Netflix announced in June 2021 that it will open its first, and only, live action post-production facility in Mumbai in 2022. It makes sense. The Maximum City is home to a massive movie industry. It’s a mainstay of the economy and employs hundreds of thousands of people. There’s a lot of talent available and, since wages are lower in India, it’s a move with commercial logic.
Netflix’s announcement validates an opportunity that we first saw a decade ago. We’ve been tapping into that rich pool of skilled technicians and providing post-production services to creative agencies across the world for 10 years.
Over the decade, several trends have emerged to make that an ever more viable business model.
- Technology has been a great enabler. Cloud computing and 4G internet mean transferring huge files back and forth is no drama. The arrival of 5G will make the experience even more seamless.
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS) ensures everyone’s working with the same tools.
- From a content and production perspective, the quality of work being done in India is of the same standard as elsewhere in the world. Check the animation and post-production credits on any Hollywood blockbuster. You’ll find plenty of Indian names because much of that work is being done from studios in Mumbai.
But, caution is advised.
While outsourcing is a business model that makes economic sense, it nevertheless requires careful management if you’re to realise the cost and operational benefits. The technicians you need to work on your editing or animation won’t necessarily speak fluent English. Their cultural references and sensibilities will be different to yours. They might not be great project managers. They are in a different region and time zone.
Experience tells us that slick account management is the key to success. The ability to understand and check briefs, plan schedules and manage resources, ‘translate’ between client requirement and studio capability, and communicate and problem-solve are all vital pieces of the puzzle. Cost savings only make sense if they are delivered without compromising on quality, and can be woven smoothly into your own production cycles.
Your production requirements may not be on the scale of Netflix’s but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy access to the same pool of talent.