Mumbai, March 13: It is important for Indian film studios to improve their infrastructure — a process that has already begun — to rub shoulders with global technology providers and talent, a panel of experts said at a convention here Wednesday.
They were speaking at a session titled “Indian Studio Infrastructure: Are We Ready for the Next Century?” on the second day of the 14th edition of FICCI Frames 2013, the annual convention of the media and entertainment (M&E) industry.
The convention is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
The panel included Andy Weltman, executive vice president of UK-based Pinewood Studios; Vijay Singh, chief executive of Fox Star, India; Vikram Malhotra, chief operating officer of Viacom 18 Motion Pictures; Venkatesh Roddam, chief executive of Reliance Media Works; and Colin Burrows, chief executive of UK-based Special Treats Productions.
The experts said that although Indian cinema was 100 years old, studios and infrastructural logistics need to strategise to confront issues faced by the media and entertainment industry.
“It is inevitable that film studios in India will need to evolve their infrastructure in order to be globally on par with the best in technology, creativity and talent. The LA India Film Council should continue playing a vital role in promoting knowledge exchange in this area,” said Vijay Singh.
Weltman, a former board member of LA-based British Film Commission, said that efforts were already on to create a single window clearance to facilitate not only an increased presence in India, Malaysia and other Asian countries, but also to help improve media infrastructure there.
Roddam said that there has to be an optimal mix of tax incentives and availability of skill sets to encourage the industry to explore newer horizons.
“We have learned that quality comes at a price. There will be a situation when a country offers good tax incentives. But it will be difficult to find local talent with definitive skills required to make a film,” he said.
Roddam, however, admitted that people in India have started looking at media job as a mainstream profession and hence the availability of skills would not be difficult in future.
Appreciating the role of the LA India Film Council, Malhotra said that it was making commendable efforts in sharing knowledge among the film communities of the two countries — India and the US.