Indian post-production companies set up shop in Los Angeles

22Oct12

Media Work presents us with an interesting term, ‘runaway production’ which  means “loss of jobs in television and film when a project, or a part thereof, is outsourced to other countries. This is can be “typified by what Andy Pratt and Galina Gornostaeva (2005) call a “translocalism” of production” (page 180).

This article highlights a new trend in outsourcing wherein foreign companies (mainly, Indian and Chinese) are establishing their base by opening offices in the heart of Hollywood in California.

Venkatesh Roddam, chief executive of  Reliance MediaWorks — whose parent company is Reliance Group, an Indian conglomerate controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani — differentiates between outsourcing of IT products and movie business by saying:

We truly believe that core of this business is in California and that our presence needs to be expanded here. It’s not a business that can be treated like the IT business. You have to be physically close to where the customers are.

Countries like India and China present Hollywood production houses with low cost services for basic visual effects and animation and hence so far, these have been popular outsourcing hot spots. However, with ambition to expand their cultural industries, these two countries in particular are taking such proactive steps to reach to their clients instead of waiting for the work to be ‘parceled’ to them. Labour cost in such outsourced studios is almost 60% cheaper.  

Reliance partnered with China’s Galloping Horse last month to acquire Digital Domain,the high-profile visual effects company co-founded by director James Cameron, for $30.2 million. It has also acquired the Burbank digital film restoration company Lowry Digital, launched a U.S. regional theater chain that screens Bollywood movies, and provided key financing for Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios.

Interestingly, technology has played a key role by providing equal opportunities to produce such work and as the article very beautifully notes:

The visual effects industry was once dominated by a few California companies with proprietary techniques and tools and staffs of artists trained to use them. But the advent of low-cost computer software and readily available digital workforces have created a global industry.

 

Article Link: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/15/business/la-fi-ct-india-vfx-20121016

– Namrata 

 

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7 Responses to “Indian post-production companies set up shop in Los Angeles”

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