Day two of CII Summit FX 2020 blazes a trail of discussions about the future of AVGC industry

Day 2 marked the convergence of key forces of the value chain, allowing decision-makers of the country to constructively engage with the leaders of the AVGC (Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics) sector. 

Moderated by ABAI Centre of Excellence (CoE) secretary B S Srinivas, the first  panel  hosted Aptech president and executive director Anuj Kacker; Accenture Interactive Advanced Technology Centre managing director and Experience Transformation Extended Reality lead Marin Grace; Frameboxx founder and director Rajesh R. Turakhia and Telangana Academy of Skill & Knowledge (TASK) CEO Shrikant Sinha, with a special address by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting additional secretary Atul Kumar Tiwari.

Spanning the way in which technology can be incorporated in the pedagogy, various new age methods that can assist seamless remote learning, the significance of immersive learning in post-covid E-learning scenario and the need-gaps in the country, the session covered every aspect of the way AVGC industry can be leveraged in the education sector.

Next session saw an insightful discussion amongst the representatives of the states on the ‘Quest for Inclusive Economic Growth In The AVGC sector

The panelist included Ashish Kulkarni, Founder & CEO, Punnaryug Artvision, T C A Kalyani Joint Secretary (Films) Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, E V Ramana Reddy, Addl. Chief Secretary – Electronics, IT, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, Government of Karnataka, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary – Industries & Commerce Government of Telangana

While T C A Kalyani gave a nod to the idea of forming a national council for centers of excellence and supported the idea of providing a packed ‘ 360 degree ‘one stop service’ to the foreign filmmaking entities to boost India’s AVGC market, panelists also elaborated on the plans to develop financial infrastructure, forge a relevant ecosystem and catalyse the processes in their individual capacities.

Lockdown and social distancing measures have changed the game in the Media & Entertainment space but what has really been touted to be the game-changer in the midst of the covid regulations is an open-source game-tech called Unreal Engine. Ripples of which are being felt all across the VFX community.

Filmmakers are beginning to grasp the idea of virtual production as a tool to replace location-shooting and create realistic environments. Mandalorian and The Lion King being the examples of it. Next session saw panelists elaborating on how Game engine technologies and AVGC sciences will be deployed in conventional live action television and movies. 

Moderated by Quentin Staes-Polet GM – India and SEA Epic Games Singapore, the session played host to Gokulraj Baskar Indian Film Director, Creative Director & VFX Supervisor, Sandeep Kamal Creative Director & VFX Supervisor Limitless Studio, Siddharth Roy Kapur Co-Chairman CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment and Founder & Managing Director Roy Kapur Films and Srinivas Mohan VFX Supervisor founder and CEO Indian Artists Computer Graphics.

Proceedings of the day were carried forward by VFX stalwarts who discussed the requirement of visual effects as a part of storytelling in the Indian context and its potential in the days ahead. >Moderated by R K Chand Head of Studio Technicolor Film & Episodic VFX Mumbai, TraceVFX, the starry panel included Jesh Krishnamurthy CEO & Founder Anibrain, Keitan Yadav Chief Operation Officer & VFX Producer Redchillies VFX & Redchillies Color, Rajarajan Ramakrishnan Head of Creative Operations |FEV| | MPC Film| MRX| Technicolor India, Samir Hoon Director Visual Effects – APAC Netflix, Viral Thakkar Creative Director / VFX Supervisor Redefine

While Virtual Production and Unreal Engine became the recurring themes, VFX honchos also discussed the evolution of visual effects over the years. Panelists agreed on the notion that filmmakers should start involving VFX department right from the scripting process if they wish to plan accordingly and churn out quality visuals. 

Turning the cart in the direction of Emerging Technologies AR/VR, the next session shined a spotlight on the advancements in the AVGC industry. Panelists included Arvind Neelakantan Head of Unity Evangelism in India, Chaitanya Chinchlikar Vice President Whistling Woods, T C Indraneel Guha Head of Studio The Mill Bangalore and Suhas Pingat Field Marketing Manager, Precision Workstations Dell Technologies

It was followed by an all-women session tracking the inspiring journey of Women in AVGC industry. Moderated by Kranti Sarma Head of Studio Film & Episodic Visual Effects (FEV), Technicolor India, the session was graced by Margaret Dean Supervising Producer – Rooster Teeth, Head of Studio – Crunchyroll and President – Women in Animation USA, Payal Dani Head of Creative Operations MPC Film and Sherry Bharda Manager VFX | International Originals – India Netflix.

Touching upon the need to encourage more women, panelists advanced suggestions, discussed policies and recounted their AVGC journeys. Over the course of the session, panelists furnished a perspective on the present scenario and pressed on the importance of affirmative action that can bring about more inclusivity and participation of women in the sector. 

Reflecting on the ways in which pandemic-induced measures changed the dynamics of VFX industry,  Luke Groves Head of Studio, Toronto Mr X recounted how they went from lockdown to being able to deploy hundreds of people across the globe to work with the help of seamless remote workflows. He also emphasised on early partnerships and the importance of planning a movie in advance which allows VFX department to strategise well, take less time, use less resources and save money all whilst providing best possible solutions to filmmakers.

Topping off the event with exclusive insights into major upheavals of the present and the direction in which the global AVGC scenario is headed, Dan Sarto Co-Founder & Publisher Animation World Network (AWN) USA enlightened the attendees about AVGC paradigm shift the world is experiencing through an elaborate presentation.

It would be fair to say that the second day of the Summit FX 2020 proved to be a holy grail for all things AVGC. It could be said that the sessions that transpired will have a positive impact on the entire community and yield good results in the form of AVGC-friendly policies from the Indian Government.