Raising of Freelance VFX Jobs Sector
The VFX sector has been growing at a good clip for the past few years and is all set to accelerate on the back of rising demand for content not just from the hitherto dominant media and entertainment industry but also from non-entertainment industries/verticals such as military, sports, architecture, and healthcare.
Demand from emerging services within the entertainment industry such as streaming services is one of the biggest drivers of growth. This is good news for the freelance VFX jobs sector which includes CG studios/producers, media, technology vendors, artists, and other key stakeholders across the value chain, whose prospects are tied to the VFX sector and the performance of the media and entertainment industry in general.
According to a research report by ‘Statista’, the ‘VFX and Post-Production’ sectors in India with a market size of over INR 68 billion in the year 2019 is projected to shoot up to INR 147 billion by the year 2024, indicating tremendous growth potential. I ndia’s VFX and post-production sectors have moved up the value chain and the global industry has recognized their potential as high-quality service providers with a significant cost advantage.
Specifically, VFX revenues alone grew by 25% in 2019 to reach INR 49.5 billion and are expected to cross INR 89.3 billion in the year 2022 as per the ‘FICCI-E&Y-Media and Entertainment report – 2019’. VFX growth was fuelled by increasing demand from national and international production companies creating higher volumes of content for both the developed and emerging markets.
VFX is expected to witness exponential growth ahead despite concerns of a slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Greater innovation in content formats, new ‘products and opportunities’, and fresh business models are likely to help drive engagement with consumers of content, delivering improved earnings for key stakeholders.
Success Saga of VFX Industry
Ever since the VFX-heavy blockbuster ‘Bahubali-I’ blazed screens across the globe in 2015, other Indian films such as Rajnikanth’s ‘2.0’, Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Fan’, Ajay Devgn’s ‘Shivaay’ and ‘Tanhaji’, Surya’s ‘24’, Kangana Ranaut’s ‘Manikarnika’, and off course Prabhas-starrer ‘Bahubali-II’ have helped expand the VFX market.
The trend continues with a slew of VFX-based feature films that are currently under production and slated for release in 2021/2022 such as Salman Khan’s ‘Bharat’, S.S. Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’, and Ayan Mukerji’s ‘Brahmastra’. Scores of currently streaming and under-production, big-budget web series are also driving more business for CG studios and more work for CG artists, especially VFX freelancers.
While most of the large, big-league CG studios depend on their in-house teams to execute projects, there is a growing trend of engaging online freelancers due to a variety of reasons: talented, experienced and verified artists are available online, the rich talent pool cuts across specializations and experience levels, the freelancers offer greater flexibility compared to full-time staff, and importantly, freelance VFX artist rates are very attractive.
The benefits are many for VFX studios as they require competent talent to execute film and other CG projects. Realizing the advantages that come with hiring freelancers, some of the biggest VFX studios in India and across the world are apportioning project work between their in-house teams and freelancers. This is creating more freelance VFX work for artists.
While cost advantages, work flexibility and other benefits are building a strong case in favour of freelancers, the recent economic downturn and the fast-spreading ‘work-from-home’ culture is helping expand the pool of freelancers as many experienced artists who always dreamt of quitting their full-time jobs for freelancing but couldn’t do so are considering this an opportunity.
With the growing number of freelance VFX jobs online, this could be a great time for creative professionals in the VFX space to kickstart a new chapter in their careers, plunge into the exciting world of freelance, and enjoy a better work-life balance.