MMBA, A Specialized MBA for the Media Industry

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A career in Media and Entertainment is indeed very promising. Want to know why?

  • Over the next five years, the industry is poised to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11-12%​
  • By 2022, total employment across the industry is expected to be 6-6.5 million from the estimated 3.5-4 million in 2017.

With ​myriad emerging options​ and career tracks​ to choose from; like ​Over The Top (OTT), ​Print Media,​ Out of Home (OOH), Animation, VFX, Film Business, Music Industry, TV Broadcasting,​ Publishing, Online Media and other electronic media – the Media ​+​ ​Entertainment domain is a multitude of opportunities for professionals ​and potential aspirants.

What some of the industry professionals have to say about how a specialized MBA in Media and Entertainment, makes all the difference!

Shobu Yarlagadda, Producer of Bahubali:
The industry is evolving rapidly, the way we produce films and the way we manage and market films is changing very fast. And there is a need for people with good management skills, good strategy and good communication skills. Students with an MMBA background will be an ideal choice for a production office like ours.

Akkineni Nagarjuna, Film star:
Entertainment business management in India has been unorganized for the most part. As the business is growing more and more diverse; studios, production companies and media companies are experiencing a serious skill gap. This results in the increase in demand for trained professionals. To meet this demand, a MMBA program, a unique inter-disciplinary program, spanning across both business and media is the solution. MMBA graduates master the conventional business subjects as well as media and entertainment subjects, a winning combo, which makes them, survive and succeed in the fast growing media industry.

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Jeffery Hardy, Founder of Film Profit, Hollywood:
I think business side of the business is obviously what I focus my life on. The business side of business is what makes everything run well. You can’t just think about only the creative side. You have to do good production, you have to have them well managed, you have to do good distribution, you have to look for every opportunity in the market place, you have to manage it well, manage relationships with distributors, exhibitors, with everyone.

More people need to focus on it because we need people who can run good productions, who can run good distribution companies and really understand this business, not just from a creative point-of-view or personal desire point-of-view, but from a business point-of-view; only they will make the business work well.

Kandaswamy Bharathan, Producer of Roja:
The Indian film, media and entertainment industry has witnessed remarkable transformation in the last 5 years. This industry has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12% per annum as compared to India’s national GDP growth of about 7.5 % per annum. What this means is that there is a huge demand for trained creative technical and management professionals in this fast growing industry.

Smitha Sasidaran, Programming Head, Fever 94.3 FM:
The entertainment industry is really vast, be it radio, music, film, fine arts; so I think there is a great opportunity for everyone in this field. To sell creativity, now you have convergents of different media. Selling creativity is the biggest challenge and if it is academically taught, then the industry is more than happy to welcome them.

Understanding who are your stakeholders and consumers is very important; if you don’t understand that, then you are missing out on many opportunities. So, a specialized academic program is definitely helpful.

Kishore Kedari, Business Development, International Distribution, Arka Media Works:
MBA schools prepare the students in understanding the business, process as well as the organization structure of the industry. We need a specialization to an extent where we are offering courses exclusive to each and every aspect of film production. MMBA is not only going to give a broader prospective of the production, but also the business aspects related to the media and entertainment.

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Top Reasons to Apply:

  • Pursue a unique course that will fast-track you into the film, TV and other emerging+allied creative industries.
  • Practice and undertake production inside a Live studio environment in the heart of Hyderabad.
  • Produce a ‘Graduate Film’ and gain complete work experience (internship project) at a major media firm.
  • Study the course that is designed and delivered by top industry experts from Indian and global industries.
  • Participate in a series of Film Markets, Film Festivals, Industry Conferences, Master Classes and Guest Lectures.
  • ​Partner with business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs providing an endless pool of potential associates/producers and employers.
  • Profit from the MoU between AISFM & JNTU-Hyderabad, a first of its kind University and Industry Collaborative Program, leading to our certified professional post-graduate degree, MMBA.

Want to know more about our unique MMBA course in detail, watch our MMBA FB Panel Discussion: https://goo.gl/pUQrhc

Want a quick overview of what MMBA is, watch this MMBA Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbBWQyLbY

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Brief Profile of the author: MNVVK Chaitanya
In his current role, MNVVK Chaitanya provisions academic advisory by means of curriculum design, development and delivery for the MMBA course. In addition to undertaking teaching, industry interface and project supervision; all aimed at creating an India based research plus teaching agenda in media & entertainment business and management areas.
In the immediate past, at KSK Energy Group, he conceptualized and implemented twenty different OD, talent management, leadership, employee engagement and policy designinterventions. ​

Source Credits: According to the report published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled ‘Media & Entertainment: The Nucleus of India’s Creative Economy—Unleashing the Talent Tsunami to Drive Growth.’

