Mumbai will be Asia’s post-production hub: Netflix

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2019 Published on October 16, 2019

Struggling to shift the video creation process mindset from big-budget movies to big-budget TV series, Netflix is trying to retrain talent here to make India the post-production hub for Asia.

“We are making a lot of content in India,” Vijay Venkataramanan , Director of Postproduction at Netflix India, told BusinessLine. “We have a massive slate planned for the next few years. India is an evolved movie industry. We are trying to utilise this talent by training them on post-production processes for big-budget international series.”

Netflix has already created several big-budget series in India including the Sacred Games, which has about two thirds of its audience coming from outside India. Other big-budget shows include Leila.

Each episode of such shows can have budgets in excess of ₹5-7 crore. That means for a 10-episode series, a TV show’s budget ends up being more than an average big-budget Bollywood movie.

But making 10 episodes in the same timeframe as a big Bollywood movie is a major challenge right now, acknowledges Venkataramanan.

“Getting into multiple episode series, timelines are a challenge. What happens is that when those timelines get crunched, you hire talented people but you don’t end up giving them sufficient time and the environment they need to do their best work. Then it ends up becoming a crisis management work. That’s what we are trying to improve,” he said.

Holds workshop

To bring about this change, Netflix kicked off its first-of-a-kind workshop on post-production here on Tuesday to train industry professionals on international standards and practices. It has brought in trainers from APostLab, Netflix professionals from the US and Korea and industry experts from India.

Organised for the first time in Asia, the training aims to enhance creative digital skills for the internet entertainment industry. Participants, upon completion of the training, will receive an APostLab certificate and will become part of the Netflix freelance production roster for future job placements.

Most of the participants, however, were professionals who are either working with one or more of Netflix shows or have worked on at least one Netflix project.

In India and in many other parts of the world, post-production is seen as a way to fix things that went wrong during the shoot, Venkataramanan said. “Post-production is actually ‘pre’. It needs to start at the script writing stage so that the right talent can be hired and the process is managed more efficiently and can be used to enhance storytelling,” he remarked.

As against a Bollywood movie, which typically would have one director, one editor and one visual effects facility,some shows had three directors, multiple editors and multiple visual effects teams working in parallel to meet timelines. This requires a change in the way post-production is planned.

Published on October 16, 2019
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