India’s visual effects industry poised to become a global hub

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought film and television production to a halt for nearly two years and the visual effects or visual effects industry has also been hit hard. The pain has been felt not only in Hollywood and the UK, which dominate VFX gaming, but also in India, where VFX are fast becoming a staple of gaming, film and TV.

Now, the sector is experiencing a rebound and the current business of Rs 12,000 crore, as estimated by the I&B ministry, is expected to show 30% growth over the next two years, according to a BCG report.

It’s not just local filmmakers and TV production houses that are turning to Indian visual effects designers. They are a big name in Hollywood with over 100 Indian VFX artists getting due credit in Paramount’s latest installment, “Sonic Hedgehog 2”. It wasn’t their first rodeo, as many of them had worked on the first installment of the film in 2020.

“There is already a lot of talent and creativity available in India, we are taking the lead now. Over the past four years, not only has the volume of work coming into India increased, but even the levels of complexity of the sequences we are delivering increased,” said Payal Vijay Selvam, Head of Creative Operations, MPC VFX.

Even then, the Indian industry is only scratching the surface. A report by the Boston Consulting Group indicates that the Indian visual effects and animation industry holds less than 10% of the global market, but could reach 25% by this decade.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor Creative Studios said, “We’re seeing 103% growth in the last year alone, in 2021. Of course, in the pandemic last year , live shoots have suffered, but over the next two years, in the report just released in March 2022, we see that it will be a trillion rupee industry.”

The growth is visible not only in the expensive projects, but also in the number of people who choose it as a career path. “The age range if you see, the whole VFX industry, the average age will be around 20-25, we’re really passionate and in a very unique state, which doesn’t exist in other countries,” Arnab Sanyal, Head – Compositing, MPC VFX told CNBC-TV18.

In the past two years alone, India’s visual effects industry has created 60,000 jobs and with studios like MPC in Bengaluru going on a hiring spree, another 1,20,000 jobs could be created in the years to come. to come.

The challenge is to recruit the right talent. Highlighting the issue, Sargurunathan Sivalingam, Supervisor – Assets, MPC VFX said, “We need to increase the number of artists, we are introducing a lot of VFX movies to the industry, but we are struggling to get the right skills, the number of artists is much less.”

With the creation of a dedicated task force for the VFX segment in India by the government, estimates show that the industry is on track to double its growth and reach a valuation of Rs 18,000 crore in the next two years. .

Demand is certainly not an issue, but a lack of qualified talent could pose a challenge. However, there is no shortage of dreamers in this industry. If government and industry come together to provide skills development and better infrastructure, the sky is the limit.

Briana R. Cross