Hollywood VFX Expert Phaneendra Gullapalli at AISFM

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AISFM had a Master Class with Mr. Phaneendra Gullapalli, a Hollywood VFX expert, and a member of the team that won an Oscar for the Hollywood film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for visual effects. Phaneendra  has also worked on visual effects for movies like 2012, Mummy-III, Transformers-II, Tron: Legacy, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and many more. Students enjoyed the interactive and engaging session with the expert greatly.

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Speaking about his journey from Vijayawada to Hollywood, he recounted how he fell in love with animation & visual effects early on in his life. He kept pursuing his passion inspite of being rejected four times for internships at famous Hollywood studios. The secret to his sustenance and success? He says “One third of your life is spent at your workplace and I didn’t want to pursue something that I was not happy with. I wanted to pursue my passion, so I took up animation. Some people give up after a setback. I didn’t because there is a thin line between winning and losing.”

What level of artistic instincts and capabilities, and how much technical skills should a person have, asked a student to which he said that “it is good to have both backgrounds if possible; artists and technologists together is a good combination.”

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Speaking about the process of visual effects in a typical film, he gave a walkthrough of his role of expertise in the process of filmmaking. He demonstrated how with Halon virtual camera, wherein you shoot your film before you shoot your film live. This method was used on projects like Bahubali, where by this previsualizataion, lot of production cost can be saved as the director can pre-emptively make changes to his visualization, rather than trying out his ideas on expensive sets.

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‘When do you come into the picture?’ was another question posed. “VFX and post production are collaborators right from Stage 1 and on a daily basis,” he said and cited an example of Bahubali, “We would shoot 10 to 12 shots for the scene and Director Rajamouli would pick one for the final scene.”

Talking about the role of a VFX supervisor, he said that he ensures that each scene is shot as per the requirement. “In Mummy III, the green screen was blue instead of green, so it is the supervisor’s job to ensure such things don’t happen.”

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Phaneendra also shared tips and tricks used in the industry and said that to tackle the challenges of lighting conditions, a chrome ball can be used and software like Nuke, Maya or Houdini. Talking about the work culture in Hollywood, he said “the culture is a lot different in Hollywood and there is no hierarchy per se but it is more about the role/job description of each individual on the team.”

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What happens towards the end of a shoot, how does an editor receive the scenes? To this, he said that actors have reference points and so do the VFX artists. “For example in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, we wanted to show an old man’s body and Brad Pitt’s face, so we shot two different portions of the same scene and Brad’s face was superimposed on it.” He went on to add that directing actors is also a fundamental requirement for VFX artists and said “In Mummy III, there is a scene where the demon is holding a sword, to make it more powerful, we made the hand holding the sword shake, which was the improvisation of the VFX artist.”

Sharing his thoughts on the current entertainment industry in India, which is growing at a rapid pace, he said, “These are certainly exciting times as the industry is evolving with new platforms for storytellers like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Example: Mr Rajamouli embraced virtual reality on his last feature film Bahubali2 and you can check it out here http://baahubali.com/vr/

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Content vs Technology, your take on the right balance required to succeed?  To this, he said, “Working on various tent-pole Hollywood feature films I have learnt that story is paramount. Every Hollywood director that I worked with used technology as a tool to create visual experiences that stand out which I believe is striking the right balance.”

What is your favorite movie in terms of animation/VFX and in the ones that he has worked? For this, he shared, “I’ve spend almost two years of my life working on Tron Legacy which is no doubt my favorite feature film till date that I worked on.”

Sharing his thoughts about AISFM and its facilities, Phaneendra said, “I’m impressed with AISFM’s facilities during my tour and believe AISFM is second to none. AISFM is in good hands with Mr. Bala Raj steering the ship with his phenomenal Hollywood industry & academic experience. I hope students will leverage the AISFM’s facilities, resources and personnel.”

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His advice to aspiring professionals in this field, “Focusing on foundations and fundamentals will enable students to adapt to the ever evolving industry and help them be at the forefront at any given time. For example: Virtual Production never existed prior to feature films like Avatar and today it’s pretty much the standard and integral part of film-making process.”

Closing the master class, Phaneendra gave some words of advice, “Job opportunities in other areas like virtual reality and augmented reality are now there to connect to the consumers. If you are up to speed with these latest technologies, then you have more chances. There are lot of applications in diverse areas – like Apple X has IR tech etc. The gaming industry is also garnering a lot of interest, and training in these areas is a good idea.” He further added, “Networking and working hard is very important and of course there is no stopping to your learning curve.”

