Recently, the Visual Effects Society (VES) of India held their very first offline meet-up after the Covid-19 pandemic in BKC, Mumbai. The event was organised by VES India chairperson Abhishek Krishnan and co-chair Rutul Patel. Along with the members, VFX studio representatives also attended the event.
VES is the only organisation in the entertainment industry that represents the full range of visual effects practitioners. It is a professional honorary society with a global membership. More than 4,000 VES members work in more than 40 countries and contribute to all types of entertainment, including movies, television, advertising, animation, special venues, games and new media.
Here’s what the members had to say about VES:
AMD India Private Limited Gaming & Components marketing manager and the outgoing VES India chairperson Abhishek Krishnan said, “If I can be honest, the whole journey happened in the pandemic, so we did have meet and greets virtually all over India. We had sessions where we were learning a lot from our peers, industry experts in and outside India. In a normal situation VES contributes a lot to the society in terms of education, learning, VFX breakdown, animation and even game design to an extent. The whole idea of new members coming on board is for them to understand what they can contribute to the society and make it grow.”
Digital District India CEO and VES India co-chair Rutul Patel said, “VES brings together the VES community everywhere. It is an extremely useful forum for VFX professionals to learn and network. Apart from local activities VES India organises, VES memebers can also be part of events organised by other Country sections online and offline. Be it screening or meet-ups. This is a great way to interact and exchange ideas between countries. Members can also be part of VES Nomination Event in January as a Judge.”
VES India board of manager and former secretary Parth Shah said, “It’s great to see everyone in person and our next plan is to have more meet-ups, have membership drives and involve more members.”
DNEG VFX supervisor Tim McGovern, 20 year VES BOD Member, VES Chair of Outreach Committee, highlighted the perks of being a member of VES. He mentioned, “VES India started gaining momentum after establishing a new India Section late in 2017, it was growing when two years of Covid came along and slowed it down. The unfortunate thing is a lot of people know about all of the benefits of VES. It’s an honorary society, like the Academy and BAFTA, but with a lot more benefits. With Covid on the decline we conduct lots of activities, like movie screenings which are often weekly latest international releases. We do Panels, Before / After Events, Networking Events. Every member receives the beautiful VES Quarterly magazine VFX Voice ( CineFex-like printed and direct mailed to members ), receives Screeners or coded access to streaming Screeners, a free subscription to Netflix, and for the VES Awards, the ability to view all B&A material and vote on the 24 world wide categories of awards. We have also started a new International program wherein we can connect any member from the 40 countries to talk to a local doctor, therapist or a lawyer if needed free of charge.”
Commenting on the current state of Indian VFX industry, McGovern said, “Latest cutting edge VFX techniques are typically pioneered abroad on the highest budget international projects, but in very short time can be created or adapted here for use in India’s local projects if needed. Indian local budgets are usually a little more spare, but those budgets are growing and there’s nothing that can’t be done here if really needed. Now more than ever international are seeking out Indian VFX Artists. The best can work anywhere in the world easily, both in-person and remotely. They are respected and sought after and then of course the VFX work opportunities within India have also only grown with the international and local companies here, so that you don’t have to go abroad to work on a amazing work in all areas of VFX, Animation and Games.”
YFX studio head Sherry Bharda said, “Having been in the industry for so long, I thought I need to be a part of a forum that can grow, mentor and nurture the young talent. I’m finding a lot of motivated people in VES. The idea is to raise the bar in visual effects, animation and everything else. There’s an issue with bringing more members on board and I think we haven’t been able to pitch the idea of VES properly to people. We need to have regular meet-ups, open house, show and tell, screenings, sessions by industry experts.”
Pixel VFX founder and managing director Karthik Gurunathan said, “It’s really great to be in the community, they keep us updated with what’s happening in the industry by their magazine. Offline meet-ups give confidence to the members and more such meetings should be conducted.”
Digital District production manager Jay Varia is the newly joined member and he said, “Right now VES is a platform where we can meet industry experts who can share knowledge on how to get in the management position at a studio. Abroad the situation of a VFX artist is much better than in India.”
Everyone present at the event had to say that the Indian VFX industry is growing more than ever and there’s a pool of talent in India which now has more opportunities to work as compared to earlier and the Indian VFX industry is bound to grow.