Anime - Production


An anime typically is created when the producer at a company is able to build a marketing opportunity for the show by for example securing an adequate TV broadcasting time slot or opportunities to create supporting merchandise like trading cards. The vast majority of anime is not original but an adaptation of another art form such as Manga, light novels, or video games. Once producer has made the decision to invest in the project and the original creator of the work is on board, the producer pitches to the Production Committee and other potentially interested parties in order to secure funds. Anime production typically involves employing the services of 2,000 people per episode around the world and costs US$100,000-300,000 per episode, so US$2–4 million for a typical series of 13 episodes. Every couple of weeks, the Production Committee and representative of invested companies meet with the Producer and discuss status reports, release plans, important plot points, marketing, release for overseas, etc. By Japanese law, the original creator, typically a manga artist, of the work has final say over every major decision. However, due to demands of the profession, manga artists' managers, typically the publisher, act as their agent so as to not distract the artist from his work. Manga companies have staff dedicated to ensuring that anime adaptations are to the original creator's liking.

The producer then has two basic responsibilities: to ensure the quality of the series and to make back the initial investment made by the Production Committee. Producers in Anime industry are typically more hands-off when it comes to creative decisions than in American production as they haven't been to film or animation school and would rather leave such decisions to the talent giving directors more creative license. Sara Pocock, an animator and contributor to Anime News Network, stated that "much more artistic license is given to the animator" unlike a Disney animator described as would have to follow the twelve principles to the letter to blend in fluidly with the rest of the film. Benjamin Ettinger, owner of Anipages, equated the animator in animation to actors in live actions, stating that when in character animation, the animator is the one responsible for bringing the character to life. Depending on the success of the series, the producer can then decide to sell the rights to game or toy manufacturers, potentially selling international rights.

DVDs sales serve as the primary indicator for a show's success, and anime typically must make most of its cost back entirely through DVD sales. In Japan, the average anime DVD of 2-4 episodes are typically priced over "¥7000 Yen (US$92)", overpriced in comparison to the Western DVD market. This business practice stems form helping the rental market aimed at typical consumers in the Japanese market. Only hardcore fans, not exclusive to anime fans, buy the DVDs priced mainly towards video stores and build large home libraries. As a result, DVD prices for anime continued to remain high even as home DVD prices dropped over the years and is often the only way many series break even. Production companies earn roughly 55% and retailers about 25% of domestic DVD sales. New releases tend to sell a lot and the amount reduces with the passage of time, thus initial sales are an important indicator of a series' success.

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Famous quotes containing the word production:

    The growing of food and the growing of children are both vital to the family’s survival.... Who would dare make the judgment that holding your youngest baby on your lap is less important than weeding a few more yards in the maize field? Yet this is the judgment our society makes constantly. Production of autos, canned soup, advertising copy is important. Housework—cleaning, feeding, and caring—is unimportant.
    Debbie Taylor (20th century)

    Constant revolutionizing of production ... distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
    Karl Marx (1818–1883)

    An art whose limits depend on a moving image, mass audience, and industrial production is bound to differ from an art whose limits depend on language, a limited audience, and individual creation. In short, the filmed novel, in spite of certain resemblances, will inevitably become a different artistic entity from the novel on which it is based.
    George Bluestone, U.S. educator, critic. “The Limits of the Novel and the Limits of the Film,” Novels Into Film, Johns Hopkins Press (1957)