VFX or not, the story remains king: Saurabh Dalmiya, Anibrain

Dalmia speculates on how VFX impacts the overall marketing of a movie, including its production cost

e4m by Akshata R Murthy
Updated: Dec 22, 2017 8:48 AM

According to reports, the value of the Indian film industry from the year 2007 to 2021 has been about 138.2 billion INR. With more and more films being made increasingly every year, it becomes essential for each film to differentiate itself. VFX definitely play a great deal in doing this. Saurabh Dalmiya, Head of Business Development, Anibrain talks about this and more.


How is Anibrain changing the process of storytelling with the sort of technology it has to offer?

Actually, nothing has changed. The story was king and story still is king. We have procured some tools to be able to convey the same story in a more realistic way. Things that were impossible to do or that were very expensive or dangerous can now be done using VFX. But again as I was telling, it’s all about storytelling. It’s all about experience and the emotion. Everything that we do is serving that narrative.
Essentially, we are now able to show things in detail which we were not able to do before. For example, space travel in ‘Gravity’. It allows you to show all of that in a more realistic way. But at the end of the day, ‘Gravity’ was about emotions and story. The story would take the centre stage at least in our lifetimes, that’s what I believe in.

Technology and entertainment have been going hand in hand now. How has this journey been so far?

Entertainment is the end. Technology is the medium. Technology allows people to get entertained. Different technologies try to entertain people in various different ways. VR is good for entertainment because you actually feel like you’re in that environment. It gives you a lifelike experience and that’s why the technology comes to your aid. But again, it’s the thrill, it’s the fear, it’s the surprise. All of that is still the same. Earlier you used to get it all in a small TV set and now it’s in an even smaller VR device.

What role does Anibrain play in this according to you?

It’s about the people and it’s really helped to position India as a leading destination for visuals in the world.I think what Anibrain has enabled is that we started our own school. We found a lot of people from tier two and tier three cities coming in whose parents were modest farmers who didn’t the money to spend to get a law degree or a medical degree are now working with us creating these world class films. It is great that they are able to buy their own houses and support their families. We are proud of the fact that this work can be done in India. It’s about the people and skilling them and it’s really helped to position India as a leading destination for visuals in the world.

Do you think movies which have used a lot of VFX, have an added advantage when marketing themselves?

I think budgets are higher. So the hype is higher. But then look at ‘3 idiots’ and the kind of hype created with its marketing strategy. Also ‘PK’ too was quite good. I think all of this is just to generate interest. I think big VFX tools helps in creating bigger hype because big VFX enables to create a grand setting with mythical creatures, superheroes, and a huge environment.

And how does all this impact the cost of film-making?

That’s a difficult question. VFX sometimes reduces the cost of film-making. In certain cases, when you want to create a visual spectacle, the costs are very high. It all depends on the purpose.

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