Offshore Outsourcing and Hollywood

September 7, 2016 6:49 pm | Updated 5 years ago.

Offshore Outsourcing and Hollywood film industry

Offshore Outsourcing is one of the important issues in this year’s presidential elections in America. The sourcing away from jobs to offshore location has received an immense amount of attention from both politics and media. The effect is visible in every industry, be it the software and IT industry, the automobile, manufacturing and even the Hollywood film industry. “Runaway Production” is a termed coined to refer to production processes that have been outsourced to an offshore location in the Hollywood Movie making industry.

The phenomenon of Offshore Outsourcing is felt in every sphere. The manufacturing process of Computers, automobiles, television, mobile phones and various other things requires the involvement of multiple countries. The famous Barbie Doll is processed in six different countries before it is finally put up for sale. Due to changes in technology, outsourcing has caught up with film production in a big way. According to the CEIDR report, “The analysis reveals that, while there are certainly general economic factors at play, such as relative labor and exchange rates, the data over the past several years strongly suggests that proliferation of production subsidies around the globe has been one of the most significant factors affecting the choice of production venues for a significant volume of production.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Types of Offshore Outsourcing in the film making process:-

a) Creative Runaways- These are films or television projects that are made outside the United States. The movie can be made partly or wholly outside the country depending on the script and requirement of the actor or director.

b) Economic Runaways – These are films that are wholly produced in an offshore location to cut cost. In these movies, although the script is basically set in the United States but the entire production process has been outsourced to an offshore location .Most Hollywood movies are outsourced to countries like Canada, Australia, South Africa or New Zealand.

An in-depth analysis of the entire outsourcing process of film making also brought forth a few more ’Runaway’ categories. They are:-

a) Artificial economic runaways – These are films outsourced to an offshore location to make the entire process of film making more economic and in turn lure producers.

b) Natural Economic runaways – These are films shot at an outsourced location to cut down on the cost of production like hiring cheap labor.

c) Artistic runaways – These are films which are bound to shot at an offshore location because the script demands it. For example, a film on India has to be shot in India.

Glimpses of work frequently outsourced to an Offshore location:-

Darren Aronofsky, a famous Hollywood name is just another client to the Indians who are sitting around their computers in a Mumbai-based digital production house. These tech guys are, however, doubly sure and confident about some of the logic –defying sequences in some of these films. Some of the popular movies like


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Life of Pi

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are designed and generated in production houses across the globe. Various other blockbuster movies like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Top Gun, and even the Titanic had Indian digital artists doing their bit in the movies. Digital effects are expensive, labor intensive and require a large team of artists. Therefore, Hollywood outsources its basic visual effect work to India which is a storehouse of computer –literate university graduates.    The Indian digital effects industry is all set to grow into a $1.2 billion business over the next few years as predicted by KPMG, a consulting firm.

Runaway film production process is been functioning for more than sixty years and is here to stay. Offshore outsourcing of the film making process brings with it huge benefits. Skills at low cost are available easily and are regarded as essential tools for the growth of a business. Diffusing cross –boundaries, ever changing growth strategies and transformation of the digital environment has projected Offshore Outsourcing as a major phenomenon. Organizations have also realized the importance of offshore outsourcing .