Talking about the recent tragedy that hit MAS airlines, I had an insensitive friend who said that he would not want to fly Malaysian Airlines anymore as his life was too precious. But it’s not as if MAS was asking for two tragedies within four months. Its just…
The new Batgirl re-design (or what they’re calling it, Bagirl of Burnside) I drew a fanart of is now available for prints at my society6 page. It’s also available as T-Shirts, Tote Bags, Throw Pillows, iphone cases and other stuff. Go check it out!
China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting, government websites said, prompting condemnation from an exile group on Wednesday.
aw man!! I love goopy custard filled cream puffs. But I also have to admit that one of the very best cream puff I’ve ever had was 2 halves of choux pastry filled with a towering mound of whipped cream and fresh strawberries slices. So good.
Ha, I know crap all about the world cup cos I malas nak follow. All I know England keluar early, US had staying power,…
what you know is what I know and aku pun malas nak ikut. Though that biting thing is the most interesting thing to happen in WC for me so far. Kalau dia tak kena ban entah berapa orang lagi kena gigit XDD
There’s also the possibility that they outsource the animation work overseas for cheaper labor, then the people…
no worries XD The fact that you made a similar observation points to how this could be a likely scenario. I mean, we’ve already seen this happening in smaller cases within the industry. No telling how it would turn out in a much bigger scale…only time will tell.
Hey I know you didn't write that but can you explain why is it bad that animation companies send their animation production overseas? I mean, from what I read it sounds like "well no other country is ever as good as USA so if they send the production to, say, India, they're gonna do a sloppy job bc they're not as good as we are, so the animation industry is ruined forever bc now POC are making our movies" I don't mean to sound rude, but that's how I understood it. That's why I'm asking. Thanks!
Well, in my opinion- it’s not bad and it’s also bad but not for the reason you seem to think it is. You have to see it from a WAY bigger angle than what you currently think, and no, it’s nothing to do with the colour of people’s skin. As explained by the Bancroft’s Brothers, it’s got everything to do with the business side of animation.
For one thing, outsourcing animation to other countries will be a good thing for us overseas (I live on the side of shores that WILL actually benefit from this. I am a POC myself, living in Malaysia - one of the countries that had animation + visual effects artwork outsourced to us, still has in various entertainment sectors e.g games, etc). There will be good job opportunities for animators here, and at the same time we (as companies/ individuals) will have a fairly good portfolio and high profile jobs to refer to for future projects.
But then you have to remember if any company choose to outsource their works overseas - it’s to CUT DOWN ON PRODUCTION COSTS and REAP BIGGER PROFITS. Meaning that they won’t be paying overseas animators the same rate the animators in USA will be paid. Nope. We get paid less for the same amount of job. Also, sometimes outsourcing work overseas allows certain company to avoid from paying business-related tax, or avoiding union rules that applies to USA to protect their workers. All that can easily be evaded if your work is done elsewhere.
Now having lower productions costs and having bigger profits sounds like a pretty good deal right, if you own a company? This also means that MORE of such works can be done far more efficiently by some other people elsewhere, making the company fairly competitive in the field. Which leads to more companies adopting this practice. Which means more are able to offer the same service of reasonably same/ better quality. More supply. More wrangling/ bargaining chips. Simple business rule: MORE supply than demand = lower price. If this keeps happening - read the paragraph below.
My concern for this is due to how the visual effect bubble burst a couple of years ago. It culminated with the accolades and awards won by Life of Pi, whose visual works were done by Rhythm & Hues. R&H had for several years outsourced the works, among others, to their Malaysian studio. Cheaper for Rhythm & Hues to operate here, yes, which is why they opened the studio in the first place. Great opportunities for animators here to work on high profile project, yes. Everyone benefited for the first couple of years. Except that other VFX companies are doing similar practices - which leads to VFX being something that’s almost taken for granted because every company are able to do it at a good turnaround rate, and because of that - they get more competitive, price-wise. So in turn, companies have to offer lower and lower prices for the VFX jobs they do, despite it being something difficult and time consuming to do. What happened is that no one is profiting anymore. Shortly after Life of Pi was released, Rhythm and Hues declared bankruptcy. Aside from the fact that there had been less opportunities for VFX artists in US itself at the height of the bubble, the Malaysian studio was also shut down. All those VFX artists and animators suddenly had no job and no choice but to move on elsewhere. And the irony is that this is the film that had gone on the strength of its visual effects to heighten the impact of the story to finally win the Oscar titles it had won. Despite that, everyone else LOST. Doesn’t matter what skin colour you have - everyone lost in the long run.
So like the Bancroft Brothers said - one ripple can set in motion something that can affect this industry as a whole. I may be wrong on how this may play out, because Disney had been outsourcing longform format for TV (like their Disney Playhouse shows) overseas for many years now. But there haven’t yet been any outsourcing in huge scale for ANIMATED FEATURES coming from Dreamworks and Disney so far, and I think that’s where a huge chunk of profits from such companies come from. I’m not a clairvoyant, merely an observer who had a bit of experience in the industry - so I can’t say that this will definitely go down the path of the VFX fiasco. My concern is when company bigwigs decided a fairly big profit for a movie opening night is NOT big enough despite it being a decent number that they would want to squeeze as much profit as they can by outsourcing work overseas for future projects. It sounds like doing it for all the wrong intention. So it might, or it might not play out like the VFX mess -because there’s a lot of other factors to weigh in as well. But it’s definitely something to think about.
