‘Future of cinema is in VFX’

Visual effects education needs more government support, says ace designer Prasad Sutar

One of India’s most sought after Visual Effects designers, Prasad Sutar has added life to some of the best movies made in recent times. He has created magic on screen with movies such as Dangal, Barfi, Rang de Basanti and many more. He has won the Asian Film Award for Best Visual Effects for the movie Bajirao Mastani as well as the national award for his work in Shivaay. He has worked with ace directors in the industry today, bringing their vision to life and has co-founded the VFX house NY VFXWaala.

What was your schooling like?

It had nothing to do with what I’m doing right now. I graduated in B.Com. In school I always wanted to be a part of something creative, which led me to do a small VB course which eventually led me to VFX.

So there was no formal educational foundation that you had for VFX?

It was all on-the-job learning for me which was both good and bad. Good because you learn on your own, but it takes a lot of time. A formal education does help at least setting you up initially for what you want to do.

Skills needed for a career in VFX

Before everything else, you need to have a strong sense of visuals. You can then do a bachelor in fine arts degree if you wish to take up the creative side of VFX. But the field has grown to become vast now that creativity alone is not enough. Production requires manual skills, managing the whole team requires financial skills; so along with primary creativity you need to have other skills.

How do you think education in India has changed since the time you started pursuing your career?

Today, people decide what they want to do after they finish their school, and then they take up a course or field accordingly which wasn’t the case 20 years ago. They are precise, which is good, but in a way it’s slightly dicey because later if they want to change their occupation it becomes very difficult.

VFX education in India and abroad

From what I’ve seen in my field, outside of India they pay more emphasis on practical aspects, and a lot of their time is spent on making students understand the basics. They cover a little bit of every aspect of visual effects like production, creative design and finance in the first year so that they can choose which line to pursue. That does not happen in India.

Another thing is there are no schools in India teaching VFX; there are only institutes that are not government-owned or university-affiliated. It is a field not every parent knows. Because there is no accreditation by the government, they feel it is not a safe field for their kids. I think it is time the government took a stand and gave degrees with affiliated universities and colleges.

VFX scope

Post-production, manipulation of images, using something visual to convey your message is VFX. So VFX can help you convey your message in every field. Everybody uses it, to visually convey something to others, it is just that they don’t use the term VFX for it. My 9-year-old kid making two images dissolve to form a word is VFX. It is going to be the future. How do you tell the same basic story differently is going to come from VFX. That is what will excite the viewers.

What would be your message to the youth?

Whatever you do, do your best. The way I’ve been doing it is by representing the filmmaking of the country on a larger picture and make it stand on its own. It is easier to go abroad and do VFX but I want to make it here. It is a longer path, but one that can be achieved.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 9:17:56 PM |

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