations.

Globalization is a dance where the participants, large and small, pirouette in multiple directions.


Site Meter