Wow, I’ve totally written an essay, LOL. But I hope this answers your question :) This whole issue… it’s definitely not as myopic as ‘POCs are ruining our animation industry because they’re not as good as we are’ - Nope. That’s not it at all. But I do think that if companies are using POCs overseas to make animation because it’s cheaper… well you have to wonder if that’s going to play out well for everyone in the long run, and whether it’s FAIR to do so - for both those who are doing the works overseas and those whose works are potentially taken from them.
Just something to think about :)
edit: My mistake - The Malaysian unit of R&H did not shut down but became an independent studio (under a different name) because R&H acquisition by a competitor’s company did not include the Malaysian facilities. So that’s one fairly happy ending among the many stories of bust-ups in the VFX fiasco.
We have tonight and tomorrow to make HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 the Number ONE movie of the week for the first week of its release.
Or 22 Jump Street will take the #1 spot because a lot of adult guys like that movie and have watched it during Friday and HTTYD2 will…
Tacking on an interesting write-up from one of the Bancroft Brothers (former Disney animators) via their facebook page:
'Tony here: Not good news this morning! How to Train your Dragon 2 came in 2nd place at the box office to 22 Jump Street this weekend.
We all know that Dragons 2 is probably a better film and deserved a 1st place standing but that’s not the big problem. Dreamworks NEEDED a big opening for Dragons 2. Now you can argue till your blue in the face that $50 M should not be considered a bad opening or that “if they only made better movies they would do better in the box-office”. HTTYD 2 is arguably one of the best movies that DWA has made and it still is a downturn from the expectations. This is not about the creative but about the business side of animation.
For DWA its the big picture that counts here. Three out of four of the last DWA releases have been a write-down for the company and this picture was to be their salvation (or at least hold back the tides a bit longer). The projections were for an over $65m opening and the HOPE was for even more then that. So, what does that mean for DWA?
Well, the stock is down dramatically this morning. Confidence is low that Dreamworks will be able to pull out of this down turn in their brand without drastic changes. I don’t have a crystal ball but I know that Katzenberg and the board must be looking at some drastic changes to how they make animated movies. No, this does not mean the come-back of 2D animation, but it may mean cutting down the cost of making their movies. HTTYD 2 is estimated to have cost $145M to make. The company can not justify these high budgets anymore after the last 4 animated film openings they have had. They will have to make some choices that will most likely have a ripple effect in our industry. Cut backs and layoffs are only a small thumb in the crack of this dam. Their overhead, like all of the big studios, is tremendous.
My predication? Just like Sony Imageworks just announced, I think DWA will send their production overseas. Yup, I said it here. The most expensive costs in any animated film budget is the animation production. Animation production accounts for 2/3 of the budget easily. If they did only the pre production and post production aspects here in the states they could cut their budgets by well over half. AND if DWA does that it will not be long before every animation studio follows suit. They would have to just to be competittive. The animation industry would dramatically change. This is not a new scenario just so you know. There were rumors of production moving overseas at Disney way back during the Great Mouse Detective days. It never happened then because there was not the technology, ease of communication, or talent and experience needed to be an effective option like there is now. DWA already has a group in India that they have been training and quietly using on some of their projects for years. So does Disney, Sony, Reel FX and many other VFX and animation studios.
All of this from HTTYD 2 coming in a little under projections? I could be totally wrong in my ripple effect predictions (and I hope so) but I know one thing; we are all connected in animation. If one movie does well we all benefit. If not, things change. Ripple, ripple, ripple. What do you think?’
Apparently I am farmed and dangerous: But I am not a criminal. I’m a shepherd, farmer and writer who has been preserving rare Shropshire sheep for the last 12 years, and farming various other heritage breeds and vegetables for the last 30. Then the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) killed my…
So why am I sharing a link about sheeps, you ask? XD Stumbled onto this off a friend’s fb wall and thought it might be worth sharing. Montana Jones is a small time farmer who spent 12 years rearing an old breed of grass-thriving sheep which has dwindled down in numbers in modern times because of the preference for grain-feeding sheeps. Unfortunately, her flock was destroyed in a rather heavy-handed law enforcement over a disease scare (which later were found to be negative), despite having forwarded proposals to compromise so she can at least keep some of her sheeps alive (as to preserve their genetic lineage). More info to be read here and here.
This in particular struck a note with me because she seems (at least to me) someone who genuinely cares about agricultural bio-diversity. A rare gem in a world where large agricultural corporations are the norm, and genetically enhanced/ modified livestock and produce are preferred and cultivated due to their higher profitable yields. My heart goes out to small farmers like these- more so when they’re trying so hard to breed and keep heritage breeds that may be better for the earth in the long run, but are slowly disappearing due to modern agriculture practices.