Indian post-production, visual effects major expands in Britain

By Prasun Sonwalkar, Indo-Asian News ServiceimageLondon, March 17 (IANS) After steel and IT, Indian companies are also emerging as major players in the field of post-production and visual effects in Britain, catering to Indian filmmakers shooting in Britain and to Western movie firms.

Britain’s engagement with the Indian film industry is on several fronts: regional authorities offering tax incentives and local facilities, sylvan locations for shooting, and providing a developed pool of local manpower.

Indian films too have woven diaspora themes in storylines, which enhance their marketability among the large Indian population outside the country.

Keen to leverage the India-Britain engagement in films, television, broadcasting and advertisements, major Indian companies are catering to Western clients in London and exploiting the cost advantages of having large facilities and operations in India.

One such Indian post-production and visual effects major is Prime Focus, an award winning company that has enhanced the viewing experience of blockbusters such as ‘Dhoom’ and ‘Guru’. It acquired controlling stakes in two British post-production companies, VTR and Clear Productions, in 2006.

Amit Gupta, director (Corporate Development) of Prime Focus, told IANS: “Technology in India is far better than in most countries. We are already working with several Indian filmmakers such as Yash Raj Films and Mukta Arts and are now better placed to cater to their needs in Britain.”

After acquiring VTR and Clear Productions, Gupta said Prime Focus had emerged as a major player in the 500 million pound post-production and visual effects market in Britain. The company was handling the requirements of two major Western films scheduled for release shortly.

After acquiring the two companies, Gupta said their managements were merged and key positions were held mainly by Indian professionals. The companies are on course to return profits due to a leaner management structure and exploiting the benefits of transferring clients’ work to facilities in India.

The company employs over 500 ‘techno-creative artistes’ in Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad and 230 more in London. Its clients include major television broadcasters in Britain as well as major advertising companies and filmmakers, including British Asian professionals such as Gurinder Chaddha, Gupta said.

With state-of-the-art equipment and expertise, Gupta added, Prime Focus offered a comprehensive spectrum of services ranging from visual effects, digital film lab (digital intermediate, high-resolution film scanning and film recording), telecine, editing, motion control and high definition production.

Its full service capabilities empower filmmakers, ad filmmakers and television producers with the latest tools and techniques to refine their work in the post-production and production environment.

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