Netflix to Host Postproduction Workshop for Indian, Southeast Asian Professionals (Exclusive)

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

The streaming giant will hold a first-of-a-kind workshop in Mumbai for selected producers and post supervisors in a bid to familiarize industry professionals with international standards and practices.

Netflix will host a first-of-a-kind workshop on postproduction in Mumbai from Oct. 12-15 in a bid to familiarize industry professionals with international standards and practices. The workshop is in collaboration with Amsterdam-based APostLab, which is run by industry experts and conducts postproduction workshops in various countries.

The Mumbai workshop will be attended by 30 producers and post producers from India selected by Netflix and the state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. There will also be six participants from Southeast Asia, two each from the Philippines and Thailand, and one each from Indonesia and Vietnam, selected by local industry associations. In addition to trainers from APostLab, the workshop will also include Netflix professionals from the U.S. and Korea and industry experts from India as well.

The workshop will cover creative, technical and managerial aspects of the postproduction process with a specific target on creative digital skills. On completion, participants will receive an APostLab certificate and will become part of the Netflix freelance production roster for future job placements.

"This workshop is a knowledge-sharing opportunity from experts across the world including India, one of the largest entertainment hubs in Asia, to help participants get a more thorough understanding of how to manage postproduction, focusing particularly on large-scale international series with digital distribution channels," Netflix director of postproduction, Asia Pacific, Gavin Barclay tells The Hollywood Reporter.

"We will take participants through all phases of postproduction, starting at the script level, to help them better understand how to schedule and budget for post workflows," adds Netflix India director of postproduction Vijay Venkataramanan. "Post really starts at the script level, but unfortunately, in India and other parts of Asia, post starts at the editing stage and is usually viewed as a means of fixing problems during the shoot," he expands, pointing at the difference in how post in the U.S. and U.K. starts at the inception of a project and is seen more as a tool to "enhance storytelling."

The workshop is also an extension of Netflix contributing to the ASEAN Digital Skills pledge, which the streamer signed with the World Economic Forum Digital ASEAN Working Group in August, involving a coalition of organizations that are committed to training workers in digital skills by 2020.

While the Mumbai workshop is the first that specifically covers postproduction, Netflix has earlier conducted workshops in India and Asia to educate professionals about various aspects of content production.

In April, the streamer conducted a workshop in Mumbai for line producers and first assistant directors that covered planning, scheduling, budgeting and running complex, large-scale multi-episodic shoots, given such productions are relatively new in India.

In Bangkok in February, Netflix conducted a workshop with Thailand’s National Federation of Motion Pictures and Contents Association that covered topics ranging from pitching stories to production and postproduction requirements and global viewer trends.

An animation workshop was conducted in Seoul last December in conjunction with Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), Korean Independent Animation Filmmakers Association (KIAFA), Korea Animation Producers Association, (KAPA) and the Korean Animation Industry Association (KAIA).
A similar workshop was also conducted in Malaysia last January with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

The emphasis for these workshops is on establishing uniform standards for content produced in Asia given that Netflix has an exhaustive slate of originals from across the region. Upcoming titles include Nowhere Man and Triad Princess (Taiwan), The Stranded (Thailand), The Ghost Bride (Malaysia) and a slew of Indian originals including Baahubali: Before The Beginning, Bombay Begums, Cobalt Blue and Ghost Stories, among others.

"Asia is home to a lot of great storytelling, and has housed many high-quality productions, both local and international," Barclay says. He adds: "In fact, at Netflix, all our Asia originals were fully shot and produced by our local partners in Asia, so that speaks to the confidence we have in the talent in this part of the world."

Barclay also points out that in terms of digital skills "we are in a transitional phase globally where consumers are gravitating increasingly toward streaming services, and that changes how content is consumed and produced." This again underlines the aim of the workshops in bringing international knowledge and skill sets "to come together in one place, and use the latest technology available to us to set new benchmarks in postproduction, and make a positive impact on the ecosystem as a whole."

Venkataramanan adds that since Netflix is "a single, centralized platform, we don't differentiate between the technical standards set for Stranger Things and [Netflix's first Indian original] Sacred Games. Regardless of where the content originates from, when it comes to quality and technical proficiency, we hold everybody to the same standards."