(I’ve been busy with the subsidy stuff so apologies for not posting as often.)
Things are looking grim in India’s fledgling animation industry:
Pankaj Khandpur, the creative director and head of production, visual computing labs at Tata Elxsi, which has done the special effects for Arjun and prior to that Roadside Romeo, sees a vicious circle firmly in place instead of a virtuous cycle.
“There is no animation market in India and because a few that were made failed there are no more being made. And television budgets are way too low to support good quality animation,” he says. Quality animation movies cost between Rs 20 crore ($3.5M USD) and Rs 40 crore ($7M USD)and at least a quarter of that in case of television.
I’ve routinely posted my skepticism of the idea that “it’s all going to India.” Just last year I pointed to another article: “Does Indian Animation Need A Monkey Wrench?” The article pinned the hopes of the Indian animation industry on “Delhi Safari” which was supposed to come out October of 2011. Did it ever come out?
It seems that each year hype gets built up over an Indian animated film that routinely misses the mark. I found this thread on and Indian VFX forum to provide an interesting perspective. It seems to me that cheap labor isn’t the threat, its artificial pricing through subsidized labor that is.
It also seems to me that the narrative is changing in other industries. A recent report concluded that outsourcing to India will begin to decline in 2014 and will end in 8 to 10 years. Another article points out that businesses are choosing locations with higher labor costs instead of the cheapest. On top of all that, India’s economy seems to be stalling. Just this week the Indian rupee hit an all time low with the US dollar.
Flat-Earthers have routinely touted the rise of India and have concluded that the work will all go away to India. They’ve said this for over a decade now. So exactly when is this supposed to happen? I’d like to mark the date on my calendar.