NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Los Angeles, CA, United States, 2007/09/30 - Kang, Eugene Yu-sin details structural changes and developments that resulted from the rapid globalization and quality improvement of Korean animation production.
Decision makers and buyers of animation shows or co-producers in a production company may have heard about the emergence of quality Korean animations, particularly of its 3D animation technology and of co-production ventures. Over six years of experience working with foreign production companies and selling Korean animations directly to overseas buyers has given me the chance to reflect upon both the opportunities and dilemmas that the Korean animation industry faces today and in the future.
The industry can be summarized by the following three characteristics. First, 3D Computer Graphic animation which is based on original concept and property of Korean animation studio has become a rising value-added industry in Korea. Secondly, the increasing amount of co-productions with foreign companies has increased the production and distribution capabilities of Korean animation companies to the point where the sharing of human resources and finance has made them into a more globalized force in terms of worldwide sales. And lastly, the rapid development of Korea’s new media industry has created new business opportunities and distribution options for Korean aimations with the emergence of DMB (digital media broadcast), Wibro (wireless broadband), and IPTV (Internet protocol television) technology, along with the existing traditional terrestrial and cable/satellite television channels.
The Korean animation industry is facing a number of dilemmas due to these market characteristics. The unit price of OEM production has risen significantly over the past few years, much higher than the prices of other developing East Asian countries such as India or China, turning foreigners over to cheaper alternatives. The domestic Korean animation market soon decreased in size, reducing the amount of funding and investing. And the appearance of new media, such as IPTV, has made the distribution process and broadcasting business more obscure.
The obstacles that the Korean animation industry faces are not just cause for concern from a domestic point of view, but also affect the global industry as a whole. Then what kind of opportunities does the Korean animation have on the industrial side?
1. Top-notch production staff that have ample creative power and the technological capabilities and capacities to produce high-quality digital animation. Much of this comes from enhancing new characters, development and having the ability to direct animated programming.
2. To have an already built-in infrastructure and environment for the integration of new media, with which it can be a proper test market for the appropriate animated show and its new content format development. This gives them the possibilities of developing or industrializing the complex content for OSMU.
3. Having the communication skills through experience with many overseas co-production projects and understanding production schedules and budgets.
4. To be structured with lower production costs compared to other Western developed countries.
5. To be supported by the governmental agencies, such as KOCCA, with all aspects of creative organization, production and business development. (Example: supporting the pilot production - a part of the creation supporting business, offering 100 million KRW for production cost in max/work, supporting the pilot program production. Star Project - selecting 3~4 works per year and supporting 1 billion KRW production cost in max/work, including worldwide PR and marketing support)
6. To be expected to play a role within the fast growing Chinese economy and industry. So much business opportunities exist between China and Korea in the field of animation, especially as China has such a long history and relationship with Korea.
Based on these unique opportunities, Korean animation production or distribution companies continue to seek overseas partners. Some Korean animations have already been produced by major, well-known foreign production and distribution companies that are being broadcasted on the worldwide channels as well as generating profits through licensing. Korean animation has broken out of its concentration of East Asia and hit the global scene, a good sign of more things to come in the future.
Opportunities are abound in Korea, a region with an industry and the capabilities to be a trustworthy partner in animated co-productions.