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Indian companies yet to tap the scope of animation on the world scene

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Speaking on "Marketing Indian Animation Abroad", Firdaus Kharas, co-founder, UTV International, delved into what India needs to look at to forge ahead in animation on the international arena.

The Indian presence at international trade fairs where there is a potential for many business deals should be enhanced. "In the past five years it was for the first time that some Indian animation companies exhibited at the NATPE 2001 (National Association of Television Programme Executives) held at Las Vegas in January this year which is a good development," Kharas noted.

Speaking about the areas that the countries advanced in animation are looking for, Kharas said the area with maximum potential was 2D animation. India should pitch for this segment if it wanted to be noticed in the international animation scenario. Actual animation production is done in 2D which normally required 15,000 to 18,000 drawing and when these put together contributes to a 22-24 minutes animation episode.

Looking at it from the costing perspective, a 22 to 24 minute episode would put you back by $ 200,000 to $250,000 in the US and Canada while in Europe it would be $250,000 to $300,000. A similar project in an Asian country however, would work out to $50,000 to $75,000.

In 2D animation, at the moment most of the pre production is done in the west. India does not really figure in the picture except for a few companies and is competing with countries like China, Philippines and Korea.

The quality of work that comes out from Asia is often below expectations. According to Kharas, the two crucial areas very important for western productions were meeting deadlines and quality of work.

Kharas urged Indian animation firms to participate in international conventions, which is a platform to exhibit what the country has to offer.

Dr V Chandrasekaran, chairman CEO Pentamedia Graphics Ltd, saw a tremendous scope for animation with more television channels opening up. Currently if there are four million hours of programming potential for television alone and if even 10 per cent of these hours are considered for animation programmes for children there is a lot of scope, Chandrasekaran said.

Rajesh Shah, CMD, Rajtaru Videosonic LTD, cited the example of the Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator, done mainly in India to illustrate the work that companies in India were capable of. According to Shah, the industry needed to plan better since many times due to tight schedules, quality was compromised. "The difficulty that we face is producers coming to us at the last minute and asking the work to be completed in a week or fortnight's time," he lamented.

Sumati Shridharan, vice-president Pentamedia's presentation of the future of animation in India with Pentamedia Graphics as a case study had to be wound up abruptly since it came through more as a promo for the company rather than providing any light on the subject at hand, a delegate complained.

Session:Animation:India the New Hub

Moderator:DR V Chandrasekaran, Chairman & CEO,Pentamedia Graphics

Speakers:

Firdaus Kharas, Cofounder, UTV International - Marketing Indian Animation Abroad

Rajesh Shah, MUV Technologies LTD - 3D

Ketan Mehta, Managing Director, Maya Entertainment LTD - Creating Animation Abroad

Sumati Shridharan, Vice-President, Pentamedia Graphics - Future of Animation in India

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