Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Global Talent Web

These days the Animation Guild is getting immigration visas from game studios, visual effects facilities, and animation studios at a rapid clip. Animators, compositors, tech directors from overseas are coming into the country to work on projects on both coasts, but mainly this one.

The Guild reviews O-1 visas and supporting O-2 visas, then writes letters of objection or support. Sometimes it gets hectic. Sometimes we're cranking letters out like a small publishing house.

But the talent flows in two direction, there's a global animation industry out there, competing for talent, and not just on the artistic side. There is also a steady flow of executives some from overseas to the States, but most going the other way. Like for instance: ...

A former animation studio chief at Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. has joined Singapore’s One Animation to spearhead a push into original content creation, TBI has learned.

Industry veteran John McKenna will oversee One’s current slate, which comprises Oddbods and Insectibles, and look at developing new multiplatform IP.

“Development is my key priority,” he told TBI this morning. “We want to create the right atmosphere within our studio, where our people feel valued, which will cultivate a culture in which people want to create new intellectual property.”

McKenna career has seen him work on major television and film productions for major US studios, as well on projects in LA, Berlin, Mumbai and Paris. He ran London studios for Disney and Warner during the 1990s, and was senior VP and general manager of 20th Century Fox Animation between 1998 and 2001.

He joins another kids industry veteran, Bettina Koeckler, who joined One in July to lead a push into consumer products. She also has studio experience, having spells at Sony and Fox. ...

A lot of global companies have caught wise to the reality that the animation biz, done right, cam make said companies cargo holds full of money. Current thinking is that American execs with big-time animation experience on their resumes can increase the odds of success.

The theory's debatable, since a number of expatriates have tried and failed, over multiple decades, to boost this or that Asian/Indian studio into orbit. But offshore companies are ever hopeful, so the idea will continue to be tested.


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