THE notion of a starving artist does not hold true, at least for the animation and game development industry.

Speakers of the Forum on Animation and Game Development held Friday at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases bared this to over a hundred participants composed of students, graduates and people from the business and academe sectors.

The forum was held in partnership with ASI Studios, a full service animation studio based in Manila; Synergy 88, a game development studio that is the first Microsoft Certified Vendor for Game Art in the country; and Wacom under the initiative of Information and Communication Davao President for the creative sector Ray Rubio.

“[The event] was overwhelming. Hindi namin akalain na ganoon karami ang nag-express ng interest [sa forum]. We are happy that they are interested in this industry,” ASI Studios Managing Partner Jackeline Chua said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao.

“We are happy to present to them kung ano iyong possibilities and opportunities for the people of Davao [under the creative industry],” Chua, who was one of the speakers of the forum who came from Manila, added.

“I don’t know who said that artists are starving. In our studio, artists are not starving,” Chua said during the forum while revealing that an average animator can earn up to P40,000 a month while super animators also earn P100,000 a month. Meanwhile, for game development, Triple A artists can earn up to P60,00O to P100,000 a month.

“The potential revenue is there and it is up to us how we will grab it,” she reiterated.

Bridging the gap

ASI Studios executive assistant Ma. Geraldine Yumul said that the first step they made was just to inform the academe on the gaps between what is being taught in schools and the standard that the animation and game development industry is demanding.

The group realized that the modules taught in schools are not aligned with what the industry is looking for, hence, they ventured into schools and see how they could bridge these gaps.

Yumul also shared the clamor of the communities for them to give detailed information on where the animation and game development industry is now and where the Philippines stands in the global industry.

“During the forum, we showed them how big the market is and what revenue share does the Philippines have in that global tie,” Yumul said.

According to Yumul, out of the P222 billion global revenue under the animation industry, the Philippine’s share is only 0.07%.

More opportunities, lesser workforce

Yumul also said Filipinos are top of mind in this industry because of their creativity and English communication skills which is a big factor especially when working with clients on an international scale. She added that while Filipinos are top-notch in creativity, they are competing with India and China but fall short in manpower resource needed for the production.

“This initiative (forum) just started out because we’re having challenges in romping up our studio because we need many people [to work with],” Yumul said.

Just last year, Yumul said that their company was doing rounds of campaigns for the Filipino talents and everybody swarmed in. Many had proposed projects but they were in a difficulty in accepting them because they cannot support all the manpower.

There is a pool of talents for the animation and game development industry in the country, especially in Davao City, but the lack of opportunities hampered them from pursuing the career.