India Joy 2021’s VFX summit sees a renewed reflection on AVGC Policy and its impact

India Joy 2021’s digital VFX summit opened with an explosion of promise with Technicolor India Country Head and Chairman-CII National AVGC Sub Committee Biren Ghose laying down the context and touching upon the enormous growth pattern of the VFX segment in India.

The digital entertainment festival, in its fourth edition, saw a unique convergence of businesses, business leaders, content creators, professionals across gaming, animation, digital media, and entertainment sectors. The first day of the much-awaited VFX Summit with 5000 plus participants from more than 30 countries concluded with some eye-opening discussions, tips and tricks from the experts that would come handy for the youth. 

AVGC policy is what Ghose has been pushing for aggressively with his valuable recommendations being tabled before the government bodies. A few months ago, AVGC the policy was discussed in all its hues and details at CII’s Summit FX.

Likening the computing power they have at the animation studios to that of ISRO or any space centre in the world, Biren shares, “We buy from vendors the most sophisticated computers for each artists and they change every two years. We have robust data centres; we have about three data centres just in the one location where I am sitting; and those work 24/7.  The pandemic has shown that people can work anywhere. AVGC has 75 percent of its money coming from exports. We were talking strategies with the central government at the inauguration of the CII summit at Delhi We are looking for a 100 billion dollars for India to actually to take our industry as of of the industries that is going to be a big pitch for India globally. We want the Prime Minister and the cabinet in India to say; like we have taken many things to the world, we are the worlds’ largest storytellers for our own people in our own country and of course for Indians living everywhere but we can do more than that.”

While the pandemic had been tough on the VFX industry owing to clogged pipelines and shortage projects, the resumption of content production has again given stronger tailwinds to the VFX industry as a whole.

Ghose bullishly shares, “As a 35 billion dollar industry today; we are looking at the hundred billion dollar growth. That means growing three times which is going to happen by scale. We should keep infrastructure in 2 or 3 places and we should be working in many many places. The invitation from the Telangana Government is compelling. They want to work together. We have states today who are playing a key role in developing the quest to create this 100 billion industry. There is a healthy competition amongst countries in which India is doing very well. Places, states and cities in India will be a part of that place.”

VFX industry has much to offer in terms of India’s big pitch to the world with most of the heavy-weight and big ticket content being still worked upon by a large number of Indian artists. With a string of international Oscar-Winning studios like Framestore, DNEG and MPC opening up their brick and mortal offices in India one after the other, it is evident that this art of post-production is in demand.

Ghose enarges, “If I take Hyderabad, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune; these are the established players in this industry. We are going to go beyond these places now. The conversation I had with Srikant Sinha of TASK in Telangana who is now connected to 309 thousand students to think how we can stream the future where people can embrace what they are doing at various stages and our industry is going many many avatars of computer graphics; there is UI/UX component to it; there is previsualisation component of it; you saw that in the Einstien Wheel. Many things that we did not do in India to create that end to end shot are now possible with Indian artists. So I think we will go where the talent goes. We are an artist-first company and we are there to make sure best tools, best technologies and the best working environment or the best coffee in order for them to tell their stories.”

With the Image Tower representing the hopes and aspiration of this 35 billion dollar industry, the new minarets of Hyderabad, Biren shares, are going to be calling out to VFX artists and he sees that as ‘a fantastic opportunity.’

Informing AnimationXpress about the progress they have made so far with the VFX policy, he shares, “We have come to the conclusion as an industry and we’ve been able to get this acknowledgement from many governments. A policy is not something that you carve in stone and you keep up there to watch. A policy has to be a living document. When we decided the policy we had not decided how much we want to do for games. Since that policy, and because that policy is an overarching document, Telagana has moved forward and done the tie up with STPI and created centres of excellence for games so that is moving in one direction. You saw the fantastic announcement on webinars with Jayesh Ranjan where he said he wants an esports policy. And it is at a very early stage. Policy is a living document that changes and evolves as technology changes and markets change and the biggest word in the world right now is; Transformation.”

Transformation is the apt word to describe what the AVGC industry definitely is witnessing with Metaverse, OTT platforms and dynamic content consumption patterns of the masses.

“Transformation happened because there is a customer level transformation. If there are new things that people want then that causes transformation. It is consumer or customer-led and technology-led. As consumers demand changes and as devices in their hands change then we are in a position to bring about that transformation,” he concludes.