Thursday, May 03, 2012

Overseas Subcontracting

... is ever-changing. Our friends at China Daily tell us:
Shrinking creative talent base a major concern for Chinese animation industry, experts say ...

In the last two years, the animation industry has seen a sea change with the focus increasingly turning toward originality and creativity, rather than outsourcing for global studios.

Not surprisingly, it is television programs that account for more than 45 percent of the business for most animation studios, figures provided by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences show. ...

"Most of the animation companies in China are still surviving on outsourcing orders from overseas companies. There is still a huge gap between China and Western countries in core and sophisticated techniques," says [Song Yuefeng, director of Shanghai Paladin Max studio.] "It would be better for Chinese animation companies to consider purchasing technologies from Singapore, Thailand, or Europe, or look at more ways to bring overseas professionals to work in China." ...

As professionals often tell us, India and China are still behind the artistic levels of California, New Zealand, Australia, France and the land to our north. At the same time, salary levels in these emerging countries are rising steadily, while salaries in the U.S. and Europe are stagnant or falling.

So the cost savings are dwindling, even as the quality of work lags behind the best of the West. Like The Wise Old CG Animator told me two months ago:

You can go get inexpensive labor a lot of places. I mean, you can go get people waiting for work in front of Home Depot and bring them back to the studio and plunk them down in front of a computer. But if they can't do the work, what good is it to pay them eight dollars an hour? They still can't do the work."

"Same thing applies to a lot of the sub-contracting facilities overseas. Some studios are good, but many are terrible. And it doesn't help the art form (or box office) if you get crappy product you can't use or make money with, no matter how cheap the product is."


hoopcooper said...

Absolutely true...we need to get the word out that it doesn't save anyone any money or time to send your work to Malaysia, only to have to redo it somewhere else. with the shortage of talent overseas, many studios have an A team that gets the work, and a B team that does the work once the contract is signed.

Friends in Australia are currently producing a cartoon using a US studio. It costs more up front, but they get what they want the first time.

But producers looking to trim budgets up-front are hard to convince.

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