‘Hollywood film-makers are better trained’

Kurt Inderbitzin Hollywood producer and CEO, International School of Film and Media

Kurt Inderbitzin Hollywood producer and CEO, International School of Film and Media

08 February 2012, Wednesday

The film industry in India is on an all-time high. Kurt Inderbitzin talks to Sangeeta Yadav to tell us more
  • Tell us about yourself?

I have 20 years experience in the film and media industry in the US and India — as a director, producer, manager of media organisations, as well as time spend teaching and managing leading film schools. I was the founding dean of Whistling Woods International in Mumbai and at present the CEO of the International School of Film and Media in Hyderabad.

  • What’s the scope of the film and media industry in India?

The industry in India is booming, with the expectation of 15-17 per cent growth each year for the next 5 years.

  • What are the job prospects in the industry?

Job prospects in every aspect of the film and media are fantastic at present. One of the major problems faced in the industry at present is the shortage of talent — companies are facing huge difficulties in recruiting trained professionals at all employment levels from assistants to senior management. There are simply not enough schools that provide relevant training.

  • How is Hollywood film making different from Bollywood’?

Hollywood film-makers tend to be far better trained, with smaller crew that can consistently achieve much higher production standards.

  • How can this gap be filled?

Through training. In India, less that 10 per cent of people on a film set have any formal training. In Hollywood, it would be 70-80 per cent.

  • What is the scope in this field?

At present, in India, 75 per cent of technical graduates can’t find work. This is because they are not properly trained. This creates amazing career opportunity for students once they have the right training.

  • Tell us about International School of Film and Media?

When the Akkineni family made the decision to set up ISFM, they had a vision —to create India’s first privately run, non-profit, international-standard film school. They wanted to set up a management team that could bring their vision to life. I was in Hollywood, when they contacted me regarding this project.

  • What are courses on offer?

Bachelors, Masters and MBA courses in film, media, acting and animation. In addition, we have shorter, vocational courses, for students who just want to focus on the technical skills that they need to jump straight into the industry and start working.

  • What are the technology facilities provided?

The ISFM is located inside Annapurna Studios, one of India’s best film production studios. ISFM has a 22 acre campus filled with brand-new production and post production facilities. We are also tying up with technology companies to get students access to the latest equipment that is flowing into the industry.

  • What about placements…

We have a placement cell that works with the industry to place students in exciting internships with film, TV, advertising and documentary production companies, as well as with TV channels. We recently completed a direction course and were able to offer internships to all the interested students.

  • What about an opportunity to work abroad?

One of the exciting projects that we are launching is the film fund. Through this, the school will actually be producing feature films, TV shows, and documentaries, for commercial and film festival release. Faculty, students and alumni will work on these projects. Student will be able to graduate from the school, already having film credits to their name. They can showcase their work abroad as well and find work wherever they want.

(Inderbitzin is Hollywood producer and CEO, International School of Film and Media)

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