Animation and Trinidad are often not associated with each other in the mind of the general public.
But the animation industry in Trinidad and Tobago has been around for over nine years.
After a steady climb within the industry’s introductory stage in Trinidad, the local Animation Industry is now poised for fundamental growth, promising to provide investors substantial returns.
The production of quality animation clips are for use in not only traditional entertainment i.e motion picture and animated films, but also within Medical and Health Care PR campaigns and Advertising for TV and Web commercials.
As in North America, local students may soon experience animation in mainstream school curriculums for subjects such as Math, Science and Geography.
Trinidad and Tobago’s industry has been supported by the availability of highly skilled local talent.
Notable animation production houses dominating the industry include Full Circle Animation Limited and Eye Scream Animation.
Budding talent can also be found among the student population at the University of Trinidad and Tobago via the institution’s Digital and Media Department.
This department offers Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors and Master programs in Animation.
Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (eTecK), and its line ministry, The Ministry of Trade and Industry is dedicated to promoting and supporting the evolution and development of this non-energy sector in an effort to successfully diversify the national economy.
Negotiations are currently ongoing by another agency of the Ministry, the Trinidad & Tobago Film Company, to address the issue of tax incentives for investors in this sector.
Animators and companies operating in this sector in Canada currently enjoy substantial tax credits against their earnings.
This is evidenced by eTecK’s hosting of a Roundtable discussion with prominent CEO’s and executives on the Animation Industry, held on 23rd November, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre.
The aim of the forum was to increase awareness of the value and growth potential of the industry. The meeting provided a forum for some of the country’s top business men and women to dialogue with Ms. Joan Vogelesang, CEO Toon Boom Incorporated.
Toom Boom is the leading creator and software developer of animation software used by international studios such as FOX, DISNEY, MGM, DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios.
One highlight emanating from the forum is the global trend of international studios and others like them to outsource a great amount of their jobs/ projects to studios in other geographical locations like the Caribbean.
The main reasoning behind this is the opportunity to save on costs of production, while still being able to obtain high quality animation production.
Home grown talent
Toon Boom and its affiliation with local studios is now ready to have Trinidad and Tobago gain entry into the outsourcing animation sector and compete effectively through our home grown talent and studios that will require additional investment in high quality infrastructure and equipment.
Ms. Vogelesang stated: “One of the great attractions of the animation sector is that apart from the highly technical part of a production, there are many job opportunities created for people in the society who are currently unable to find career outlets for their more creative abilities.”
This forum was one of several activities lined up in the Annual Animation Festival created by Animae Caribe, the local NGO for Animation, and its founder Camille Selvon Abrahams.
The week-long festival carded this year for 22nd – 28th November 2010, featured key experts from the international animation industry.
These included Ms. Joan Vogelesang, Bill Plympton – Oscar-nominated animator, Vera Wing Hang Lui – Hong Kong born artist and Shabnam Rezaei co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios, winner of Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the Year award.
The Minister of Industry and Trade, the Honorable Stephen Cadiz, made a feature address at the festival’s Business of Animation Panel, at the National Academy For Performing Arts, Dere St., Port-of-Spain on Friday 26th November 2010.
The animation industry is generating an annual growth rate of 12 percent, while most other sectors are experiencing negative or stagnated growth.
It is hoped that the Animation Festival and the Business Panel, allowed the business community to fully understand the profitable returns that can be gained through investment in local animation studios.
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Tags: Animae Caribe, Animation Industry, Big Bad Boo Studios, Bill Plympton, Camille Selvon Abrahams, e TecK, Eye Scream Animation, Full Circle Animation, Joan Vogelesang, MTI, Shabnam Rezaei, Stephen Cadiz, Toon Boom, university of trinidad and tobago, Vera Wing Hang Lui