Magazine article Screen International

Namit Malhotra, Prime Focus

Magazine article Screen International

Namit Malhotra, Prime Focus

Article excerpt

Jeremy Kay talks to the founder of one of the world's leading effects and post houses about their work on the likes of Gravity and World War Z.

Since its inception in a garage in Mumbai in 1997, Prime Focus has risen to become one of the world's leading effects and post houses, working on such tentpoles as Venice opener Gravity and global hits World War Z and The Great Gatsby.

The company has been quick to grow, too. Prime Focus listed on the India Stock Exchange in 2006, one year before it opened a London office. In 2008 Prime Focus acquired Frantic Films and Post Logic in Los Angeles. Prime Focus World was established in 2011 after absorbing part of the effects, 3D and animation group. Founder Namit Malhotra talks to Jeremy Kay.

Tell us about the company's origins.

I am a third generation in the entertainment industry going back to my grandfather who was a very accomplished producer. I had aspirations to be a film director. I set up a post-production business in a garage with some guys who taught me the basics, in Bombay back in 1997.

We worked on film, TV and music and rent cameras and now we do image capture, effects, sound, post, digital solutions over the cloud... We do it all from soup to nuts.

You were a technology pioneer in India.

From a technology standpoint we knew a challenge we had was to introduce technology to the market. I came with a few of my guys to the US in 1999 and we hired people from the US and UK to come and work for us. We were born in the digital age and technologically we were ahead of the curve in that part of the world.

As a company we constantly brought new technology. We were the first in India to pioneer the Digital Intermediate process, by which we transfer film into digital, colour correct it and put it back on film.

Now you are the largest effects house in India.

Yes and we work with all the major filmmakers and studios. Technologically we are on a par with what the [Hollywood] studios are doing. Industrial advances in India over the last 15 years have primarily been into technology. A lot of companies have risen and that's had an impact on technology companies.

We make more movies than Hollywood every year. We feel there's a great opportunity and there has been a push from several Indian companies to reach out across the world. …

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