A new revolution that has gone on without much public attention, very keenly watched by industry experts across the globe, is taking place in the Indian media industry. The Indian Media & Entertainment Industry, which is also called the 'creative industry' is driving this present revolution. In fact, according to most studies and industry projections, the Indian Media and Entertainment industry as a whole is expected to cross Rs. 1,052 billion by 2013. Hence a new business opportunity, of developing 'mesmerising Digital Media content' not just for Indian market but also for international market, has evolved.

Video Game industry, another important segment propelling the growth of media and entertainment industry as a whole, is projected to reach Rs. 300 million by the end of the decade.

Besides print and television media, this industry also comprises, of subsidiary industries like Animation, Graphic Design, and Video Gaming. Animation industry, which holds the key to this revolution, is expected to grow from the Rs. 13 billion at present to Rs 40 billion by 2013. Video Game industry, another important segment propelling the growth of media and entertainment industry as a whole, is projected to reach Rs. 300 million by the end of the decade. Graphic Design and Product Design industry is also witnessing an extraordinary growth.

The contribution of Animation and Gaming industries to this overall growth is evident from the fact that Global Entertainment majors like Walt Disney, Sony pictures, IMAX, Warner Brothers have signed up huge contracts with Indian animation companies. Gaming Giant EA (Electronic Arts) and Microsoft have set up their own shops in the country for production and distribution of Computer Games. Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai have emerged as major Animation production hubs not only for India, but also as a source of content for Global Animation Industry.

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS REVOLUTION?

The very same factors that were behind the IT revolution in the 1980s and 1990s are propelling this digital revolution in India.

Cost advantage for International projects executed in India

Unlike the IT industry, where outsourcing is the predominant business model, global players are adopting other models like Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), Co-production and Strategic Alliances.

For the global animation industry, India offers significant cost advantages in terms of Real estate, Infrastructure and most importantly the trained and competent workforce. The making of a full length animated film, which might cost an estimated 100 million USD to 175 million USD in the United States, can be produced in India at only about 15 to 45 million USD which is actually a fraction of the cost. As a result international animation giants are looking to India.

In 80's India identified the growing opportunities in IT and established itself as a Super power by the 90's. Similarly, the opportunity in Animation, identified in the beginning of this century is all set to repeat the IT success by the end of this decade.

Companies like Rhythm & Hues, Electronic Arts (EA), Imageworks etc., operate as Indian companies. Thomson has formed a strategic alliance with Dreamworks and invested in Bangalore based Paaprikaas Animation Studios to produce world class animation in India. Warner Brothers and Prasad Corporation have formed a strategic alliance for Digital Intermediaries and Digital Restoration for Hollywood and Indian films. International investments are virtually pouring in. This growth is not merely driven by global markets as there has been a significant increase in demand in the domestic market. The domestic demand for Animation is due to various other factors.

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Increase in production of Indian Animated Films

The success of Hanuman Returns – A fully animated movie has boosted the interest levels for animated movies in the domestic market. Adlabs along with Ocher Studios is producing a high-end CGI animation film titled 'Sultan - The Warrior' on Indian Superstar Rajnikanth. The film will have music by A.R. Rahman. The film will be launched in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English languages.

Advertising companies add creativity

Pioneered by the Indian advertising industry, animation in India has been adding creativity to commercial advertisements. The fully animated AMARON battery advertisement is a classic example. The list of commercial advertisements using animation is long, with products ranging from chewing gums and soft drinks to mobile phones and services like insurance.

Visual FX adding the success to Bollywood and Kollywood Films

Visual effects (Visual FX or VFX), which had already started playing a significant role in Advertising, especially TV Ad Commercials, has also taken the Indianfilm industry by storm. The success of several Bollywood and Kollywood films like Krissh, Dhoom 2, Don, Shivaji, and Dasavatharam amongst many others, which had VFX as their USP, bears testimony to this.

Image Infotainment Limited is among the earliest to identify the potential and opportunity that animation as an industry offered. An ISO 9001-2000 certified Knowledge Powerhouse, IMAGE Infotainment Ltd, incorporated in 1996, is a pioneer in the field of Multimedia Education and Digital Media content development. Not to be left behind the Image College of Arts, Animation and Technology (ICAT), was established in 2004 realizing the need for well trained and qualified professionals in the field of Digital Media, a pioneering institution offering campus based education culminating in Graduate degrees and post graduate diplomas in Animation, Visual FX and Gaming. For any information about the company visit Image and iCAT