Quick Q&A with Prasad Group Director Sai Prasad

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Prasad Group Director Sai Prasad
“In future DI will definitely become the standard procedure for feature film post production”  Currently in its 49th year of operations, the 200 crore Prasad Group employing more than over 1200 professionals has been a pioneer in all areas related to films including Labs, Pre and post production, visual effects, digital video, multimedia, production and more. Animation ‘xpress’ Anand Gurnani met up with the Prasad Group Director Sai Prasad for a Quick Q&A Here are excerpts… Lately Prasad Group has been going strong on Digital Intermediate. Please elaborate on DI and the role that DI will play in the future of films and high end television content? DI is a process where an entire feature film is scanned so that all post production can happen in the digital domain. After all the post production work is completed you have the option of taking outputs on any media/format. This process provides many advantages and opens many new areas of creative control. In future DI will definitely become the standard procedure for feature film post production. Also throw some light on your initiatives such as the recently launched DI LLC? Prasad Group has always been keen to explore foreign markets. We believe there is a good potential if we are able to deliver quality cost effectively. Prasad is already present in Singapore, Dubai and Los Angeles. This also provides us an insight into the requirements of these markets and how we can match and elevate the standards of our services in India. How would you describe the Indian visual effects market? What is the size, number of films etc? The Indian market is definitely not as specialized as Hollywood. We are still largely looking at effects at cheap rates and overnight turnaround – this is affecting and will continue to affect the quality of work. If you look at visual effects companies in Europe and the USA, they take up limited projects and focus on quality and creativity with a great deal of involvement in the project; they are considered as part of the production team. Very few projects in India occur this way. Anyway the spending on Hollywood projects are too high to be compared with the smaller budgets we have in India. Is EFX totally dedicated to visual effects production or does it include post production services too? Please talk about your growth plans for EFX? We have other services offered by EFX apart from visual effects. EFX is a leader in Tape to film conversion in India. EFX did the first full length feature film through DI in India. EFX established the first HD post production facility in India. We provide high end Telecine for ad commercials and feature films. We provide film scanning and film recording services which are used by other visual effects studios. We provide digital film restoration services. As for the future plans, we will be introducing many more new technologies and will continue to be a leader in introducing new services. How different is it managing and marketing creative services like EFX as compared to hardware based specialized services? What is the business philosophy at Prasads? There is not much difference between the two in this industry. No creative service can be provided without the necessary hardware and infrastructure. It is a combination of the two. Out of every 100 Rupees spent by an Indian producer, how many go into VFX, how many into processing, how many into PP, how many into DI? Very difficult to define exactly, since the project may have so many variables and fluctuations depending on the starcast. But as of now VFX is very small, even negligible, in the majority of projects. Film negative processing as such can be equally small. But the final release prints spending can be higher depending on the number of prints. DI spend could be high, but again depends on the project cost. Are you looking at animation services for the International market? Any international co productions in the offing? We are still looking at it. The gap in available and required skilled manpower plagues the progress of many an Indian animation studio and visual effects facility. How does EFX cope with this? Are animation and VFX included as subjects in the LV Prasad Film and TV Academy? It will be included, but not in our first year of starting. In this context Animation and VFX should be treated separately. Our requirements for VFX professionals are addressed reasonably well since we are prepared to take on new entrants and train them at work. It is a continuous process. As far as Animation goes it is difficult to get trained and talented professionals. We hope to include this also in our academy’s courses and would expect to provide a supply of talents to the animation industry. connect@animationxpress.com