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BW Businessworld

Making India A World Leader In AV & Post-Production

India has one of the largest entertainment industries in the world and is the undisputed leader in technology operations and development. What will it take to synergize our skills and capabilities in these two domains to make India a world leader? BW Businessworld presents a 4-part in-depth analysis by the country’s leading expert.

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What do film series’ like The Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter & The Hobbit have in common besides the fact that these were films based on literary works, produced and distributed by one studio, and did very well at the global box office with revenues of $2.91 billion, $7.7 billion & $2.93 billion respectively, and between them they collected 18 Academy Awards. The Harry Potter Series, The Lord Of The Rings & The Hobbit Series filmed in the UK and New Zealand respectively, also reignited the Post Production & VFX Sectors in UK & New Zealand. These films were produced in an era where you required a global distribution platform to showcase the films in various parts of the world. 

Today, in the digital era OTT services are taking locally made content to various parts of the world. Fauda (Netflix Original Show from Israel), Money Heist (Netflix Original from Spain), Squid Game (Netflix Original Show from South Korea) are household names in India and part of social media & online conversations cutting across generations. Hence the theme of the white paper is ‘Show It & The Winner Takes It All – Almost’. 

In a series of articles we explore what we need to target and the skills and capabilities in the Indian Ecosystem to be a top player in this domain. The AVGC related announcement in Budget 2022 will no doubt spur the market on, and we need to have a roadmap ready. We cover the following topics: 

  • What Will It Take For India To Get Around the 10% to 15% Global Market Share For VFX? 
  • What will it take to attract global players in the business of post-production to set up shop in India Like Capgemini, Accenture , SAP did in the IT space . Likewise  can some of the large Global VFX studios like Animal Hub,  Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore set up expanded facilities in India or expand their existing facilties in India ? Netflix has already done so. 
  • Can existing players like Prime Focus, Tata Elexsi, Future Works be the next Infosys, TCS, Wipro?
  • What will it take or need for Indian Creators to tell our rich and diverse folklore and stories to global audiences, which if these stories are told well and showcased: 
    • Can attract global investments in the production sector like New Zealand and UK did.
    • Can attract global post-production. 
    • Can promote film tourism. 
  • On average, the music component ( background score )  in any audio-visual production  has a budget of $1 million to $10 million. This is the low hanging fruit for India, given various reasons:
    • A large local talent pool of musicians. 
    • A local talent pool well versed with western music and music instruments 
    • A large local talent pool that plays indigenous instruments. 
  • Can India promote an Indian bred Post-Production or VFX property on a global scale that could eventually become an industry standard?
  • Can a film/show produced by Indian creators create the same impact globally as franchises like ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Harry Potter’ etc.?

The temptation will be to try and take a bite of the global $22 billion post production market, that’s the ultimate trophy. But given our natural strengths in VFX, 50% of the VFX market by 2024 will take VFX exports from India to $10 billion to $12 billion.

Another aspect that needs focus is India’s own filmmaking culture. Indian storytelling ability is second to none, and this ability needs to be exploited. There have been several Indian movies that have been nominated for the Academy Awards (Oscars) and some of these films have recognised Indian culture as well. As is seen through the examples listed above, foreign film studios are not completely oblivious to the services India can offer at a post-production level but promoting India as a hub for filmmaking, will take the country’s exports and overall film prowess to the next level. It is about time India becomes a global filmmaking superpower which represents the talent prevalent in the country. 

The author has been formerly, the Country Manager Warner Bros India, President & CEO : The Indian Music Industry and Board Member : Indian Council On Global Relations (Gateway House )

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Blaise Fernandes

The author is a Board Member at Gateway House and President and CEO of the Indian Music Industry (IMI)

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