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A GLIMPSE ON PHILIPPINE ANIMATION INDUSTRY

Castañeda, Martin S14 Cordova, Allaine S14


prince01_prince01@yahoo.com.ph allainecordova@gmail.com

Medina, Marjorie S14 Suarez, Jed S14


madjo_11@yahoo.com jed_b_suarez@yahoo.com

Tanlimco,Kerwin s14
kerwin_tanlimco@yahoo.com

College of Computer Studies


Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology Management

ABSRACT animation industry despite of its


competitiveness
The last years has been marked by
development in ICT specifically in the field I. INTRODUCTION
of computer animation. Alongside of this
development is the rise of animation Animation deals with the rapid display of
industry in the Philippines particularly begin sequence images to produce an illusion of
one of the faster growing type of outsourced movement. Animation along with
work. The Philippines has long been Information Technology has evolved
engaging into this industry which can be through time from the traditional animation
traced as early as the 1980’s. Having that into 2D animation, 3D Computer Generated
established reputation and with the presence Imagery (CGI), 3D CGI and 3D Motion
of intrinsic creative pool of Filipino talents, Capture, and later into Virtual Reality.
the Philippines are one of the stronger Asian These developments had led and contributed
players in the global animation industry to the country’s growth given the revenues
which greatly contributes to the country’s generated and increase in employment rate.
economic growth. Despite of that fact, the
Philippines still remains as a service Currently, the Philippines is now considered
provider to other nations and has been as one of the top choice of Western
longing for recognition due to lack of funds, countries to outsource their work with its
opportunities and marginal technology cheaper labor and abundant creative talent.
development as compared to Asian However, given the different forms of
competitors. This paper also seeks to answer animation, Filipino animators are inclined in
the problems which hinder the Philippines to 2D animation, a more economical and less
be globally recognized and established in the intensive kind, rather than the more
advanced forms. More so, some talented
Filipino animators seek and find better Palabrica – who is also the president of the
opportunities to foreign organizations given Animation Council of the Philippines, local
the limited opportunities locally. And the artists have the capability to do their own
country is nearing to be left behind in terms original works but there is no one who can
of the technological aspect as compared to provide them financially. This has been also
other Asian competitors. The following one of the reasons why Filipino local artists
sections discuss the different factors that resort to outsourcing their artistic works
contribute to the current issues that local instead. He also said that these animated
animators experience. films or series will have to have bigger
investments and they are much expensive
II. FUNDING than producing a full-length movie film.
However, he noted that when right financer
It has been one of the issues that the comes around, he is sure that the local artists
Philippine Animation Industry is lacking are ready and worth the price
funds to provide the local animators for
them to produce their own original Filipino III. EXTERNAL OPPOTURNITIES
storyboards. This has been evident when
more and more countries have been There are many good animators in
employing artists from Vietnam, India, and many countries but because of minimal
China knowing that Philippines is also one compensation, lack of technology, proper
the neighbor countries who has a great pool motivation, and financial difficulties of
of diligent and creative animators. This has companies, these animators are attracted to
happened because they offer cheaper go to other countries. Most of the animators
outsourcing services and they are more of the Philippines are transferring to other
technologically-advanced than Philippines country because of different reasons like the
[1]. It has also been in the 1980s that when cost of production in the Philippines is low
the computers emerged, it has already been compared to other countries. Because of
impossible for the Filipino animators to that, animators of the Philippines are
compete with other neighbor countries [3]. grabbing the chance to go outside the
“2D animation in the Philippines even lost Philippines and work abroad because they
its market to these computer imagery will get higher pay rather than stay and work
technologies” says Raul Boncan Jr., owner in the Philippines.
of CSDA Graphics and Animation Inc.,
“According to Global Sky In the next
which is the first animation studio setup in
few years, the global game development
Baguio City. He also added that there were
