How iCastx Technologies, the new-age media technology start-up, is foraying in the VFX industry

(From left) Mark Troy, Pranil Mahajan, Feroz Shaikh and Griboshin V.C
In today’s jostling world of creating, curating and circulating a surfeit of content, the quality sometimes takes a hit amidst all the farrago. Throw in the piercing operational costs but declining services, it’s plausible to have been left with a semblance of dissatisfaction. At iCastx Technologies, there’s been a genuine effort to turn the tables around and really deliver on the promise. Started as recently as 2016, the new-age media technology and services company – is the brainchild of seasoned business and technology professionals of broadcast networks coming together. Boasting cloud-based services in every stage of the content life-cycle, it thrives in providing end-to-end solutions to any entity in this sprawling content world, making its presence felt across numerous platforms such as iBeam, iStream, iShuttle, iVault, iMam et al. iCastX Technologies CEO Feroz Shaikh delves deeper in to its functioning: “Started with a small team of just five members, it has now soared to around 300. Our company has two arms: creative and technology. On the creative front, we are the only company which does end-to-end apropos of offline/online editing, VFX, animation, syndication, localisation of content. We have approx. 300 edit rooms, 14 grading rooms, five audio/dub Mix Rooms. “With vast infra tech and services based facilities, it’s relatively larger given the scale any studio in India today. We’re a technology-driven company that avail all sorts of technologies for whatever’s required in terms of creative needs from the industry. The new addition to this set-up is the visual effects division with around 250 seats.” VFX vertical is headed by Mr. Griboshin V.C , fondly known as Grib, a seasoned professional who has been involved in this ever-evolving creative industry for over 18 years now. Griboshin has had the privilege of setting up two of the biggest facilities, namely, Reliance Media Works and Technicolor conversion India. He has also been the General Manager for PSYOP India, a very well-known advertising production house based in US. Later, Grib catered to multiple international clients, and was also the head of Outsourcing division for L3D, one of the largest 3D conversion studio in the world. Recently, iCastx ventured into the VFX domain with the Bollywood movie, 102 Not Out. A new addition to their set-up, the visual effects division of around 70 artists delivered more than 700 shots in a span of 4 months. “Under iCastX, 102 Not Out is the first Bollywood project,” said iCastX creative VFX producer Mark Troy. It maybe the first under the banner, but the core group of individuals in the team apparently come with an experience of over a decade, having plied their trade with other indigenous VFX studios before. Upon working with the director Umesh Shukla, Mark further adds, “The director always has a point of view of the visuals and we make sure we match that. We had a lot of creative discussions to understand what benefits the film. Director Umesh Shukla was very friendly and open in that regard.” Though not a VFX-centric film, the movie did come with a few set of challenges in the form of a dream sequence. “There’s a sequence where Rishi Kapoor is traversing through Mumbai and imagines his childhood. For that shot, we had to replace whole Mumbai scenery with a different environment entailing a CG plane,” elucidated VFX supervisor Pranil Mahajan. Whilst India is one of the lucrative destinations for VFX projects from abroad, a large chunk of it is merely confined to outsourcing, not the project in whole. But iCastX dream big, and aim to buck the trend as it strives to become the studio with the exclusive credits for the VFX of a foreign film. Mark Troy asserts, “Our ultimate aim is to work on Hollywood projects, whole and sole, not just to work on the outsourced ones.” Amen to that!

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