Sunday, November 25, 2012

He'll be Frank

Says Indian visual effects designer V Srinivas Mohan:

"Out of the 400-odd VFX and animation companies in our country, only a dozen of them are really doing creative work. The others are merely doing labour-intensive tasks like wire removal, rotoscope, keying and match moving. These tasks can be done by training anyone for that specific purpose." ...

Then the Times of India goes on to tell us ...

VFX and animation industry experts feel that the industry has been in bad shape for the last seven to eight years after the Hollywood studios hitched upon the idea of cutting down costs incurred in visual effects by opting to outsource jobs. These studios merely see India as a destination for cheap labour. ...

The reason that Disney, that DreamWorks Animation, that various visual effects houses have set up facilities in India is because it's cheaper.

If you thought it might be because American executives love partying in Mumbai or visiting ancient Hindu temples, or lifting up the Indian economy to be nice guys, you can now retire those notions and smell the caffeine bubbling on Reality's big stove.

It's money, brothers and sisters. Just like always. If the entertainment conglomerates believed they could get the most bang for their bucks in Glendale or Burbank, that would be where all the work would be done.

But as I've said before, money is a double-edged sword. It's the reason work goes overseas in the first place, and it's also the reason foreign sub-contracting studios can never quite raise their quality enough to get more of the "money shots." Their most skilled and ambitious employees get frustrated with the roto and wire removal, and leave to go someplace where the bar is higher and pay better.

I've watched this phenomenon occur for twenty-four years, and the dynamics haven't changed very much. And I doubt it will be changing anytime soon.


Chris Sobieniak said...

Really sad.

Elan said...

I think India needs time to develop its talent, artists are still young. Theres no domestic market for animation in India like US or Japan. Give a decade or 2 and there would be a talent pool. Remember Indian artists aren't responsible for outsourcing. I'm sure the likes of R&H and DW are reaping benefits slowly. If there's good market all over the world with good talent pool there would be good animation and VFX in many movies.

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