industry is likewise seen to grow. The US
300 Filipino Animation veterans who
game development market is projected to
dropped out of the market when 3D became
reach roughly US $ 15 billion in 2009 while
the mainstream form of animation. Many
Canada’s market is seen to increase to US $
have turned to painting but many get back to
1.3 billion and Latin America, US $ 832
animation. Though this is a fact, according
million in the same period. With this
to TOEI Animation general manager Nestor
expected growth, companies wanting to
outsource their work offshore are seeing
Philippines as a desirable location. With the
country’s lower cost development compared
to that of North America and Europe, surely
it is a better outsourcing spot. As said by the
President of LadyLuck Digital, a local game
development firm, Luis Mañalac, the cost of
game development here in the Philippines is
only one-eighth of that in the USA. Sadly, however, the company was
compelled to shut down its Manila studio
He mentioned that here in the due to financial difficulties.
Philippines, a team of 10 people working
full time for two years only costs US $ 262, As with most of the talented Filipino
000 as against to US $ 1.7 million in the animators, Fernan decided to seek his
United States.” fortunes in other countries. There were
fewer opportunities for animators in the
Along with many Filipinos who are working Philippines, he explained. While others
abroad to earn money, there are also Filipino found employment in Australia, Fernan and
animators who are leaving the country a few others tried their luck in the United
because there are greater benefits abroad States. Fernan has so far been the most
rather than working here in the country. fortunate Filipino animator. He found work
Also because of the animation companies at Burbank Studios and was animator for the
here in the countries that are closing because features of Turner Pictures and Warner
of financial problems, Filipino animators are Brothers. Among his credits are the highly
forced to find work abroad to find jobs and acclaimed Iron Giant (1999) and Stuart
there are many opportunities abroad. Little 2 [8]. For Disney, Chicken Little was
a major gamble that paid off. It was the first
As stated by Dennis Ladaw of the CGI film, the studio produced on its own.
Manila Times, There was this Filipino (Pixar produced most of its CGI
named Ralph Fernan who worked for productions.) The studio first adapted
Disney’s animation film, “Chicken Little” Chicken Little for the screen in 1943 using
which nearly grossed about $120 million traditional animation. Fernan resides with
during its opening weekend. Fernan was his wife and son in Altadena, California.
responsible for animating both the title While he’s enjoying his work in Disney, he
character and his father. Fernan was said he hopes the animation industry in the
assistant editor of the Hanna-Barbera’s Philippines would eventually get off the
feature-length cartoon Once Upon A Forest ground. “Then perhaps the talent wouldn’t
[7], which featured the voice talents of have to migrate to other countries,” he said.
Michael Crawford and Ben Vereen. [9]
VI. ANIMATION AS AN Philippines. Philippines is one of the
OUTSOURCED SERVICE stronger players among them knowing that it
has been subcontracting with the
Although Philippines could not produce so internationally recognized companies such
much of their own original animated films in as Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna-
the market, their talents are still a great Barbera, Marvel Comics, and Cartoon
advantage to the foreign countries. Network .[6]
According to Marlyn Montano, Philippines
has been known for their great talents since Animation companies located in the
1980s which has provoked the international Philippines that include TOEI Animation,
animation studios, Burbank and Hanna Roadrunner, and Toon City Animation Inc.,
Barbera, to set up their own affiliate studios have the 18% of 7,000 employees working
in the country. She also said that, these for the animation sector. Employment in the
offices have been providing the local artists Philippine Industry had grown to 34% from
trainings in animation with the use of 2004-2007[6.] In terms of revenue
technologies they have at that time. In 1986, generation, the industry generated up to
TOEI appeared, a 100% Japanese owned US$97 million and US$105 million in 2006
company that produces majority of the and 2007 respectively as shown in the figure
Anime series and has based their studio in below.
the Philippines [1]. Because these studios
have recognized the talent pool that the
Philippines has, Filipino local artists were
well-trained and paid off in dollars, which is
the benefit that the Philippine Animation
Industry gets in outsourcing their talents.
BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) has
helped to develop a profitable pool of
independent Filipino contractors.

