Indian animation studios much sought after in US, UK

Mumbai, March 23 | Updated: Mar 24 2006, 05:30am hrs
High value content creation from the Indian animation industry has resulted in unprecedented interest in India. Indian studios are getting more high value work from North America and the UK. Visual effects, 2D and 3D animation are what seem to be raking in the moolah for most animation studios.

"The reason goes beyond cost arbitrage. Indians are able to deliver high value work," says Autodesk Media and Entertainment division senior manager (product marketing) Maurice Patel.

Speaking to FE on the sidelines at FICCI FRAMES-2006, Toonz Animation director (operations) Hari Verma said, "We're going to be starting work on a musical for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) by May this year. We've also bagged contracts from Paramount and Marvel Studios." Maya Entertainment CEO Rajesh Turakhia also revealed, "We've got a $5 million project for a 26-part pre-school series from a television channel in the UK. We'll also be commencing work on a $1 million project for a major gaming company by August this year." Mr. Turakhia added, "Two-three years earlier, Indian studios were going abroad in order to secure projects. Today, everyone in India has projects."

But it's not just projects that India is attracting. After Rhythm & Hues, the Mumbai arm of the Hollywood visual effects studio that was the lead effects maker on "Narnia,"other US-based animation studios are also looking at setting up their studios in India.

Moreover, Indian companies like Hyderabad-based Spirit are even beginning to do product research for increased photo-realistic special effects and better quality animation work. "There are technical problems in animation," says Autodesk's Patel.