Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The price of animation

An interesting article came about today in The Huffington Post about the difference in cost it takes to create an animated movie between the larger studios, Pixar, Dreamworks and Blue Sky compared to smaller studios such as Sony Pictures Animation. Recently there have been a lot of layoffs within the animation industry - "bigger is no longer thought of as better in Hollywood."

Sony Pictures Animation have consistently brought out stunning animated films, with their most recent Hotel Transylvania being my top favourite right now. They manage to bring out these high standard animations on a much smaller budget than the larger studios. This article has really made me wonder why there is a need for production cost to be so high when other studios are managing to do it for a lot less and sometimes to a better standard. Is it the technology? Too many staff? The production is too long? All these factors, and others may account towards the cost but is it all necessary? 

We as an audience have come to expect too much from cinema, it has reached a stage now where everything has to be high impact, pristine and complex visual, visually stunning and making use of CG.  You see films that have been made with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, and it's actually quite hard to comprehend, that all of that just goes on one film.  It would be really interesting to see how studios could cope on a smaller budget and if they could still produce their high end animated features. Budget will always play a big part in anything but it seems like, as technology has progressed, the price of creating animation has also increased, obviously this makes sense however if it carries on it will just become far too expensive, and the studios will take a loss in their makings (which some are already doing). Cutting the budget to an animated feature may mean cutting their production team down which would involve job loss, so that's another thing to take into consideration and how it could impact the animation industry and coming out to find work. 

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