May 1, 2008
By Nazir Keshvani
News, film, music, business, capital, sports, VFX, animation: just a few areas in the limelight during three engrossing days of FICCI Frames 2008. The bigwigs of the entertainment industry get under one roof to give their expertise on what was, what is and what could be pertaining to the media industry. Here is a glimpse of some of the ‘hot’ topics of the event. Developing Animation Content: Lessons Learnt From Around The World In recent years, there has been a rise in Indian animated films based on traditional content like Krishna, Vikram Betal, Geet Mahabharata, etc. Should India continue to rely on its rich mythology as source? The session focused on how India’s animation creators should go beyond that, creating content which could be successful with Indians and still have global appeal. A common opinion expressed by most of the panelists was the need for new and original content for animation film making. New Age Tehnologies And Emerging Production Pipelines In Animation Using new age technology and then integrating it to ensure a smooth workflow in animation studios has always been a challenge. This session focused on new age technologies used in animation studios in India. The collective opinion of the panel; a pipeline is as good as the service it provides to the project and the artists. The final objective of a pipeline is to provide efficiency, stability and quality. Gaming: A Status Report A complete review of the gaming sector including key growth factors, future trends, opportunities was provided. The session consisted of PC and console gaming, mobile gaming, ingame advertising, etc. According to Vishal Gondal (CEO, Indiagames.com) gaming in India is what an elephant is for a group of blind men. Every one is involved in developing the content but few know the actual worth of the industry. Revenue Streams In Animation Revenue streams in animation have grown over the years. Animation companies say growth in the outsourcing model has begun to plateau; hence many companies today are working on creating their own intellectual property. The panel discussed how IP can be made to last and how it needs to survive the demand on the market, the tedious licensing process, the do’s and don’ts, the connection that needs to be established between the brands and the people. Dean Koocher (MD, Honest Entertainment, USA) also spoke on how to make the product last while talking about licensing. IP Creation, Protection And Life Cycle India is seeing an emerging trend of original content creation in animation and gaming in the last few years. Understanding international copyright, trademarks, patents, and registration issues is a need of the present hour. These were discussed on a broader aspect in the session by an experienced panel. Sunil Thankamushy (Spark Unlimited Inc, USA) discussed the irony that the best IP came from small studios since they have fresh ideas despite lack of deep pockets. On the other hand, bigger studios were cautious of fanciful content. The Business Of Animation: A Global Team Effort From ‘concept to creation’ and ‘creation to commercial exploitation’ animation has evolved into a ‘global team effort’. The whole animation macro scenario is broken down into sub activities of specialisation and taken care of by specialised organizations across continents. “There is an amazing emergence of technology, heavier budgets, better technologies, no more geographical boundaries,” said Tapaas Chakravarti, chairman of FICCI Forum for Animation and gaming and head of DQ Entertainment (Global). VFX: Making Possible, The Impossible VFX has made virtually everything possible, an integral part of Hollywood today and the Indian film industry is catching up. VFX seems to have grown to be an integral part of every project. The discussion focused on the availability of talent and infrastructure to match up with Hollywood. A high profile panel discussed the needs of the hour and gave their expertise on the available USPs. In short, one could see artists, professionals, investors, businessmen, actors, directors, universities giving their visions on what they are best at, celebrating and contributing the world-wide appeal of animation in all the genres of entertainment industry and that ‘there’s more to come’ as ‘this is just the beginning’. FICCI Frames is set in its purpose of taking the legacy forward and gets better and bigger each year….