Animation industry remains unfazed despite COVID-19 pandemic, projects on track
The COVID-19 pandemic, the ensuing lockdown, and strict social distancing rules have also hit the movie industry hard, among others. Numerous ventures of different budget scales either have halted production or have postponed releases, thus losing millions in the process. However, there is one domain that remains almost unaffected by the contagious viral disease: the animation industry. And, it is mushrooming remarkably.
'Truly one thing we can all do while at home'
Animation is one of the only industries flexible enough to thrive in an unforeseen situation of social distancing. That is because one doesn't need to come close to their colleagues to send or receive suggestions about a particular animation project. "It's truly the one thing we can all do while we're at home," notes Jen Rudin, a former Disney casting director, specializing in animation.
Dua Lipa's song 'Hallucinate' is also entirely animated
Animation, an industry that was already minting big money with superhero genres dominated by Marvel and DC in the West and anime in the East, has become a haven of opportunities for the entire community. Voice-over artists, who were struggling for placements before the pandemic, are getting offers because of this. Others are also opting for this line. Like, Dua Lipa's Hallucinate is entirely animated.
Video conferencing was nothing new to the animators
Talking about operational glitches, animators from popular shows such as Bob's Burgers felt no issue. In fact, their show went back on air only five days after lockdown started in California. Video conferencing, the new mode of communication nowadays, wasn't anything new to animator and director of Over the Moon, Glen Keane, who anyway used to converse that way before the lockdown started.
'We had prepared for this, we just didn't know it'
Keane touched base with each production office in NY, California, Vancouver, and China before Netflix's offices closed in March. At that time, his film was 80% ready but still, the deadline was met. "We had prepared for this, we just didn't know it," he concludes.
Animation wins where live-action loses, studios report more profits now
Even Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos accepted that animation had its benefits in meeting deadlines. For example, titles like Under The Boardwalk remained on track, while major films like Mission Impossible 7 had to halt production. The surge in demand had also translated into employments. Animation studio 9 Story Media Group had, in May, hired over 30 people across six weeks.
As a result: Hiring, spike in library programming sales, orders
Canada-based 9 Story, which makes Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Blue's Clues and You, has also witnessed a 20% spike in library programming sales in the last two months and received orders for two shows. "The demand has gone way up," said its CEO Vince Commisso.