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And now, entertainment outsourcing



A still from `The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'. Photo: Reuters

AS FILMS across the world use more sophisticated animation and graphics, it is only a matter of time before Hollywood comes calling. According to Barrie Osborne, producer of the `Matrix' and `The Lord of the Rings' series, this could be the next big thing for India, provided India builds a base of talent.

Many international corporations already rely on India for multimedia presentations. And several Indian companies, have begun doing film and gaming animations for foreign production houses, as well.

In 2001, Indian companies produced total animation worth $600 million. This figure is expected to grow to 1.5 billion US dollars in 2005. Even this is only a fraction of the global industry which is worth about $50-70 billion.

According to V. Natarajan, Director, Image Infotainment Limited, entry-level jobs in animation fetch about Rs. 8,000 with no upper limit for talented people.

The animation industry offers career opportunities in a range of activities — from technology-based jobs such as scanning, compositing, digital ink and paint, and game designing to creative options like supervising visual effects, 3D modelling and animating characters.

In 1989, approximately 600 animators worked full-time making digital film effects in the United States. Today more than 1,00,000 animators work in this area full-time, according to representatives of Image College of Arts, Animation and Technology in Chennai.

NASSCOM says India will need about three lakh skilled animation and graphics professionals by 2008. "In New Zealand, someone asked me whether I thought it would really be possible to make movies on such a large-scale there," says Mr. Osborne. Nobody believed New Zealand had the capability at the time, but today New Zealand is an established destination for filmmakers.

Mr. Osborne believes Shekar Kapoor's upcoming film, `Paani,' a science fiction with an Indian cast, will build the same confidence in the Indian industry. "India makes more films than any other country in the world," remarks Mr. Osborne. India's status as prolific film-producing nation, coupled with technology orientation make it an ideal ground for the visual effects industry to take off.

Courses to choose

National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, http://www.nid.edu/

The Royal College of Art, London (http://www.interaction.rca.ac.

uk/) IVREA, Italy (http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/)

Rhode Island School of Design (http://www.risd.edu/)

Closer home...

Arena Multimedia, Kilpauk (Phone: 26414101, 26414103) (Also has centres in Anna Nagar, Vadapalanai, Adyar, Mylapore, T. Nagar) Image College of Arts, Animation and Technology - Contact 044-52037755. www.icat.ac.in. Artlab (Phone: 24511241), Ashram School of Multimedia and Graphics (Phone: 2467 0022), SAE Technology College (Phone: 28214227)

Akhila Seetharaman

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