With around thousand movies released annually in India, which is roughly twice of what Hollywood produces, more and more Hollywood & foreign technicians are finding their way to Indian shores. And many foreign technicians slowly, but surely, making their mark in Bollywood.
Indian Cinema Attracts More Foreign Crew
As with most markets in India, even the Indian film industry is growing exponentially, unlike in other countries and so many want to take advantage of that situation. There is more work for everybody, the pay is competitive and the cost of living here is significantly lower which makes it an attractive proposition.
Indian cinema continues to attract more foreign crew post the recent successful movies that used foreign crew in various department. Several recent award functions have seen the announcements of a few western names to receive the awards in the technical categories.
Bollywood is Increasingly Opting for Hollywood Technicians
when it comes to the technical department, Hollywood has been doing those things for years, and that too on a much bigger scale, and they are far more experienced in those things.
In India, the films are only becoming bigger now, and they need the right kind of people to create the desired impact.
Few Bollywood films in recent times were very heavy on special effects, VFX etc. and required technicians from abroad. Although we have great technicians here in India, there experiences have been comparatively limited in certain areas, hence the demand for skilled foreign technicians.
What Attracts Them to India?
Money is not the only lure in this case. In many cases, the song-and-dance culture of Indian cinema attracts foreign talent. Classic Indian cinema has created images that are deceptively simple and powerful.
Lot of these foreign technicians want to explore Bollywood and would like to be associated with good cinema and are looking for opportunities to grow.
In a few years from now, this won’t be so surprising. The Indian film industry, like its counterparts in sectors like information technology, retail and telecom, is increasingly hiring foreign talent for roles such as cinematography, direction, production, script-writing, editing and sound.
Most foreign crew find the Indian methods of working quite attractive. Tighter budgets ensure that people work more efficiently and are innovative. This proves to be advantageous in the global scenario too. An expensive American film easily has a budget of over Rs 1,000 crore while an expensive Indian film will seldom cross Rs 100 crores.
Language is still a significant barrier that most students need to overcome before they can fully integrate within industry. Most students see themselves working here on international co-productions.
Indian film Schools Are NOT Complaining
Interestingly, several of these foreign crew have been trained in Indian film Schools.
It’s a win-win for both: while foreign talent is lured by the sheer variety and opportunity that is available in Indian cinema, besides working in a relatively stable economy, film-makers are glad to hire professional talent that can bring in a fresh perspective.
Most foreign crew also believe that Once you shoot a film in India you can shoot anywhere. Most film institute and schools also have witnessed that almost twenty percent of students comprise foreigners from various countries. Most foreign students focus on courses like cinematography, direction, writing and editing.
Most big-budget films and advertising directors have been known to look abroad when top Indian talent is not available, since they cannot compromise on quality. They want someone with a fresh perspective to shoot their films.
Are They Paid Well?
Definitely its not at par with the pay in Hollywood, it cannot be…yet. But the pay is not bad as well. Most big-budget Bollywood movies cost around 100 crores to make nowadays, which means the crew/artists are paid well, and its only going to get better from here on, as Bollywood really goes global.
Remember, Bollywood superstar ‘SRK’ is among the richest actors today, even if you take into account the Hollywood actors. It means, not just artists from India are keen to go to Hollywood, artists/crew from foreign countries are also keen to come and work here in Bollywood.
With so much work here, the western world for once might need to worry about a brain drain.