Creative Industry and the role of Institutions
So much has been said and written about the Pakistani film industry, its rebirth and rapid development. The preponderance of this topic has overshadowed some of its quintessential elements.
Our cinema has seen its highs and lows. Nearly three decades ago it struggled desperately before it breathed its last. Its decline has taught its professionals many a valuable lesson. Its celebratory revival has opened new doors of opportunity for the aspiring film professionals especially the animators and visual effects artists who are the backbone of contemporary cinema.
To fully perceive their importance, try to visualize your favourite movies in their “pure” form (without any creative CGIs and visual effects wizardry applied to them). Below is a video clip showing before and after visual effects scenes from some of the mega hit movies:
It is an undeniable fact that the animators and VFX artists are the creative minds with concepts, ideas and expertise that breathe new life to a story and decorate the screen effectively.
In other words, our thriving film industry entails the acquisition of well trained and highly experienced animators and VFX artists.
And now is the time to emphasize their importance not only for the local market, but to also increase our value and demand worldwide. To achieve this goal, following key factors need to be focused on:
#Organizing an Association – The animation and VFX community plays a vital role in making a movie successful and worth watching. Although it is purely a labour of love but it is also the only source of income for the professionals working in the darkrooms. To ensure they get decently paid (on time), work in an environment that provides them enough space to use their creativity freely without worrying about their job security and to safeguard their basic working rights, an association or a union will need to be formed.
#Public-Private Partnership/Government Support – The role of our government is crucial for the boost of our homegrown talent. Private sector can team up with the government to help the struggling creative industry which is in dire need of new setups, software, trainings, equipment and fundings in form of different incentives.
#Education – In Pakistan, there are those who know how to cleverly operate the animation and VFX softwares but they lack the basic knowledge and background. And there are those who have majored in these subjects from foreign universities and were immediately hired in Hollywood. And then, there are those creative artists, who learned the craft at their jobs by starting off as trainees in production houses. The limited number of film schools, training centers and universities are still churning out “filmmakers”, directors and editors. However, there is a dearth of VFX artists and animators as these disciplines are not taught as major subjects. The educational institutions need to introduce animation (including hand-drawn animation) and visual effects as proper subjects in the curriculum.