Jadooworks bags $4 mn deal with U.S. studios

Tuesday, 24 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: An Indian animation company has inked two deals worth over $4 million to produce software for the American television and direct-to-home (DTH) markets.

Jadooworks, the two-year-old Bangalore-based animation company with major investments from software services company vMoksha Technologies, will be partnering San Francisco's Wild Brain studio and Guardian Angel Animation to produce a 26-episode TV series and DTH software aimed at pre-school audiences.

"This year, our revenues from the U.S. have gone up from 20 percent to 80 percent, a total reversal of last year when most of our revenues came from the domestic market," Jadooworks CEO Rajiv Marwah told a news conference here.

"There are a lot of commonalities between Wild Brain and Jadooworks. They are a perfect match for our creative and technical ambitions and also share our drive to make this series the best kid's show on American television," Wild Brain executive producer Jeff Fino said.

The deal with Guardian Angel Animation is for "The Zoony Bin", a 50-minute film based on characters designed by award winning U.S. toy maker Jeff Muncie.

Termed an edutainment feature that depicts traditional family values, "The Zoony Bin" is slated for completion by November 2004.

"As a start up animation company, we have greatly benefited from the Indian studio's expertise in global production," Guardian Angel Animation CEO Susan Wales said.

Jadooworks would double its current staff strength by the time the work on the two projects peaks in the coming year. From the current 155, it would shoot up to 300, said Marwah.

"The animation industry in India has so much of work that there is little competition among companies here. It is competition with different countries. Such work has always been outsourced from the U.S. to companies in Japan, Vietnam or Korea in the past. It is only in the last four years that the Indian industry has come up," Jadooworks COO Ashish Kulikarni.

India's fledgling animation industry earned a meagre $500 million last year. In the next two years, this could go up to $1.5 billion. By 2006, the industry would provide jobs to 20,000 people, up from the current 4,500.

"The global market, which is currently $35 billion, would go up to $50 billion by 2006. This is the opportunity for India and it is really for people with good drawing skills, colour sense, acting and facial expressions coupled with some IT skills to pick up the gauntlet," Kulkarni added.

Source: IANS
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