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AISFM launches Corporate Role Play workshops

AISFM_Fiirefly_38AISFM faculty Nitin Mane, MFA (USA) & Bala Rajasekharuni, MFA (USA), who is also the Dean conducted a workshop of Corporate Role Play at Firefly Creative Studios, Hyderabad.AISFM_Fiirefly_32Bala and Nitin blended various actor training methods to bring out the hidden talent of the team members, accommodating a variety of personalities and their own unique modes of expression. AISFM_Fiirefly_26Every creative exercise concluded with a briefing on how those techniques can be applicable effective tools for self development and team building in any setting, be it home or the work place. AISFM_Fiirefly_16Using humor as a medium to engage the group, the instructors walked the participants through a process of profound learning, yet, making it fun to spend their Saturday morning for. AISFM_Fiirefly_13The workshop is one of the recent initiatives of AISFM outreach programs, which has started with a summer intensive teaching methodology workshop in collaboration with Critical Education Academy, Los Angeles.AISFM_Fiirefly_8AISFM believes in creating an ongoing synergy between its in-house academic expertise and various societal settings in the outside world.AISFM_Fiirefly_18

Children explore AISFM & Annapurna Studios!

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AISFM has opened doors for outreach programs in a big way. Starting with the recent International Teacher Training Workshop for the local schools, Annapurna Studios & AISFM are playing an active role in the local culture & education system, bridging the gap between the society & film industry. AISFM & Annapurna Studios was vibrant with little voices and smiles of excitement as 40 children from across India visited their premises on a day-long trip.

AISFM took this initiative being an Academic Partner in the International Children’s Film Festival of India (ICFFI) 2017, organised by Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and the Telangana Government. As a partner of this film festival, popularly known as, ‘The Golden Elephant’, Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM), hosted dinners for delegates, CFSI board meetings, and sent their experts as panel members to support the festival.

The cheerful little students came from various places, including Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa etc.

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Then it was time for a quick, short and crisp learning session for the students. Divided into two groups, one group learnt about the finer nuances of animation and the other group learnt the art of acting. The Animation Group had a small six-scene storyboard to follow, wherein the children created live models of each scene in the story with play dough which was then shot on a camera; when replayed was a mini-animation movie in itself! The Acting Group learnt what goes on behind the camera in acting and how to act and express oneself.

While all the children unanimously said that they loved the whole experience, they all wished to have a full fledged longer workshop.

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Mohd. Nadeem, a Grade 9 student from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir, who was attending the film festival and coming to Hyderabad for the first time, loved the ambience and said “the ambience, cleanliness, people and facilities are very nice and I loved the movies shown too.” J Abhilash, Grade 9 student from Government School, Narsampet said, “I want to learn acting and know more. This workshop was very nice and it will help me in concentrating too.” Aivya, Grade 8th student from Ryewood International School, Lonavala found the workshop very interactive and interesting and Kabir from Sharda Mandir, Goa felt that the workshop was an eye-opener into the field of film and media.

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G Venkateshwarlu, teacher from Government School, Narsampet, lauded the AISFM facilities and said, “The workshop was really nice and was a way of expression for the students; more such workshops should happen.” R Saraswati, teacher from ZPHS, Hayathnagar said “the children’s wish is not fulfilled in one day; they want to join it and want to come back for more.” Shweta Pardesai from Ryewood International School, Lonavala said “both the workshops were very good and they will really help the children in eye-hand coordination, concentration and in studies. What I really liked was that all the children in each workshop were given an opportunity to showcase their talent.” Veena Kumari, teacher from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir said, “It has been a great experience for the children to see the studios, campus and workshop and also the movies at the festival; and we would definitely want to come again.”

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Children need to understand the value of visual media and film and that it is a very powerful medium which should be included in all curriculums. This event was very helpful for the students to learn more and gave them great exposure and a concrete idea on how things work in the film industry, be it animation, lights, sounds, music etc., according to the need of the movie. These skills are something that the children can use in their classrooms too.

Annapurna Studios and AISFM are proud to be a part of the CFSI activities and glad to open its arms wide for the imaginative young audiences & future citizens of India.

AISFM launches unique ACTING PROGRAM

Actor training methods from the West, however popular they are, Indian film industry always wonders if those techniques can be applicable to Indian commercial cinema. Because, extremely subtle expression, though ‘sophisticated’ in the eyes of the elite audiences, an element of ‘pushing the envelope’ might require for certain film roles in India.

Hence, AISFM is launching a unique Acting Technique, developed in the West – yet – easily adaptable to Indian cinema context.

