Friday, March 11, 2016

Converting Cartoon Cash to Hard Currency

Musicians need to beware.  Animators may be Jamaica’s next big cultural export.

KingstOOn is the catalyst for a revolution.  Following the inaugural staging of the animation expo in 2013, UWI, UTech and even HEART joined Edna Manley in offering courses in animation in anticipation of the animation boom likely to impact Jamaica’s creative sector.

Potential Markets

Hon Julian Robinson, MP
Rhetoric aside, Jamaica is well poised to tap into the multi-billion dollar global animation market.  The country has strong relationships with the larger markets like the UK and Japan, and well suited to tap the largest market of them all, the USA.  “Because of our proximity to North America, we are seen as a good fit,” explained Former State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, MP.

He explained that our proximity is not limited to geographic factors.  Jamaicans have a strong appreciation and understanding of North American culture.   Our population speaks the language (and in some cases the ‘twang’), we have a creative mass and have a strong education foundation.

The tertiary education community, recognizing the potential, has moved quickly to provide courses designed to harness the natural creativity of the population at various levels.  The Government backed HEART Trust NTA, the prestigious University of the West Indies and other notable institutions have followed the lead of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in introducing animation courses.

Market Opportunities

The immediate potential lies in the outsourcing of animation projects to local studios and freelancers.  This is a common practice.  “There are a number of studios who have gotten contracts to do the development of animation content,” Robinson further highlighted.  To put it simply, Disney may call up a Jamaican animator and say, “Hey, we have a sequence we need to you do as a piece of a big project.”  The Jamaican sits in his office in Kingston; animates the sequence based on the instructions given; and sends the clip via the internet for inclusion in the overall project.

"Cha-ching!”  Revenues flow directly into Jamaican coffers.

There is also tremendous potential for revenue from immigration.  In this scenario, locally trained (for less than their US counterparts) animators move to the US to work and repatriate funds to loved ones on the rock.

“Cha-ching!”  Revenues flow into Jamaica.

The most lucrative, but arguably hardest to achieve opportunity, is the export of local creative content from an influential culture recognized and copied all over the world.

“Cha-ching!” Revenues flow into Jamaica.

Market Catalyst

This is the climate in which the second staging of the KINGSTOON animation festival takes place.  The multitude of activities, screenings, workshops, lectures, presentations and booths fall within three tracks: Learn. Earn. Display.


Tech4Life airs every Wednesday morning at 8:15 on RJR94FM.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Thanks very much for your comment!