SINGAPORE: Asia’s movie and home entertainment industry is projected to value US$23.9 billion by 2014.
One key area driving growth is the home grown post-production and visual effects houses which have been hitting the headlines in Hollywood.
A fact most movie-goers won’t be aware of is that four out of five movies nominated for best special effects at this year’s Academy Awards were built in part by graphic artists from Asia.
There was no shortage of Asian hands involved in The Life of Pi, which beat out the competition for an Oscar for its breath-taking effects.
VR Srivatsan, managing director of Autodesk, explained: “There were 600 artists from around the world in Asia (Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan) as well as in California and Canada that worked together to make up different shots in the movie (The Life of Pi).”
Once seen as a base for low cost production and sourcing activity, Asia has been rubbing shoulders with the industry’s big boys in recent years in part because of a need for speed.
High quality special effects can take months, even years, to complete. By spreading the work around different markets, production companies can cut time frames as well as costs.
As a result, geographical boundaries are no longer a barrier, said Mr Srivatsan.
He added: “People can work around the clock and people can find the right skills for the right tasks in the workflow. There is a lot of talent in Asia and the large studios around the world are very eager to tap into it.”
Better access to tools required to meet industry standards has helped Asia to play a greater role in the global movie industry and software companies like Autodesk have been actively developing products to level the playing field.
“Technology exists in the different production process to be moved around from country to country in the most efficient way. There is no limit to how the creative capability of the people can come to the fore. There is no reason why the Asian film industry cannot compete and have more than its even share of success,” said Mr Srivatsan.
And with a greater recognition for the growing talent around the region, the future is bright for Asia as it continues to make headways in an industry long-dominated by the West.