The gig economy, starting with India, is in for a major transformation over the next few years. Transcending the realms of the ordinary, GAFX – the new star on the digital media and entertainment horizon is virtually revolutionising the space and making things more exciting for the key stakeholders. For producers, studio owners and freelance artists devoted to creating world-class gaming, animation and VFX work, it’s time to usher in change!
GAFX was born from the need to help address vital challenges in the digital media and entertainment industry. In the gaming, animation and VFX sectors, it is not uncommon to find studios without work between projects and during periods of recession. In these challenging times when productivity is low, most studios swing into crisis mode to reduce cash burn by quickly lowering headcount. Since artist salaries are quite high, the damage can be severe, especially during extended periods of recession. This calls for dynamic hiring to optimise productivity with continuous rationalisation of headcount. Unfortunately, studios which downsize swiftly during recession are unable to increase headcount easily when business improves.
GAFX was born out of the need to address this market gap efficiently and cost-effectively. It strives to deliver optimal cost-per-hire and time-to-hire for studios through registered freelance artists on its online workspace. It also identifies the latent need to facilitate projects and extra income for freelance artists who prefer the flexibility and freedom of setting one’s own schedule and being one’s own boss over the perks of a full time job.
GAFX, the transformative digital media and entertainment enabler is all set to shake up the landscape with its influential presence. Its online avatar www.GAFXonline.com acts as the online confluence of producers and freelance artists in the gaming, animation, and VFX domains. GAFX is passionate above revolutionising this space by creating superior value for both stakeholders.
Uniting them on the same expansive platform, GAFX helps producers gain access to a large base of freelance artists for their projects, while giving freelancers the opportunity to bid for a vast choice of projects everyday and helping them boost their income.
An initiative of Udai Krishna and Neelima, two Indian entrepreneurs passionate about making a strong difference to the industry, GAFX draws from the promoter’s collective strengths. Udai is a VFX veteran and has notched up 18 years of solid experience in the digital media and entertainment industry. He is a VFX specialist with an impressive portfolio. In a career spanning two decades, he has nudged his way up the studio hierarchy and worked on coveted projects, many of which have come in for global acclaim as benchmark visual effects.
Neelima on the other hand is a senior IT geek with veritable tech skills in her armour. She’s been with many large IT companies in Asia and America and has acquired a wealth of knowledge particularly in the financial services, logistics, hospitality and telecom sectors. She plays sheet anchor for GAFX’s back-end integration and technology initiatives.
How GAFX is nurturing a win-win environment for producers and freelance artists:
GAFX through its online platform www.gafxonline.com is helping freelance artists and producers to collaborate on projects in a mutually gainful manner. Both producers and artists can register through an easy and quick online registration process with GAFX to connect and collaborate.
GAFX is immensely resourceful for producers/studio owners. Registered producers can sign in, browse and hire from a vast pool of freelance artists across gaming, animation and VFX disciplines and specialisations. This helps producers build a freelance team for their upcoming projects with easy, instant and more cost-effective hires. What makes it better is the fact that producers can filter profiles and hire artist based on such key parameters as portfolio, experience, skills and fee.
And it’s equally beneficial for freelance artists. Registered freelance artists can sign-in and gain access to a huge listing of animation, gaming and VFX projects featured on the site. They can bid for project depending on timeline, work complexity, payment, terms and other parameters. What makes it even more exciting for artists is the fact that projects are frequently updated, ensuring a prolific source of projects and income.
The emerging workspace – “ONLINE”As per an online report by Forbes, “A recent study indicates that 53 million Americans – a whopping 34 per cent of the workforce – are now freelancing, be it as their main or supplemental income. This population contributes $715 billion each year to the economy through their freelance work.” Going by these statistics, by the year 2020, a whopping 40 per cent (approx) of the American workforce is likely to work independently as consultants. The trend is now catching on in India and GAFX has positioned itself as a highly productive and advantageous platform for freelance artists.
Leveraging advances in technology to deliver enhanced value
The GAFX virtual studio with cloud-based infrastructure featuring full-spectrum production capabilities is available on an affordable pay-per-use model, so one need not invest in infrastructure. