Plenty of jobs for animators in India
Talking of jobs in India, the animation industry in India is virtually exploding! This is what Asssocham says:
Currently, the Indian animation industry employs around 7000-10,000 animators in India and is facing immediate demand of manpower 30,000. India will need skilled professionals like creative animators, conceptualisers, visualisers, 3D modellers, character designers, digital effects artists and so on who will be able to handle multimedia softwares such as 3D studio Max, Maya, Tictactoon etc.
As if this isn’t enough – TV channels and producers of soaps are demanding the visual effects skills that graphic designers and animators provide. And TV budgets are high, ranging from Rs 2-3 lakhs per episode.
The animation industry in India is growing at 30 percent annually and will touch $1 b by 2010 ($ 360 million in 2006-7) and this will create at least two lakh jobs by 2010! Some feel that the industry will grow to $1.5 billion by 2009!
Naturally, salaries are rising. Freshers start off on a salary of Rs 8,000-15,000, depending on the company they join and in about 3-4 years they can easily earn from Rs Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000. And after that the sky is the limit as there are talented animators who earn about a lakh a month with just 7-10 years of experience.
And now even those who went wary of joining this field are eager to do so…not just because of the good salaries but because they don’t have to do the donkey’s work while someone in the US does the creative. The opportunities of doing satisfying creative work is increasing every day.
But the bad news for India is that there aren’t enough animators. And there is a 35 percent attrition rate in the industry. The demand for animators has risen over the past few years and training schools have not kept up with the rise in demand. Yes, inspite of us having a thriving film industry, the production of original animation films has been miniscule – but all this has started to change, the market being driven by the technically superior animation films from Hollywood. Indian film producers have started taking risks. And the recent success
of Hanuman has shown them that the Indian market is ready for home-grown animation films.
Just look at the latest developments in this industry:
1. Yashraj Films has tied up with Walt Disney Studios to make a series of original computer-animated feature films. The first film will ‘Roadside Romeo’ (to be released in 2008) and will be written and directed by Jugal Hansraj, and the computer animation will be done completely in India.
3. First Serve Toonz, (JV between India’s Toonz Animation and First Serve International) has signed a deal with BBC for doing creative work on a new animation series based on the character Wolverine from the Marvel comics.
Unfortunately, the Indian animation companies are facing a people crunch. As a result they are being forced to hire from abroad.
Right now there are academies like MAAC (Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics with 35 training schools in India producing 2000 animators yearly) and Maximus, who provide technical education to animators and ofcourse scores of other training schools. While not all training institutes are of the best quality, the good news is that the Toonz Animation Academy has set up a new branch in Mumbai and there are plans to open more branches in other major cities. The academy will have “cutting-edge infrastructure, industry workstations, international faculty and a comprehensive global curriculum.” Animation professionals from across the world will be visiting faculty.
The Indian Animation industry may have been a late starter, but the growth figures show that we could start competing with the best internationally within the next decade. Sure, Indian companies may just have about 100 million dollars worth of the global animation pie (almost 15 billion dollars!) but this shows us the fantastic opportunites that lie ahead.
Our vast pool of creative talent could well drive the growth of this industry. We have talent that is honed and nurtured in a rich Indian cultural milieu which provides a fertile soil for ideas.
We just need to hurry and build good quality animation schools and animation parks within the next five years if we have to tap this talent. We have the people, we have some of the technical infrastructure (booming film industry) and if our people have to work with foreign firms, well, we have the English too.
(Photo credits: indiafm)