Hollywood now outsources to India for visual effects

Mumbai, April 2 Ever since 'The Golden Compass' won an Oscar this year, the Indian animation and visual effects sector is going places. More Hollywood movies are being outsourced to the country for visual effects.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008   |  Copyright: IANS  |  Comments 0 Comments  |  595 Views

Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Ever since 'The Golden Compass' won an Oscar this year, the Indian animation and visual effects sector is going places. More Hollywood movies are being outsourced to the country for visual effects.

Director Chris Weitz's 'The Golden Compass', starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, outsourced most of its visual effect shots to the Mumbai set-up of Culver City, the California-based firm Rhythm & Hues.

Although it is primarily for cost reasons that Hollywood began to look eastwards, the talent shown by Indian animators and Computer Generated Intermediary (CGI) experts is unquestionable.

Some of these Indian visual effect set-ups are doing an incredible job for Hollywood productions, though out of the glare of publicity.

Rhythm & Hues, a visual effects firm that has since opened another branch in Hyderabad, is now engaged in putting together the scenes of the Hollywood thriller 'The Incredible Hulk'. And Jeetendra G. Bhagtani is chief animator of the movie directed by Luois Leterrier.

Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt, 'The Incredible Hulk' is slated for release June 13.

Rhythm & Hues' Hyderabad branch already has another Hollywood assignment in 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'. The animator for the visual effects of the film is Tanseer Ahmed.

Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jet Li and Brenden Fraser, the movie is due for release soon.

'Winning the Oscar for 'The Golden Compass' is morale-boosting for us. It is the collective effort of the VFX supervisors and all the studios working on the movie that brought us the coveted award,' said Prashant Buyyala, who looks after the international operations of Rhythm & Hues from its Hyderabad set-up.

He said almost 50 percent of the 200-plus team in India was made up of freshers.

The team's overall supervisor was Michael Fink, who coordinated the work from Los Angeles. About 500 professionals in Mumbai and Los Angeles worked in close cooperation on about 700 visual effect shots in the movie.

Rhythm & Hues' California studios earlier won the best visual effects Oscar for 'Babe' in 1995.

'But from the standpoint of Indian CGI domain, it was a very special moment for us that the Indian VFX artists and an Indian facility contributed in good measure in getting the Academy Award for `The Golden Compass'.

'It is all thanks to dedication and the leads of the mentors in LA that we could deliver such a high quality work,' said Buyyala.


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