Monday, July 27, 2009

Animation in the Land of David

The animation biz in Israel is small, but it's happening and it's growing.

Israeli animation artist Alex Orrelle ... (“The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Monsters Inc.”) ... is back in Tel Aviv, where he opened his own studio in 2005. His company, Crew 972, is competing for business in Europe and Hollywood ...

... Today, the local Israeli industry is dependent on a small core of freelancers, which Chissick says is growing steadily.

“If you look at the number of people working at the moment and the number of courses there are, the industry has grown four times compared to what it was eight years ago,” David Chissick [of investment company Chissick and Co.] said .. .

Israel's animation industry is tiny, but the indy Waltz with Bashir provided it with an energizing kick in the backside. But anyway. And what's "tiny" anyway if it's providing you with a steady gig and livable salary?

The important thing here is that a number of Israeli animation studios are beginning to get some traction. The reason this is important to the American cartoon biz is that, more and more often, animators leave the U.S. to advance their art in overseas venues. California's animation artists already work in China, in New Zealand, in France and Britain and Spain and a dozen other countries.

And now Israel.  Because year by year animation becomes less of a local business and more a global one .


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