Going global is the way forward for animation films

MUMBAI: In the emerging global scenario, animation is the new buzzword. The limits of quality and technology are being pushed constantly and workflow is not restricted to geographical boundaries. In fact, people are working in large scale, networked environments.

In studios such as Disney, Pixar, Sony and Warner, the average budget of an animation movie is close to $100 million (Rs 400 crore). The latest Dreamworks animation flick Bee Movie being budgeted at $ 150 million (Rs 600 crore).

With such big monies involved there is a need to spread risks of creativity and finance, increase geographical areas for content exploitation and provide access to media funds available in different countries, even tap global revenues from licensing and merchandising.

Commenting on the same at a seminar organized at FICCI Frames, DQ Entertainment head Tapaas Chakravarti said, "Various direct and indirect collaborations in fields of creativity and finance need to be worked out in relation to IP rights, graphic designing and illustration, co-production, distribution and broadcast rights, equity funding, subsidies funding from broadcasters, funding from consumer product and service companies game development etc."

Crest Animation CEO A K Madhavan said, "Animation content provides content producers the scope to tap global markets and standards, therefore they should not go regional. There are a few challenges Indian companies face at the global level due to lack of awareness of Indian animation properties in the global scenario."

Offering a broadcaster’s perspective on co-production alliances for animation films in UK, Plum Trees TV managing director Theresa Plummer said, "Co-production and co-funding is the way forward because there is not enough money. Various factors involved in concept selection are story, its genre and international appeal, longevity, author and producers pedigree. But in UK broadcasters generally do not prefer co-productions."

Putting forward a French broadcaster’s perspective and regulations of France, TF1 head of global acquisition and co-funding Dominique Poussier said, "A French broadcaster telecasts 1000 hours of animated content on a yearly basis. There is an obligation to invest, and if you invest more, you get more creative control. In France the creative control has to always be in the hands of French producers in the case of an international co-production."

Countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Singapore have various schemes for international funding and subsidies for animation films that may be capitalized. For the animation drive to pick up with appropriate gusto, it needs to be global all the way.

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Rohini Bhandari

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