MDEC's Industry Academia interface sets action plan

By ANAND GURNANI | 22 December, 2010 - 18:00

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian animation and creative multimedia scenario energized as it is by Government entities like MSC & MDEC is getting even more pro-active of late.

Recently, the MDEC organized the MSC Malaysia creative multimedia Industry – Academia panel workshop as an initiative of its Animation & Visual Effects group. The focus of the discussion was on Skills – Gap issues and had active participation from Studios, Educational Institutes other industry organizations. 

Pics from the MDEC Industry Academia Interface

Participating studios included Igloo arts, Codemaster Malaysia, Rhythm & Hues, Funcel, Inspedia, Caveman Solution,  EL VideoGraphics while the academic side included participation from Multimedia University,  The One Academy, UniKL,  UITM,  KYM – Kolej Yayasan Melaka, UNITEN and Cosmopoint. The discussion was also attended by representatives from the Malaysian Animation Society and X Media Lab, Australia.

Speaking to, MDEC’s Hasnul Samsuddin & Azmir Mutalib shared, “Malaysia has the talent with top level skills, but what is worrying is the demand supply ratio. The objective for us at MDec and for all of the Malaysian industry is to now build that depth of talent, by exposing young students to digital art, by identifying the strengths of students who are currently learning animation and putting them to the right direction and by creating the right knowledge pool group for training the trainers themselves as well”

“And this is what was pursued and achieved to a good extent at the first Multimedia – Industry Academia Panel Workshop. We came up with three solutions and action points from the discussion,” they added.

The Solution Points
Central Registration Data (portal) through membership – job placement, industry news,   students database, etc.

- Train-the-Trainer program – Masterclass, industry mentorship, internship.

- Incubation Centre and finishing schools program 

Pics from the MDEC Industry Academia Interface

To quote one of the viewpoints that found resonance during the discussion, “We cant simply judge and separate the animators skills level, whether they are good or bad, what we should do (Lecturer/academia) is to identify their strengths and weakness at early stage, some maybe good in script writing, some maybe good in character design and etc. All of this bits and pieces of skills are required by the industry. Main thing for the Lecture/academia should do is to inspire the students. Students then will be motivated and show their wonderful skills and capabilities.”

The discussion also included International experts whose studios are now also part of the Malaysian Animation ecosystem, including Rhythm & Hues Prashant Babu Buyyala who shared his experience from India and Maxime Villandre (Codemasters) giving examples from his experience in Canada. The discussion also received inputs from the panel from the Malaysian Animation Society.

Elaborating further and sharing an overview of the Malaysian Animation, FX & Games industry scenario, Azmir shared, “From our survey we have identified that Malaysia requires an additional 400 animators with current projects and those in the order books. Currently for example a University produces 100 animators, of which 40 would be good and out of these 40, 20 would be ready to join studios. It’s the number of good talented artists that has to increase. Quality and scale both have to be focused upon.”

Speaking about the train the trainers program, Hasnul pointed out, “Not only the skills sets and industry experience are required by the lecturers, but the correct teaching/paedagogical techniques are equally important to keep the student interested. It is also important to expose students and lecturers to different quality of work available in the industry/what to be expected in the working world/ how to relate what they’ve learned in school and the job they’re doing. Then we will see the result of more than 50% of the students being snapped immediately by companies for jobs.”
”This workshop wont stop here, our next plan is to create sub-committee to tackle specific issues and recommended programs with ownership by MDEC while academia and industry as the main propellers.” He concluded.