Michael Checkov, a disciple of world’s celebrated Acting guru Stanislavski created his own niche in Hollywood, Broadway and the rest of the world for his practical approach to Actor training. Checkov trained stars like Marilyn Monroe, Anthony Quinn, Clint Eastwood, Dorothy Dandridge, Yul Brynner, Elia Kazan, Robert Lewis, Paula Strasberg to name a few.

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Unlike his guru, Checkov emphasizes on both physicality and internalization of a character. This unique combination works perfectly for Indian cinema needs. Without tainting the emotional core and truth of the character, actors can bank on their creative physical gesture combined with ‘psychological gesture’ of Checkov – and make a smooth transition between their own selves and characters on screen.

Nitin Mane, an expert trainer, who has an MFA in Acting from USA joined AISFM to handle this program. Having decades of theater experience in Marathi, Hindi and English languages, Nitin Mane explored actor training methods of Michael Checkov and Sanford Meisner, which are a rarity in this part of the world.

Nitin’s thorough knowledge of both Indian film industry and world cinema gives him an edge with this training program, as he is all set to prepare Indian actors with an international caliber.

Michael Checkov’s technique of ‘Psychological gesture’ not only equips the actor with increased confidence in their physical and vocal presence in performance, it also helps a human being in any walk of life with increased self awareness, confidence, communication skills, creativity and leadership qualities.

A 12-week intense program, run Saturdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM caters to:

– BEGINNERS
– WORKING PROFESSIONALS
– WORKING ACTORS

Sony lends 2 latest cams to AISFM

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Sony has proven itself to be a leader all kinds of cameras, especially in interchangeable lens cameras.  So, it was nothing short of an elated feeling when they came to the AISFM Campus.

Mr. Indraganti Naveen, Sony Alpha Regional Head formally handed over two of their latest cameras campus to Ranjit Sinha, Faculty of Photography. The best part – one of them is not yet released in India!

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The two models are Sony A7 mk2 with a 70-200 G Star lens (not yet released in India) and is Full Frame 35mm camera with great low light capabilities. The lens is a top of the line, G Star lens which is manufactured (badge engineered) by Carl Zeiss! The other cam is Sony Alpha 6300, a APS-C format, uber capable low light, ultra fast focusing camera with a 16-50 lens; and both the cameras shoot 4k video, as well.

The photography students could not resist their eagerness and started shooting with them right away! Goes on to prove that AISFM is the place to be, to learn and be the first to learn with the best!

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Manfrotto honors AISFM faculty

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Good teachers are the reason why ordinary students dream to do extraordinary things and the best teachers are the ones who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see. Teaching, the profession that creates all other professions!

On the occasion of Teacher’s Day; Manfrotto, one of the best companies in the photography field that designs, manufactures a wide range of camera and lighting equipment honored the top photography teachers in the country with the message, “Thank you for guiding us every day. Happy Teacher’s Day to all the inspiring photographers,” and they added, “They help us see the path on our journey. Happy Teacher’s Day to all the teachers that keep inspiring us.”

Ranjit Sinha, AISFM photography faculty was one of the few honored teachers along the likes of Shantanu Sheorey, Rohinton Mehta and others. Ranjit’s carrier spans over 26 years of professional photography out of which about 20 years has been in teaching! He started his teaching career with NIFT Kolkata, where he taught for eight years and since then he has travelled to many design colleges until he joined AISFM.

It is a proud moment for us at AISFM!

Congratulations Ranjit Sinha!

AISFM Students Explore TV Production House

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Apart from classroom learning, enriching field trips contribute to the exposure of students to the real world and the industry.

Our MMBA 3rd Semester students visited TV 5 office, along with MMBA Faculty MNVVK Chaitanya recently and gained valuable insights. Summarizing the experience, faculty Chaitanya said, “The session started with orientation about the organisational structure (TV5 group), departmental functioning/affairs and their description, details about equipment (cameras and lighting setups, in addition to chroma keying, functioning of PCR and MCR, interface between marketing and editorial teams, interfaces between input and output desks, importance of select HR policies and procedures (related to TV production), comparison between national TV networks and regional TV networks, select programming/content strategies for USA markets and branding partnerships that TV5 had entered into. There was an entire tour of all departments across all floors, ending with a Q&A session/doubt clarifications.”

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Students cherished this visit to a working TV Production house and felt it was the important facets of their learning during the semester. Sanjeev Nair felt that it helped him internalize the theory taught to him so far in news production; Sanskrity Patra said she gained insights into the actual industry dynamics and increased her adaptability skills, to specifically tune to the industry requirements.

