Be Creative, Be Competitive

Date:   Thursday , December 04, 2008

What I see as a hot trend in the Animation space is that most companies have made a shift from offshore animation services to creating their own IP, in order to go up the value chain. Initially, after the success of Hanuman movie, many companies went this route, by producing mythological movies. Very recently, the trend has changed and many companies have intentionally shifted from mythological subjects to general entertainment premises, like ‘Roadside Romeo’. A lot of projects will also be seen in the near future, which will be a combination of live action and animation, as this will reduce the cost and time spent making the films (for instance, My friend Ganesha).

Besides, I believe that the gaming industry will grow much faster than the animation industry, as the international and national growth for mobile games, PC games, and handheld games will be increasing. However, the animation industry will eventually grow into a mature Industry, which will take at least another five to six years in India, for the audience to start appreciating good animated movies, like in the U.S. Right now, the animation industry in India is still in its nascent stage and we have to improve animation quality and output to compete globally.

Entrepreneurs are facing a lot of challenges in this segment of the industry as well, as the funding for animation companies and animated properties have dropped drastically. Bollywood producers are scrapping animation projects and are generally reluctant in financing animation projects. The market downturn has affected the entertainment industry and will continue to affect the animation industry for the next two to three years, as animation companies and animated projects are capital intensive and many animated movies have failed in India, adding to the uncertainty of the market. Well, entrepreneurs have to get more creative and be more cost effective, to survive in this market.

The author is CEO, Animation Dimensions. Animation Dimensions, an Animations firm based in San Jose, California, has its studios in Mumbai, Chennai, and Thiruvananthapuram. The firm is currently into original content creation for the film, broadcast, and wireless media.