Earlier, the visual effects industry was dominated by the big guns in Mumbai and Chennai.

Bengaluru based start-ups emerge as game-changers in VFX in the Kannada film industryScreenshot: Youtube. Image for representation.
news Entertainment Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 12:13

With the colossal success of the Bahubali series, film producers in India, in addition to shifting their reverent focus from Bollywood ‘trendsetters’ to regional cinema, have begun to acknowledge the undeniable potential of visual effects in movies. 

Incidentally, over the last couple of years, the Kannada film industry has been witnessing the rise of local start-ups that take visual effects in films to a level beyond fight sequences and green-screen removal. 

Bengaluru based start-ups like, MRT Studios, Thought Cloud Studios, Videogyan, and Om Studio, are creators of visual effects and animation. They primarily create content for the Kannada film industry. 

Earlier, the visual effects industry was dominated by the big guns in Mumbai and Chennai. When companies like Technicolor and Dreamworks set up their studios in Bangalore, they built a pool of talent for these start-ups to take off.

“Film producers in Kannada usually hesitate to invest a lot of money in visual effects. The success of films like Bahubali that heavily use VFX and animation has now motivated them to invest in visual effects,” says Vinu, the Creative Director of Thought Cloud Studios, a 2D and 3D animation studio based out of Bengaluru. They are currently working on a project for Cartoon Network.

Today, visual effects constitute at least 25 per cent of the budget of Kannada movies. And these start-ups are steadily emerging as game-changers in the industry.

The core principle of these start-ups is not to overtly employ visual effects for entertainment but to refine the overall experience of cinema. “These effects are not explicit anymore. They are chiefly used to compliment the aesthetics of films. They are incorporated in movies in such a way that they can be called invisible effects,” says Naveen, the CEO of MRT Studios. The MRT Studios has worked on 25 movies in the last two years, their most recent one being Golisoda.

As the Kannada film industry gradually heads in the direction of realistic portrayal of stories through movies like Lucia, U-Turn, Rama Rama Re, the concept of invisible effects have opened up many doors for these start-ups. 

He further claims that the success of these start-ups can be attributed to the delivery of good quality content in a cost-effective manner.

“We, as start-ups, have been growing together in this industry. We share knowledge, talent and technology with each other. Hence, the extent of competition among us is much lesser compared to huge corporates,” adds Vinu. 

Despite the monopoly of international players like Disney and Dreamworks in the arena of visual effects and animation, the start-ups have been able to withstand their competition in the Kannada film industry.

With these local players in town, the future of Kannada film industry looks visually promising. 

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