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The film and media service sector is rapidly maturing but it needs government support to reel in the real big bucks

Twenty-first century filmmakers face a formidable challenge – to do more with less. Specifically, they must reach a global audience through a diverse mix of content, provide a visual spectacle that can be consumed across all new-age mediums, and do so within optimally spread-out budgets. And it is this need for effective digital post-production capabilities in times when budgets face downward pressure, which has made global filmmakers increasingly look at offshoring in the production services space.

Partnering with the right film and media services company allows filmmakers to focus on creative and storytelling aspects – instead of spending time
worrying about the details of post-production like internal technical capabilities or resources.

Indian companies are increasingly getting more recognition as film and media service partners due to their ability to provide the right mix of scale, quality and creative abilities in a cost-optimised mode. This has resulted in the film and media services business treading the outsourcing path that technology companies took a decade ago.

Today technological advancements have ensured that cutting-edge digital post-production tools are available to most global players. Hence the difference in deliverables that Indian companies are offering lies in the ability to offer a full range of skills and expertise, be located in convenient 24-hour pipeline time zones, possess strong English language skills and be priced 30 to 60 per cent lower than the US or Western European rates.

For example, by building a multi-locational grid of facilities, front offices and strategic alliances across the globe, Reliance MediaWorks is very well positioned to leverage the global delivery model and offer high-end services within its own facility in Burbank and London, as well as tapping into the quality and scale of services available through its operations in India.

Indian companies are also graduating the learning curve at a fast pace in the film and media service space. For example, initially, the VFX outsourcing work given to Indian companies was primarily labour-intensive tasks such as wire removal or rotoscoping, due to the lack of experience the industry has in high-end effects. However, today, the talent pool is acknowledged to have advanced capabilities for completion of entire shots, like bluescreen composites or compositing computer graphics (CG) with live action.

Also, global film and media services firms are also looking at partnering with their Indian counterparts to offer clients more optimal and cost-effective solutions. For example, the Reliance MediaWorks-Digital Domain partnership has led to an exchange of knowledge, skill set training and propriety technology exchange, which has immensely benefited both companies and their clientele.

All in all, the Indian film and media services industry, in spite of its increasingly global profile, is still in its emerging stages. But several factors have foreshadowed the growth that many in the industry believe will happen over the next decade.

One of the major constraints faced by the Indian industry is that unlike in other film and media service centres, from South Korea and China to Canada, France and the UK, the Indian government offers very little support to the industry in the form of tax breaks or subsidies. The industry is at a nascent stage and is looking at billion-dollar market opportunities. Government support will prove critical in giving growth an impetus and making the industry more competitive globally.

Partnering with the right film and media services company allows filmmakers to focus on creative and storytelling aspects – instead of spending time worrying about the details of post-production like internal technical capabilities or resources.

Indian companies are increasingly getting more recognition as film and media service partners due to their ability to provide the right mix of scale, quality and creative abilities in a cost-optimised mode. This has resulted in the film and media services business treading the outsourcing path that technology companies took a decade ago.

Today technological advancements have ensured that cutting-edge digital post-production tools are available to most global players. Hence the difference in deliverables that Indian companies are offering lies in the ability to offer a full range of skills and expertise, be located in convenient 24-hour pipeline time zones, possess strong English language skills and be priced 30 to 60 per cent lower than the US or Western European rates.

For example, by building a multi-locational grid of facilities, front offices and strategic alliances across the globe, Reliance MediaWorks is very well positioned to leverage the global delivery model and offer high-end services within its own facility in Burbank and London, as well as tapping into the quality and scale of services available through its operations in India.

Indian companies are also graduating the learning curve at a fast pace in the film and media service space. For example, initially, the VFX outsourcing work given to Indian companies was primarily labour-intensive tasks such as wire removal or rotoscoping, due to the lack of experience the industry has in high-end effects. However, today, the talent pool is acknowledged to have advanced capabilities for completion of entire shots, like bluescreen composites or compositing computer graphics (CG) with live action.

Also, global film and media services firms are also looking at partnering with their Indian counterparts to offer clients more optimal and cost-effective solutions. For example, the Reliance MediaWorks-Digital Domain partnership has led to an exchange of knowledge, skill set training and propriety technology exchange, which has immensely benefited both companies and their clientele.

All in all, the Indian film and media services industry, in spite of its increasingly global profile, is still in its emerging stages. But several factors have foreshadowed the growth that many in the industry believe will happen over the next decade.

One of the major constraints faced by the Indian industry is that unlike in other film and media service centres, from South Korea and China to Canada, France and the UK, the Indian government offers very little support to the industry in the form of tax breaks or subsidies. The industry is at a nascent stage and is looking at billion-dollar market opportunities. Government support will prove critical in giving growth an impetus and making the industry more competitive globally.


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