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Freeman Cebu Business

Deal inked to produce world-class animators

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has partnered with the University of Cebu for an industry-academe linkage to produce world-class talents in animation and technology-aided creative sector.

"Filipino creativity is underestimated. Politicians should realize that this is the sector that holds the future. Creative is the way to go," said ECCP vice president for external affairs Henry Schumacher during the official memorandum of agreement ceremony sealed by Schumacher and UC president Augusto Go.

Last year, ECCP launched the Scientific Networking Industry-Academe Linkage program through the SMART (SMEs for Environmental Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency) project. It involves university students working on short-term theses or shop-floor research for SMEs.

The ECCP-UC partnership focuses on involving groups of students from the College of Computer Studies--Animation Department and the College of Business Administration. They will be matched with ECCP member companies to produce graphic marketing collaterals. The students will be mentored by university faculty. ECCP will also provide market briefing and exposure to materials used by the creative industry through the Materials Innovation Centre.

According to Schumacher there is a need to develop the creative sector in Cebu and that the area of animation, as well as anime are just two potential segments that are underdeveloped here, despite the rich pool of creative minds.

"What makes the 'Creative Singapore' is because of the Filipinos working in the creative sector there," Schumacher said adding that the anime for instance is a multi-billion dollar industry in Japan that is largely untapped.

Schumacher mentioned that Walt Disney for instance used to employ over eight thousand Filipino animation artists during its heyday. Although Walt Disney has applied streamlining, there are still thousands of Filipino animation artists employed by the production studio.

"The Philippines is still not known as an animation hub, but this sector is growing very fast," added Schumacher.

An industry situation report revealed that the sector is currently suffering from challenges of brain-drain, lack of ready manpower pool, and the perceived gap between the demand and supply for creative services in the country.

Although the Department of Trade and Industry and the Animation Council of the Philippines have implemented a joint effort to boost sustainability of the industry, this has to be re-enforced further to accommodate the expected strong demand.

The threat of artists migration has continuously haunt the industry, as incentives offered abroad are set to attract artists from the Philippines which depletes even more the already scarce pool of labor force here.

The Philippines has been working on cartoon flicks known worldwide, these include; Tom & Jerry, Adams Family, Scooby Doo, The Mask, Power Puff Girls, The Incredibles, Dexter’s Laboratory, Dragonball, and The Jetsons, among others.

Walt Disney and Warner Bros, are among the biggest animation studios worldwide, that have high regard to Filipino artists.

UC is the first university that ECCP has partnered with in the animation and marketing promotion development. It started to open its Animation Department in 2009, imparting students with knowledge on both 2D and 3D.

ADAMS FAMILY ALTHOUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY AND THE ANIMATION COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES ALTHOUGH WALT DISNEY ANIMATION ANIMATION DEPARTMENT ANIMATION DEPARTMENT AND THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AUGUSTO GO COLLEGE OF COMPUTER STUDIES CREATIVE INDUSTRY SCHUMACHER
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