Marla Rausch was running a financial planning business when she launched Animation Vertigo, a motion capture company with an on-board skilled talent pool and has worked on projects that include Disney's A Christmas Carol,
Injustice: Gods Among Us by WB, Call of Duty Black Ops 1 and 2 from Activision and Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain.
The typical business model in her industry is assembling a freelance team to work on a project and then letting the talent go when the project is finished., but Marla has 35 staff working full-time in her home country of the Philippines.
I asked her if outsourcing work to the Philippines is a threat to careers in the U.S. or if the talent pool there can benefit U.S. companies.
"It's true there are tasks that can be done here and yet they're shipped off. The jobs we do in the Philippines are entry level when it comes to motion capture and they consist of heavy man-hours with very little left to the subjective mind of the animator. Many of the animators in the U.S. wouldn't want to do that."
She said that animators in the Philippines may also be in a better position to overcome cultural challenges inherent with the Asian market.
"Each country and culture has its own way of expressing strength. In the United States, a strong stance in a character like a wrestler is different than in other countries.
"In China the posture is straight and the arms almost look relaxed. In China, that's consider a prepared posture."
Marla said her previous experience in the financial planning industry helped her grasp important details of running a company like contracts.
She appreciates the industry for the work done to combine art and technology. Marla said she's not a risk taker even though she's in a volatile industry with a niche heavily affected by changing technology.
"I like planning my moves and asking about what services I can provide clients. I look at several factors in running a business. Will clients be there, is it sustainable in long run, and how much capital is needed."
Her advice to would-be entrepreneurs is "plan, plan, plan. If you have a business idea, write it down. Call it a business plan if you want to. Put your ideas on a piece of paper and write them down to provide the necessary guidance and test your ideas."
For further reading, click here to visit Animation Vertigo.