Chaitanya opined that this sort of an industry integration and industry interface opens up new vistas and horizons in the broader areas of curriculum development and academic readiness to launch new modules in news production/broadcasting, in addition to knowing the skill gaps from industry practitioners.

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Dinesh Akula, Editor, TV 5, and a visiting faculty to AISFM said that it was a positive and significant learning experience for students. Elaborating about the session he said, “TV production, broadcast rules and theory, audience meter and analytics related to BARC and ratings, how to produce news/TV programmes from scratch to going on air, media business and production business, industry career and in-depth analysis with students on what they have in mind and how can they be placed. We also took a studio tour learning how it all works online/offline from the conception of an idea to telecast.”

Mr. Akula also felt students of AISFM were enthusiastic, eager to learn and very articulate in expressing their thoughts, hence gained a lot of insights during this visit.

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Evade Subrahmanyam fame Nag Ashwin at AISFM

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One of his first short films headed straight to the Cannes, no less! Then his first directorial debut was not just a hit film but was also critically acclaimed. Nag Ashwin, young and upcoming writer/director, had an interactive session with our students.

In 2013 his short film titled Yaadon Ki Baraat was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner.

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Before his directorial debut Yevade Subramanyam, Ashwin had worked on a few films as an assistant director including on Sekhar Kammula’s Leader and Life Is Beautiful.

He’s currently busy in pre-production of his pioneering bio pic Mahanati in Telugu/Tamil/Malayalam on the life of the late legendary southern actress Savitri.

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Talking about his journey in films, he spoke at length about the hard lessons he learnt shooting in the most unfavorable circumstances in Himalayas with absolutely no vehicles at their disposal. He had to keep the crew & cast morale amidst snow, subzero temperatures, and virtually no oxygen in some places. He shared with students that his passion & only passion for his story & characters could keep him going. Nothing else.

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Our Dean of Academics and Faculty, Direction & Screenwriting, Bala Rajasekharuni, addressing the students said, “Ashwin is a good role model to the upcoming filmmakers, since he’s from a film school and he stuck to his passion while choosing his film subjects. Evade Subramanyamis a classic example of how one can write from their heart and at the same time honor the commercial realities of the industry. A delicate balance, which Ashwin achieved with his debut, which is remarkable. This balance is what we try to teach at AISFM all the time.”

The art of ‘screening’ it right!

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Film post-production is not just about the editing, sound design, VFX and DI processes. It is the workflow at the end of the above processes that if got right, makes ‘all the’ difference for the screening of a film in the theatre; more than ever in today’s era of Digital Cinema where technology is evolving constantly!

Most student filmmakers are mainly fascinated with the selection of the cameras that they are shooting in, the audio-visual editing aesthetics and the color correction during the DI stage.

But what exactly happens AFTER DI and audio mixing?

Do the files come back to the editor?

Who is responsible for the final audio visual syncing and theatrical exhibition?

How do we ensure that the audience across the oceans see the uniform color and look that we strived for during the shoot and post processes?

How does it reach a theatre/multiple theatres across the globe at the same time?

How do the theatre calibrations affect the sound and visual delivery?

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For the benefit of the students, a Master Class was conducted by the AISFM Editing Department, where Kishore Reddy, General Manager, Marketing and Operations, Qube Cinema Technologies, held an interactive and engaging Master Class session titled – “Why Digital Cinema,” where all these questions and more were answered along with a historical perspective. Qube Cinema is a company that has vast experience in the production, post-production and exhibition industries. A subsidiary of India-based Real Image Media Technologies, Qube Cinema draws on decades of domain expertise in the media and entertainment space.

The specialised technical Master Class workshop was for the senior edit, cine, sound and MBA students and covered varied topics like Necessity of Digital Cinema and DCI, Process workflow of Digital Cinema (finishing and distribution stage), Pipeline from the DI post facility to the theatre screens, brief overview of the different stages, Colour and delivery standards/ parameters + Cross conversions, Standardisation, Prevalent data packaging formats (DCP, DCDM, etc.), Servers (QUBE, SCRABBLE, UFO, etc.), Understanding  different types of audio calibration in theatres (Dolby – 5.1/ 7.1/ Atmos/ Auro, etc.), Projectors, Digital Theatre Broadcast (transmission) and decryption, etc.

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Adherence to intense encryption methods/processes and regulations for data security was stressed, with case studies of film piracy.  Business models for producers and distributors were also discussed.

Students thoroughly enjoyed the Master Class and interacted with Mr. Kishore Reddy to learn more about the field of theatrical exhibition.  He also discussed about the DCP options available to the student filmmakers.