Television

India has 2-year lead in CGI animation over Asian rivals: Mike Young

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/12/15/Untitled-1_25.jpg?itok=kLor3jAZ

MUMBAI: Think cartoons in India and it is still the 2-D imageries of Bugs Bunny, The Roadrunner, Tom and Jerry and their ilk that really capture the imagination. Indian tales find hardly any space in this frame.



But that could all be about to change, and soon, asserts US-based independent animation producer Mike Young. The future is in computer-generated animation (CGI) and it is here that India can take on the world, says the Welsh grandfather. And Young should know. One of the most prolific independent animation studios working in the US today, his company Mike Young Productions (MYP), has had the big boys of animation like Dreamworks and Pixar sitting up and taking notice.

 

Young, who is in India brainstorming over ongoing co-production work with Crest Communications Ltd in Mumbai and the two-year-old mediaworks division of Tata Group's product design arm Tata Elxsi Limited, is all praise for the quality of CGI work that is coming out of India. Tata Elxsi is doing the production for Max and the Mechanicals, which MYP is doing for Sony Pictures.



It is about Crest that he is particularly gung-ho though. "Every other studio in India should kiss Crest's 'a**e' because they have really opened the eyes of the West to what Indian animation is capable of," he says.



Young cites the example of the popular PBS series, Jakers! The Adventures Of Piggley Winks, for which Crest did the production work. "Jakers! is probably the best quality CGI kids' programme ever made. It's now cleaning up the awards. It's just won a huge award last Friday (9 January), the Humanitas Award. It's been nominated for two Annies, which are the animation Oscars and we're up for the Emmys as well."



"Correct me if I'm wrong, but no Indian studio has ever won these sort of awards or been nominated even. That's where we've got to in the space of two years," avers the veteran, who has over 12 years behind him in the business.



While Jakers! was a 'gun for hire'(fee-based) deal, Young says Crest is now doing the right thing by getting into co-productions. Crest and MYP are currently doing two $ 10 million co-productions - Dive, Olly, Dive and Pet Aliens.



Such is Young's belief in Crest's potential that MYP has just taken a stake in it. Says Young, "My interest in Crest is that they've started to own properties. We wouldn't have invested in Crest if it were just a 'gun for hire' operation."



"This is so different from the 'immature business' of a few year's ago. When they started producing Jakers! they had 100 members working on one episode. We sent an organisational methods person here and now they have six teams of 20 with each team working on one episode. They are now producing a film (one episode) every week," he states.



"The rehearsal is now for a higher quality feature quality film. If we can do something comparable to what Pixar has done with Finding Nemo (which was made for a budget of $ 100 million) within $ 20 million, isn't there a hell of a market?"



Pixar! Now aren't they getting ahead of themselves a bit? Young doesn't think so. "I think we can. We would do all the pre-production, all the design, write the scripts, do the storyboards, cast the stars."



"We begin pre-production in June, especially the work on the 3-D models and Crest will start production work in October. Crest will largely be doing animation on that film."



Young also sees a potential in taking Indian stories onto an international platform. "They (Crest) were showing me an Indian series (Tenali Raman) they were making for Singapore television. I told them in future show me the stuff before you start. Some little tweaks and nips and tucks and it can be an international film. It doesn't have to be just an Indian film. If they're going to make something, let's make something so you can sell all over the world. Sometimes, that little bit of outside expertise is all that's required."



The jocular animator, however, also offered a reality check on the kind of international business animation is generating out of India at present. Dismissing some of the numbers that are being thrown around as highly exaggerated, he says, "The reality is that total annual production out of India on animation is about $ 25 million. The plus side of this is that growth over for next few years conservatively is 40-50 per cent."



And its in 3D CGI from where that growth will come, he asserts. "Indians have stolen the market, they've won that ground. The traditional animation powers in Asia, Korea, China and Taiwan for instance were very slow in converting from 2D to 3D. As you know Dreamworks and Disney have closed their 2D productions. What it means is that the Koreans are scrambling like Hell to catch up. India has probably got a two-year lead."



Young also throws in a word of caution to all would be investors. "The problem is of course there is an element of na?veté among some of those who are investing in animation businesses that have no hope," he points out.



And what's the next big idea that he has up his sleeve? Taking a leaf out of Aamir Khan's Lagaan, the man whose whole immediate family seems to be involved in the animation business says he wants to put out a series around cricket. The characters in the serial would be the animals associated with the countries that play the game (elephant from India, kiwi from New Zealand, kangaroo from Australia, etc.)



And who would he pitch it to? How about the respective cricket boards to finance the series, he says, only half in jest.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/cc.jpg?itok=vyxpkA3V
Comedy Central sets pace for ultimate celebration with over 100 hours of non-stop FRIENDS ultra marathon for its 6th birthday

Birthdays and New Years are great occasions to make resolutions for participating in marathons. However, this is one marathon which calls for hanging up your running shoes and grabbing the best spot in front of the telly with a bowl of munchies to keep you going because, for the first time ever in...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/usports.jpg?itok=kTmil1B-
U Sports launches India's first ever Multi-Platform Multi-Game E-Sports Championship - U Cypher with MTV

The Indian E-Sports scenario is all set for a major revamp as U Sports, one of India’s biggest sports business companies in association with India’s No. 1 Youth Brand, MTV, announces the premiere of their all new month-long championship, U Cypher with MTV. Premiering today, on 19th January, the...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/dth.jpg?itok=SKeBAh70
TV ownership increased by 14% in 2017: IRS

After a gap of four years, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which documents the growth of the media industry, has been released for 2017. The survey methodology was criticised in 2014 and, therefore, was halted for an upgrade. This time, the sample size has been increased by 34 per cent to 3.2...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/challenge.jpg?itok=evdSw-BZ
CNN-News18 launches 'If I Were FM Challenge'

As part of its Budget programming, CNN-News18 is launching the ‘If I were FM Challenge’. The campaign will encourage viewers to contribute their suggestions for the Union Budget. The channel will run an extensive on-air campaign to promote the same.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/BBC.jpg?itok=JOGTF9zH
BBC World News to Broadcast 'China's Chat Girls'

Lele Tao is an internet superstar in China’s $3 billion dollar ‘live streaming’ industry. With more than a million fans she can earn thousands of dollars a day singing, dancing, flirting, or often just chatting into her webcam. Fans buy her virtual gifts which she redeems for cash. In return she...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/anupam.jpg?itok=fMDsUqO6
PKL season 6 and 7 dates announced

The second most watched domestic league in India, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League owned by Mashal Sports and Star India announced the dates of sixth and seventh season.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/star-bharat.jpg?itok=kT6YtkU0
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/aaj-tak-barc.jpg?itok=4sc6BHYP
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/karan-bajaj.jpg?itok=jxlg_oWY
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories