In this Industry Spotlight with Creative First, Biren Ghose, Country Head for India at Technicolor and a veteran of the AVGC industry in India, joined Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director of Copyright & Digital Economy at Motion Picture Association, to discuss the future of the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) industry.
The discussion commenced by reflecting on India’s role in AVGC thus far. Biren praised India’s ability to scale and become a part of the global ecosystem. Furthermore, he highlighted India’s distinctive role as a service provider, operating within a new triangle involving the director, cinematographer, and animator.
Biren emphasized on incentives and their utility when an industry has the potential for success. In his view, incentives do not create volume or quality but can assist in overcoming deficiencies by intervening at critical stages, fostering a better global connection.
Additionally, he also recommended focusing on service providers rather than intellectual property (IP). On the IP side, he stressed the importance of going through trial and error, asserting that success comes through iteration and being listeners rather than tellers to resonate with both the head and heart.
In India, 75% of AV revenue is generated by participating in the global delivery model chain rather than IP. Therefore, Biren reiterated that incentives should concentrate on co-productions and services rather than IP, which is still in its early stages.
According to him there can be up to 14 different departments influencing a single frame within AVGC, proper streaming of individuals into the right department is crucial for maximum effectiveness. He agreed to the need for continual upskilling, stating that the skills individuals possess today may become obsolete in 3-5 years. While recruiting and training new talent is essential, he stressed the importance of ensuring that existing talent stays relevant with the latest technologies and practices.
He gave the Ministry acknowledgment for appreciating how important it is to direct education towards creativity. He also referred to a pilot program in a school where students can enroll in a visual arts class instead of something more traditional.
Biren further applauded the current changes at a policy level, whether in education or otherwise, to the commitment of individuals from both the industry and the government. The government’s proactive presence at global events, such as Cannes, aims to establish India as part of the global supply chain, with the next step being to create an event within India that becomes a global calendar fixture.
The discussion then delved into AI and upcoming technological advances. Biren viewed the arrival of AI through the lens of experience, likening it to the sentiments surrounding the arrival of 2D. Instead of fearing it, he encouraged embracing AI as an assistant rather than a threat to employment. He advised young people to embrace Real Time, considering it an integral part of the future of AVGC, allowing filmmakers and game developers to witness prototypes, references, or development in progress.
The conversation concluded with Biren sharing the work of his non-profit organization, ABAI, over the last few years. ABAI has played a significant role in major policy formation decisions for the Government of Karnataka, including the development of the Center of Excellence at national and state levels.
One notable achievement was the construction of a dome with over two hundred cameras, enabling the transformation of a person into a digital character. This government initiative, advocated by ABAI, is believed to contribute to the industry’s growth, with the dome already showcasing user cases from major Indian languages.
In summary, Biren expressed optimism for the future of AVGC in India, foreseeing numerous opportunities ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor India & Global ExCom Member, Technicolor Creative Studios. Biren is a thought leader and an industry evangelist featured in all the major content markets and events across the globe for over 22 years. He is a futurist and strategist and recognised by Government and Industry as a mentor and visionary. He has helped build global recognition for the Indian AVGC industry. He has served as a National Task Force member to help ideate the national AVGC policy for India in 2022-23. During his tenure at Technicolor, its brands and their clients have won over 8 Emmy Awards for TV animation; 4 Academy Awards, 24 Cannes Lions, 28 VES, 4 BAFTAs and several British Arrows. He is the Chairman for CII’s National AVGC Committee and has previously served on the committees of NASSCOM, FICCI and ABAI. Biren has received the National Order of Merit - a knighthood conferred on him by the President of France. He has also been awarded the Global Asian of the Year 2021 presented by ET AsiaOne. He is multi-faceted and has a passion for art, music, and photography.