Thursday, April 10, 2008

All Roads Lead to Mumbai

The global cartoon workplace and market is always with us:

... Turner International India is now chalking out aggressive growth strategies for India.

Turner will independently launch its animation theatrical business in the country and is also planning a Hollywood-centric entertainment channel in partnership with Warner Bros.

For its animation business, Turner will establish a new “multi-million dollar business unit” to develop and produce animation films to be released primarily in the Indian market and expand its current output of live-action television series ...

This morning, I was on the phone with an Imagi exec, listening to what that Hong Kong-based company's needs are for L.A. animation artists:

"Imagi really wants a relationship with L.A.-based talent for animated films it wants to produce. And it wants longer-term employment contracts to make sure people stay on board through the whole production ..."

What I see on a weekly basis, with board artists, with c.g. supervisors, is how animation is more and more a global enterprise. And how, if you've got the chops, cartoon companies here or abroad will hire you, and you'll find a job somewhere. Some employment will be in L.A. Other jobs will be in Canada, France, or India. The interlocking networks are pushing the labor markets in all directions. Said Steve Marcopoto, president, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific and Anshuman Mishra - MD South Asia:

“This is a natural progression to our expertise in kids’ television through Cartoon Network and POGO. Our animation production unit will be set up in Mumbai and will target producing about two full-length animated movies in a year and the first movie will be released in 2009,” he said. Marcopoto did not rule out a possibility of co-productions with either Warner Bros or local animation studios for these films.

I see a steady stream of O-1 visas flowing across my desk. I also have lunch with American technical directors up for jobs in Shanghai on Chinese animated features. It's a big, interconnected world out there. And sometimes it works for local talent, and sometimes not.


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