The startup fever has triggered a considerable amount of entrepreneurs to venture into serious business and develop something substantial in the recent few years. Viral Thakkar, a well known veteran in the Indian Bollywood VFX and Animation industry, has emerged to be another notable player in this startup era.
Viral Thakkar has now founded his own VFX studio called Fluiidmask Studios and thus serves as the founder and creative director of the same. The new venture is situated at Maurya Classic, near Infinity Mall, Andheri West, Mumbai.
Serving as the creative director prior to this at Riva Animation & VFX for almost two years, Thakkar recently quit and moved out of Riva due to personal reasons. Thakkar says, “I wanted to start something of my own so I thought of this venture. I had this in mind so now I have floated this company just around 20 days back.”
Being an integral part of the Bollywood VFX industry, Viral has build up his relation with Bollywood filmmakers, animation and VFX industry veterans as well. But what kind of work will Fluiidmask deliver? Thakkar says, “We are venturing mainly into VFX, mixed reality, augmented / virtual reality and CGI for Bollywood films and commercials. We are in talks with international players for various overseas projects.”
As Thakkar and his team have worked on blockbusters like Airlift, Wazir, PK and ABCD 2 to name a few, thus he has a good relation with the industry which will probably help him to draw more projects to his startup. “Currently, we are working on delivering VFX for Akshay Kumar starring movie Rustom. We have Baar Baar Dekho, Rock On!! 2 and Half Girlfriend in the pipeline. So, we will continue delivering visual effects and CGI work for Bollywood films.”
“The key people who have worked with me closely are roped in this new venture. Currently, we have around 25 people but we aim to hit the target of 50,” he says regarding the composition of this new company. “So recruitments are on, we are interviewing candidates in order to suit our quality and the kind of skill sets we need. And, we are looking for fresh talent too.”
As far as the funding is concerned the startup is self funded and backed by an investor as of now. “It is a new setup so currently, it is privately owned. However, in the future according to our expansion plans, we would look for investors,” he explains. In terms of the software and equipment required, Thakkar is in talks and continues his partnerships with Autodesk and Foundry for their various softwares and equipments.
Yogesh Chhag will be serving as the Business Head of this new company. Chhag has a long association with Thakkar as he served as the Marketing and Head of Sales at Riva Animation & VFX. Even Chhag has been in the Indian VFX industry since a long time as he served at various companies like Pixion, Prime Focus, EFX and many more in the course of his carrier. “My major aim is to serve the Bollywood industry in terms of good quality of VFX like we have been doing at various companies in our past,” asserts Chhag.
Sudhir Trivedi has joined Fluiidmask as CG Head as he has been associated with Viral for around six years. Prior to this, he served at Riva Animation & VFX as CG supervisor for around one and a half year. Also, Prashant Thakur has joined Fluiidmask as senior VFX supervisor. Even, he served as a senior VFX supervisor at Riva Animation & VFX prior to this and was an integral part of Viral’s team.
Possessing a pool of experience and mastering the tricks of the trade, Viral Thakkar’s Fluiidmask Studio can be anticipated to be another tough competitor in the Indian VFX industry. VFX is growing in India at an exponential rate and with addition of this new player, the Bollywood industry may witness a substantial variety of deliverables too.
Update (26 November 2016): Sudhir Trivedi is no longer associated with Fluiidmask Studios. He is currently working at After Studio.