Thursday, June 05, 2014

Doldrums in the Middle Kingdom

There is, apparently, an ongoing quality issue.

They may be increasing in quantity but according to industry experts, Chinese animation has seen very little improvement in quality in recent years. They criticized the Children's entertainment industry for being too simplistic and lacking creativity and innovation. ...

With twenty thousand minutes of film every year, China has seen an expansion in the market for animated film over the last few years. However, as the number of films produced has increased, the quality of Chinese animation has been criticized by industry experts and the viewers.

Recently, movie director Yan Yongqi said that children's entertainment in China suffers from a lack of creativity. His sentiment is shared by many others.

while the technical aspects of animation have improved over the years, storytelling in today's children's entertainment has become stagnant. ... The lack of respect for intellectual properties is a major issue that is plaguing the animation industry. The large numbers of piracy cases has discouraged many talented animators from working in the industry. Instead, they have given up on their passion to pursue jobs in other areas such as gaming. ...

China is as technologically savvy as any country on the planet. But it suffers from the same handicaps that hobble many aspirants to cartoonland's crown jewels. The country has eager students, but no talent pool of seasoned story constructionists. There is also the issue of business models. If China doesn't incentivize quality work, it will probably end up with substandard product.

In recent years the Middle Kingdom has done what many countries that sub-contract animation work have done. It's made pipelines as efficient as possible, emphasizing quantity and quick turn-arounds. That's okay when you're striving to meet an American company's t.v. schedule, rendering footage that's "good enough", but innovation and original thinking go out the window.

And it's why, as industry pros have told me, that the most talented employees ultimately go elsewhere to fulfill their ambitions. They hit their job shop's iron ceiling and realize quality isn't part of the company business model, and so go elsewhere.

When mediocrity is the corporate model and philosophy, mediocrity is what corporations end up with.


Chris Sobieniak said...

Shame really.

Reminded myself of this little doozy many years back that shows just how not-quite-there they tend to be (at least this was from a decade ago).

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