Indian Anime

The global digital animation industry is set to grow to $ 70 billion by this year. The Indian animation industry is expected to hit $ 15 billion in 2008. Big numbers pointing to India’s next big outsourcing boom. The labor arbitration figures are absolutely fantastic – $ 125 / hour in the US vs. $ 25 / hour in India for animators. $ 75 million to $ 175 million for a feature film in the US vs. $ 1- $ 15 million in India.

As in the software industry, much of the growth is driven by offshoring and contract services. Original productions are still very rare, although this month Sahara India Mass Communication and Percept India launched an animation feature called Hanuman in association with Silvertoons. Hanuman is the Hindu monkey god, a kind of superhero who can move mountains, eat the moon, fly (of course) …

The quality of indigenous animated films has traditionally been quite pathetic due to huge budget constraints. Networks pay in the range of $ 500 to $ 1,500 per 20-25 minute episode of an animated television series, where it costs between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 per minute of finished animation, bringing the cost of that episode to $ 100k +. The television economy as it stands is not working and must be redesigned if animation channels are to continue to broadcast quality productions.

The movie economy, on the other hand, DOES work. $ 1- $ 5 million is still a relatively low-budget film, and if India can develop enough sophistication in storytelling, directing, and animation, I see this as a very viable route to trying to build an anime-style genre. Japanese. Princess Mononoke, the crown jewel of this genre, had a production budget of $ 20 million and grossed more than $ 150 million worldwide. Needless to say, it was hugely successful in Japan in the first place, but it also grossed $ 2.3 million in the US.

Therefore, for India, the goal should be to develop a genre like anime with deep and exciting plots, exotic images and settings, to make the films successful in India first, and then to market them abroad. The economics of cinema can be extremely compelling.