Technology needs to be upgraded for quality storytelling

Technology needs to be upgraded for quality storytelling

Production of content in India has to catch up a lot more, albeit the change has started


KOLKATA: The Indian media and entertainment industry is standing at a point when the requirement for video content is, more or less, growing in tandem with the investment in it. While Indian producers are branching out into new types of content across genres, formats, they need to scale up their investment in technology.

To deliberate upon this changing landscape, hosted a virtual webinar on Friday themed ‘Accelerating the new age of content with technology,” and moderated by founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari. At the beginning of the discussion, Wanvari elaborated why more focus is required on faster seamless content delivery in the emergence of various formats like HD, 4K, 4K HDR. He also mentioned that a new breed of machine called workstation has emerged which is being increasingly used in studios across the world to deliver on hard and extremely tough specifications that are demanded by platforms.

Media Partners Asia vice president Mihir Shah agreed that technology is going to play an increasingly crucial role going forward. In terms of production, there is a lot of innovation that is yet to be seen on the online video side. While India has tried to emulate the west, we have only been replicating what’s successful on television and films. Hence, there are a lot of things to be done on the online video side where different streaming options are available, he opined.

“Technology will be used widely as ever before with the online opportunity available right now and you will see a lot of interactive videos coming in, short videos coming in, different format, vertical videos, we have just touched the tip of the iceberg,” Shah stated.

He also brought up the aspect of the gap in creating franchises as the audience is used to seeing a lot of daily soaps. If the country starts focusing on more franchises, more innovations will come around. He believes a lot of local franchises can be created and monetised by utilising technology.

In a fireside chat during the webinar, Dell Technologies’ Dell Precision Workstations marketing consultant & product evangelist Suhas Pingat remarked upon the importance of using workstations and technology to create content. He stated that times are changing and 5G is going to be widespread in a period of 18 to 20 months.

According to him, India is not behind as far as accepting content is concerned. There are some technologies that are superior in developed markets, among which is MoCap (motion capture), then there is virtual filming which is taking place. In the west, the adaptation of technology is progressing at a pace that far outstrips India, noted Pingat, although he believes the scenario is slowly changing with the rise of OTT platforms.

However, broadcasters and content studios still have a lot to catch up on, said Pingat. Moreover, there is a need for change in the way content is given to consumers in India and we need to move far ahead, as far as adapting technology is concerned. He also elaborated on how Dell Technologies has a very industry-specific approach to the business ecosystem, with a large media and entertainment vertical. He also touched upon the topic of how Dell workstations are helping its partners in the domain from a technology standpoint.

“These are exciting times ahead in terms of technology. Whatever is available abroad, globally, is available in India too, in terms of not only workstations but from an infrastructure standpoint as well.  That’s one pint which is very good with Dell. We are the oldest workstation brand. We do partner across industry platforms which would be ISPs, global customers. We have a separate work team that has been helping solve customers’ problems. We look forward to fantastic content being delivered by our great partners in the country. Look forward to more exciting immersive years ahead,” he detailed.

Post this discussion, the webinar hosted an engaging session on the role of technology with eminent experts. The panel included Excel Entertainment CG supervisor Apul Mehta, Endemol Shine India chief operating officer Gaurav Gokhale, Hats Off Productions chairman and managing director JD Majethia, Contiloe Pictures CFO & Illusion Reality Studioz business head - animation & VFX Nitin Dadoo, Redchillies VFX technology head Rajiv Sharma, and Epic On chief operating officer Sourjya Mohanty.

The experts came to the conclusion that innovation is key to implement new technologies at this point of time. The transformation journey has started already but a lot more needs to be done. Storytelling and execution need to be in sync with upgradation of technology. It is imperative now to leverage technology at its best because consumers are demanding more quality content, not only on OTT bit also on TV.  While media organisations are significantly upping their investment in content, there is no point in shying away from technology.

Technology needs to be brought to speed in the country. The demand side constraints can be met by great content and marketing strategy but supply side constraints can be rectified only by technology. Moreover, if big tech companies can look at the media and entertainment vertical as an industry and offer a solution rather than a product, a sea change will take place.