With increased focus in India and Indian content, global streaming giant Netflix lately held a virtual Q&A session for the editing community in India with Emmy Award-winning editor Stuart Bass on 30 April. The streaming service also hosted a first-of-a-kind workshop on post-production in Mumbai last October.
Bass, who has iconic shows like The Wonder Years, Arrested Development, The Office, and Pushing Daisies to his credit, along with his long-time assistant editor Preston Rapp, shared his inputs with over 100 participants, primarily including editors, assistant editors, post-production supervisors, writers, and directors from India and South East Asia.
In the past few years, India has emerged as a crucial market for global streaming players, as India is one of the few countries to enjoy the highest consumption of VOD (video-on-demand) in the world. Hence, the streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and others across the globe are naturally trying to strengthen their business in the country. Infact, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings promised an investment of Rs 3000 crore for content in India in 2019-20. Hence, the streaming service is also taking in consideration the training requirement of the local creative community as well.
The conversation focused on best practices in editing for complex episodic storytelling, how it differs from editing feature films, editing for different genres and the latest editing technologies. Even with the number of original content flooding the ecosystem, the country has limited experience in editing for series which requires a different approach from a creative, logistical, and management perspective. Hence, skills in editing for series will become increasingly relevant as India produces content at scale.
Said Netflix post-production director Vijay Venkataramanan while moderating the session, “We’re seeing a flourishing of stories from India across multiple genres and for every mood and member of the family. As more episodic series are made in India, there is a desire for best practices in long format storytelling. We were thrilled to see the response to the session led by an editor as prolific and experienced as Stuart Bass. We are grateful to the Indian creative community who, despite this difficult time, joined us and made this an incredibly insightful session that ranged from in-depth creative discussions to the technical aspects of editing for series.”
Netflix has significantly upped its investment in Indian stories and storytellers, announcing over 50 productions in India. In Q1 earnings call, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed to have seen big growth in India owing to the homegrown originals like Guilty, She, Jamtara- Sabka Number Aayega and Yeh Ballet. Its latest power-packed action thriller Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth and Randeep Hooda has been shot in India and Dhaka and released with dubs in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu to engage viewers across the country.