The setting up of a few large, high-profile


companies in the Philippines eventually led
to opportunities for the Philippine For many years, foreign animation
Animation industry to be recognized companies were the ones that have been
globally. The major recognizing the local artists giving them
players in the region steady work. According to the Animation
that are involved in Council of the Philippines, which is
the global animation currently the biggest organization that
market includes: represents animation firms in the country,
China, India, PIXARS (Toy Story, Finding Nemo) and
Singapore, South Dreamworks (Shrek, Madagascar) have two
Korea, and (2) Filipino animators involved with them.
There were even other two (2) that have ACPI president Grace Dimaranan, local
done a significant work in mainstream animation industry has seen more activities
Hollywood, according to Ricky Orellana, leading to the production of original content
festival director of ANIMAHENASYON. [5]. Philippine Animation Industry has
[2] If these Filipino animators have given finally produced their own original content,
these foreign companies great contribution, Dayo produced by the Cutting Edge
what more if they do it for their own Productions (Ball, 2008). The animated film
country? Since, local artists have been is directed by Robert Quilao, which is about
working for others, their works are not a boy named Bubuy who must rescue his
evidently recognized. There is nothing to grandparents that were kidnapped. His quest
doubt that Pinoy animators were the people will lead him to Elementalia, a strange land
that created the cartoons produced by the where weird creatures live. This was not the
foreign production houses. However, much first attempt to create a full-length animated
of a concern, when will they be given the movie. In fact, according to Boncan, they
spotlight they rightfully deserve? had contracts to produce sequences of a
locally produced full-length feature called
“TOEI has been encouraging their employed Diwa. Cutting Edge, which is a member of
Filipino artists to develop their own unique the ACPI, said that like US, Europe, and
characters and series than just being other Asian countries, there has also been
contented supporting projects from other recognition in doing original works.
parts of the world”, says Montano. As added
by Palabrica, TOEI’s Japanese principal was V. UPCOMMING CHALLENGES
the one who encouraged them. In addition,
after 20 years, starting to recognize the Though the Philippines has positioned itself
talents of Filipino animators, many investors in the animation industry specifically as an
came and began to build up animation outsourced business, the country is slowly
schools for people who have the potential in losing its edge to be a competitive
animation, for the purpose which Philippines destination given that near-by competitors
could now compete from Hollywood and are constantly improving their services. The
other American production outfits. following are some potential threats that the
According to Boncan, they have written industry must address to keep the country in
virtual motion capture and computer its current position. One of which is the lack
puppetry to compete for major projects. of large animation companies capable of
ACPI has also encouraged him to build up fulfilling the needs of international clients.
schools for college graduates to help draw The industry is comprise and fragmented
out new talents before venturing into studio into small and medium scale companies that
work, he added. address individual work without thinking of
the collective status of the industry. Second,
Currently, there are 14 animation schools infrastructure investment and acquisition of
operating in the country which are all new animation software and technology
around Metro Manila. According to the must also be given priority as Asian
competitors significantly develop in order to along with the industry and addressing
attract local and foreign investors. The customer requirements to meet the current
industry is also challenged to constantly global market demand.
develop the pool local talents and ample
training must be given in order for them to To be truly competitive on a global scale
attain the most relevant and up-to-date and to attain an established animation
animation skills. Lastly, the government industry, the Philippines must ensure that
must support the industry by means of the technology infrastructure is constantly
implementing policies like tax incentives, improved at the same pace unto how
Intellectual Property regulation to sustain technology is developing, which obviously
an environment that would probably gain requires funding. Also, the government must
investment which will aid the country to ensure that animation schools should set
achieve economic growth through animation education standards to prepare
revenues.[6] students for the next generation animation.
They should also train students using state-
VI. CONCLUSION of-the-art animation software that is capable
of handling and processing datas to meet
Given the increasing demand in animation client’s requirements and satisfaction.
as an outsourced service, the Philippines
share a great part in the current need of the
market globally. Furthermore, having an
established reputation for producing quality
outputs and abundant creative Filipino
talents, it is undeniably true that the
Philippines is globally competitive
particularly in giving animated outsourced
work to foreign countries. However, if the
Philippines’ animation industry continuous
to remain stagnant, its share in the global
market might be captured by other near-by
competitors as these regional countries
constantly develop in a much greater rate
than the Philippines and talented Filipino
animators might rely on the opportunities
offered by foreign nations. Filipino
animators must also be given great
opportunities for local animators will
continue to seek higher paying jobs outside
the country. More importantly, competitors
are rapidly and constantly seek to improve
their infrastructure, aligning technology
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