"Made-by-Singapore" the Raison D'etre of Singapore animation industry: a critique of Singapore's media policies

Wee, Cui Ting Carol (2019) "Made-by-Singapore" the Raison D'etre of Singapore animation industry: a critique of Singapore's media policies. Masters thesis, LASALLE College of the Arts.

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Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: "Made-by-Singapore" the Raison D'etre of Singapore animation industry: a critique of Singapore's media policies

The first decade of the 2000s saw a mini boom in Singapore’s animation industry. Prominent international animation companies like Lucasfilm and Ubisoft set up their Singapore offices at the invitation of the Economic Development Board (EDB), which garnered more interest in the industry. Educational opportunities for aspiring animators increased and the number of local animation studios also expanded. Animated feature films were being produced and co-productions were sought after. In some ways, this boom was catalyzed by the government’s media policies, specifically Media 21 and Singapore Media Fusion Plan . One of the main strategic thrusts in these policies was to export “Made-By-Singapore” content globally, and initiatives were rolled out to guide the industry in this direction.
However, in recent years, the growth of the industry had slowed and support for the industry seemed to have reduced. This dissertation traces the history of the policies and discusses the gaps between policy expectations and industry reality. Existing literature review revealed that Singapore’s media policies stemmed from a drive to boost her economy. Cultural and creative industries policies were often criticized among scholars for being “unashamedly economic” (T. Lee, ‘Industrializing Creativity’ 56) rather than having a genuine desire to nurture a vibrant and open industry. Slogans like “Made-By-Singapore” used in policy papers were also observed to be employed as part of Singapore’s discourse in nation branding for economic reasons.
Through qualitative analysis, this dissertation shows that “Made-By-Singapore” comprise two specific strategies: (i) export “New Asia” content for the global market and (ii) augment our small talent pool with foreign talent and collaborations. These strategies have yielded mixed results. Although the government did well to identify the need for collaborations and recognized the rise of Asian markets, the profitable markets for the industry were still largely Western ones which would require Westernized content. Also, augmenting the local talent pool with foreign talent did little to improve the vibrancy of the local workforce. Finally, there were inherent problems with the branding terms “Made-By-Singapore” and “New Asia” because media products are typically location-neutral and Singapore’s animation industry also lacked the star power that would otherwise have given “Made-By-Singapore” a positive brand affect. Furthermore, there was a lack of clarity of what “New Asia” meant.

Subjects: Animation -- Singaporean > Animation industry -- Singapore
Divisions: Faculty for the Creative Industries > Thesis - MA Arts and cultural management
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 06:22
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2021 13:03
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/679
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