Aiming to take the discussions surrounding the visual effects industry a notch higher, the second edition of AnimationXpress.com’s VFX and More (VAM) Summit, raised the curtains with the virtual gathering of industry trailblazers, thought-leaders, VFX professionals and trainers in a trail of sessions encapsulating the required industry-specific policies, industry requirements, challenges and the solutions that can chart the growth of the Indian VFX industry.
The first day of the summit kicked off with a welcome note by AnimationXpress founder, chairman, editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari where he set the tone of the event, touching upon the key topics of the agenda. This year the major key themes are Business & Policies, Technology and Films & Series.
The summit witnessed a panel discussion on ‘Government policies for AVGC industry’ to understand how the Indian VFX and animation policy is going to benefit the industry and empower them.
Moderated by Anil Wanvari, the panel included FICCI AVGC forum chairman and Punnaryug Artvision founder Ashish Kulkarni, CII National AVGC Committee chairman and Technicolor India country head Biren Ghose and Government of Telangana principal secretary of Industries and Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) departments Jayesh Ranjan.
The discussion kick-started with Ranjan mentioning why Telangana Government focused to promote and empower the AVGC sector in their state and how the state is building the IMAGE tower to provide a quality platform and introducing other initiatives for the growth of the AVGC industry.
Kulkarni shared the importance of creative development among the people and how the government initiatives and policy will add support in developing the AVGC industry. He also highlighted the importance of education systems for skill training in the country.
Ghose highlighted the importance of government in up-lifting the AVGC sector by creating basic enabling infrastructure in 10 to 15 cities, then people can come and play on the platform. He also wanted the government to look at the media and entertainment sector as an infrastructure industry.
The panelist shared their thoughts on how to draw new policies in different states and how the infrastructure plays an important role in developing the industry. The panelists discussed various co-production models and challenges and roadblock faced by various states to develop as an industry.
Next session of the first day of the VAM Summit 2022 had a very engaging panel discussing ‘Building a 100 billion dollar industry.’ The eminent speakers were: Framestone India MD Akhauri Sinha, M2Animation head of studio Marty Knox, Outpost VFX GM Syamantak Thakur, Contiloe group CFO and Illusion Reality Studioz CEO Nitin Dadoo, and BOT VFX CEO and co-founder Hitesh Shah. The session was moderated by Anil Wanvari.
The panel discussed what has aided the growth of the VFX industry on a global level, how the Indian VFX and animation policy is going to benefit the industry and empower them to chart the billion dollar story, what are the future possibilities and more.
With the growing rise in OTT and digital platforms, Indian content is drawing more eyeballs and competing with content across the globe. This has given a boost to the demand for new projects and artistic talent. India has been a sought-after outsourcing destination for western industries for over decades now. As global partnerships increase, so do the presence and penetration of foreign entities in domestic markets. This is benefitting the Indian VFX companies, leading to the rapid increase in homegrown stories, domestic content and market; observed the speakers.
Most speakers agreed on the fact that hiring senior and seasoned professionals is one of the most important factors in climbing the VFX ladder quickly. The session concluded with how technology development has increased VFX implementation in all kinds of media!
Moving forward, the audience witnessed an enlightening discussion titled ‘Road to VFX‘, where the key takeaway was that the VFX training schools need to understand the requirements of the industry, train the students to be production-ready and the trainers should be updated with the industry standards. Just giving a general overview of various VFX tools is not enough and they need to master one or two skills.
This discussion mainly tried to understand from the experts how can artists be trained in a manner that will commensurate with the demands of this ever-expanding and vibrant global industry and how can they be equipped with the new-age tech that modern content production is leveraging.
BOT VFX creative head Zameer Hussain and Image Engine BG Prep Department Supervisor Carlos Conceição shared their insights regarding the scenario in their respective countries. The session was moderated by BOT VFX co-founder Sreyans Bardia.
The panelists laid stress on the training institutes to give due respect to the development of the skills, not just to the application awareness.
Both Carlos and Zameer agreed that for a studio ‘picking the right people’ is also a skill. As a solution for this, Zameer highlights the need of benchmarking. One, benchmarking can be of the institutions with some certification saying that the content they are teaching are in line with the industry requirements. Second is the trainers who are teaching there.
As a piece of advice to the students, Carlos highlighted the importance of asking questions, being curious and striving hard to find solutions. On the other hand he believes that trainers should be able to do some shots and be relevant.
In another interesting presentation, FIN Design and Effects Senior 3D Artist GV Prashanth, residing in Australia (originally from India) pointed out the importance of mastering personal art to be relevant.
He revealed that when he started off almost ten years ago, every day he did a couple of artworks, tried his hands at different software and sent his work to 30-40 different companies.
Talking about balancing personal and professional life, Prashanth mentioned, “Balancing is a constant challenge. You have to be disciplined. I like to keep a routine. Also, I use my travel time to keep working on my personal goals.”
The key takeaways of the discussion on the first day of VAM Summit 2022 highlighted the importance of education systems for skill training in the country, how the government initiatives and policy will add support in developing the AVGC industry, the need for the training institutes to make the students production-ready and students must lay more stress on honing their personal skills to find a strong footing in the VFX industry.