Just back from Japan and had a conversation with the an ex colleague over there about the state of affairs in animation. He just had a talk with a couple of schools and the students the night I arrived in Tokyo.
It seems like everywhere in the world, there is a severe lack of competent cg people out there. And not only competent, even just people with the mindset with the proper mindset to survive in this industry.
He was telling me that in Japan, a fresh graduate out of a cg school gets paid less per hour then a dude working at the local convenience store. (Because the hours are long with no pay of overtime). The kind hearted guy that he is, he actually told the students to actually work in convenience store. I actually think they stand a better chance to have a life too.
But then, for the Japanese youth, things are much worse then the locals here in Singapore.
And yet more are graduating and hoping for a job everyday.
It is a brutal competition not only with your peers but also the circumstances of the job.
Yes.... its kinda harder to survive in Japan then Singapore with the higher cost of living and lack of opportunities.
Even in Japan, Also most of income that the majority of animation are getting is outsourcing of TV shows from the States as well as working games companies.
The film industry is producing about 300-400+ movies a year consistently But there is no growth in the cg industry since the 1990s when it 1st started. And this is the country where traditional animation are consistent box office successes. (predominately Studio Ghilbi's).
And most of these 300+ movies do not have any budget for VFX. So the capital needed is still lacking. Several reasons are offered but the most consistent one is still the budget for big VFX or fully 3D animated movies is still not present. There is no pipeline that is setup for the execution for a full movie and there isn't really any people who can do it. As you have seen in manga and anime, there are a lot of insanely talented and driven individuals with interesting stories and huge character arcs.
Even the recent live action "Yamato" which was done in house was done at a fraction of the cost. And from what I heard, lots of the guys working on it have not gone home in a few months.
You would think that popular shows like Evangelion, Macross and Gundam surely will get live action big screen treatment.
But the risk and amount of investment for such movies in Japan is just too high even with well established IPs.
And the cost for making a Hollywood adaptation can be deemed too risky as most of these are strictly for fanboys.
So that will still be the continuing situation over there. There are a hosts of other reasons but they still will not be able to make full cg animated movies is essentially because the cost of making these movies vs the returns is still too much of a risk and lack of returns for it to be investment worthy. (One other aspect of course is that traditional 2d animation there is considered mainstream and popular culture. And not only for kids. But there is only 1 Studio Ghilbi that creates and owns their own IPs and makes awesome movies that appeals to a very wide demographic.)
What I tell myself everyday.
To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien