Special effect: From Hyderabad to Hollywood

Huddled in the confines of their cabins, surrounded by myriad screens and a story board to guide, a group of Hyderabadis are working round the clock to give finishing touches to a new Charlie Chaplin TV series, which will soon be aired across the world. And that’s not a one-off case. Work like the animation for a new series on Peter Pan and a brand new Jungle Book, complete with the latest visual effects, are keeping thousands of visual effects supervisors in the city busy.

After its world famous biryani and pearls, the latest addition to Hyderabad’s pride is its growing animation industry for games, TV and feature films pegged at a staggering $1 billion, arguably the highest in the country.

“The industry has been thriving in the city for the last few years. But it was not until recently that it became recognized as a hub for animation in films and television shows,” Rama Krishna, founder and promoter of Animation VFX Comic Gaming (AVCG) Industry of AP told TOI.

Some of the prominent animation works taken up in the city have won accolades in Hollywood. Don’t be surprised if these include famous ones like the Incredible Hulk, Chronicles of Narnia and a major chunk of James Cameron’s magnum opus Avatar. Another film that relied entirely on city-based experts was the action-comedy movie Knight & Day.

Now, the industry has taken to the storyboards once again for the next Narnia sequel, which is scheduled to release in 2016. “We can’t tell you exactly what we are up to as we have a non-disclosure agreement in place. All we can say is that we are putting together some great visual effects,” said a representative of Rhythm and Hues.

Hyderabad’s booming VFX industry also caters to roughly 50 per cent of the animation work for cartoon channel Nickelodeon, industry insiders said. The city is now counted among the country’s premier animation hubs, with stakeholders ranging from Green Gold Animation, DQ Entertainment, Pixxel Arts, Gameshastra as well as the outsourcing units of several global conglomerates such as Dream Works, Pixar and Disney.

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