“It is high time that a career in Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) is considered mainstream. Today, India has huge potential to provide employment opportunities to someone interested and skilled in this sector. This industry offers a wide range of career opportunities” says, Mr. Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Vice President and Business Head, Whistling Woods International.
With this year’s budget announcement focusing on the need to constitute a Task Force for the promotion of AVGC sector, the sector has been the point of discussion with various stakeholders appreciating the much-needed attention.
To understand the growth potential of the AVGC sector, building domestic capacities, a wide range of career opportunities and meeting the global demand, we caught up with Mr. Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Vice President and Business Head, Whistling Woods International.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full conversation on our YouTube channel.
Q: What is the potential and scope of the AVGC sector in India?
A: Within the AVGC space, we need to look at the media and entertainment industry under four buckets –
- Narrative arts
- Communication arts
- Creative arts
- Performing arts
AVGC – Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics
- Animation – India is now doing outsourcing work in animation instead of only importing. Today, most of the content on the Indian screen is made by Indian animation studios which is an achievement.
- Visual Effects – India is the visual effects factory of the world! The largest visual effects studio in the world is Indian-owned. It has enough quality talent to fulfil all four parts of visual effects pipelines. Therefore, we are equipped to serve the entire visual effects pipeline.
- Gaming – India has a huge market in gaming and a significantly more game-playing population. It is now one of the largest evolving sectors in India.
- Comics – Comics are coming back to their significance again. Even comic cons are having a few Indian origin comics like Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle etc., We, at Whistling Woods International, have specialisation in animation programmes for comics. We also have graphic novels being published.
All these four areas are in the ascendence where visual effects are the largest followed by gaming, animation and comics.
Q: How do you perceive skilling and education in the AVGC sector?
A: We have to stop looking at skilling as different from education. Every technician should be an artist and every artist should be a technician. Skilling and education must go hand-in-hand. Hence, we make sure that this happens within our task force.
For India to become a global leader, it should first become the education powerhouse. India should become the destination of choice for everybody who wants to study AVGC. We are looking forward to hiring thousands of people in the next five to ten years. Education, training and skilling are delivered to all the people who come into this industry.
Q: How important is continuous learning in the AVGC sector?
A: We make sure that the AVGC employees are professionals like Lawyers, CAs, and doctors. Once they understand that they are also professionals, they start to see this workforce as mainstream too. When someone like a model doesn’t explore their opportunities, they get stuck in the same career without any growth. So, they have to think of themselves as professionals and explore career and growth opportunities.
Today, continuous learning is important. You cannot separate work and learning. Ten years ago in the film industry, a Helicam operator was the highest paid job. However, today, that job doesn’t exist. If that person had thought to make it his/her lifetime career, he/she wouldn’t have a job now. So, we need to look at continuous growth opportunities.
Q: Do you think AVGC should be added to the school curriculum? How do you create awareness that there is a huge scope of employability in this sector?
A: If you look at our academic structure, Physics, Maths and Chemistry are considered as main subjects while Arts and Sports are considered extra-curricular activities. That has to be changed by leaving the career choices to the children within the age of 18 years. Film-making, Theatre arts also should be a part of the mainstream syllabus and in the official school curriculum, so that parents and students can consider these subjects also as potential career choices.
Why wouldn’t anyone want editors, artists, animators etc. to study media and entertainment related subjects in their high school and make it their career choice? We need to address this issue and go forward in making this career choice, a cool factor!
Also Read: Whistling Woods International (WWI) pioneers higher education in Media and Entertainment through industry-integrated curriculum https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/whistling-woods-international-wwi-pioneers-higher-education-in-media-and-entertainment-through-industry-integrated-curriculum/
Q: What is your advice to people who want to join this sector?
A: Try to look beyond what you just see. You might not enjoy the work or content but you will soon develop a keen eye for them. You may need to see every animated video twice to analyse it correctly.
Everybody has their way of approaching and learning. Do not hesitate to learn new things.