Sunday, November 27, 2016

Striving to Lift Up An Industry

From the Hindustan Times:

India’s first gaming and visual effects centre gets green light

... As the appetite for visual effects, animation and comics in films increases, India’s first National Centre of Excellence in animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) is all set to come up in Mumbai.

The National Centre of Excellence in AVGC is aimed at creating a platform for formal education in this sector and address the shortage of skilled professionals through undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD and short-term programmes.

The project, a PPP between the ministry of information and broadcasting and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), will be set up and run by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

“The centre will impart world class education in AVGC to cater to the needs of Indian industry and global players. Initially, the executive council of IIMC will be the managing committee,” KG Suresh, director general of IIMC, said. ...

According to the I and B ministry, the AVGC industry constitutes over 7% of the overall media and entertainment industry in India and is expected to reach a size of Rs 14,747 crore by 2019.

“Indian animation companies are now moving up the value chain and are creating more original content. Many studios have developed intellectual property (IP) and entered into co-production agreements with international studios. This has led to an increase in demand for talent required to produce high-quality content.” ...

India certainly has a growing animation and visual effects industry, and certainly does a share of the majors's subcontracting work. But to hear industry pros describe it, the subcontinent continues to have quality and delivery issues.

It's not that India doesn't have talent in abundance, because there are any number of excellent CG artists in its studios.

It's that, given the reported structures and dynamics of many Indian studios, top Indian artists hit glass ceilings as they gain skill and expertise, and so move off to Europe or the States where they will

A) Make more money,

B) Find fewer creative roadblocks to their high-flying ambitions.

Too many studios (apparently) emphasize speed and quantity of product, rather than quality. This proves frustrating to many Indian artists who want something better. so they ultimately move on to greener pastures, and the studio they leave behind remain in a creative rut.

But it's good that India is beginning (maybe) to address these problems with a Centre of Excellence. We'll soon see if the reality lives up to the billing.


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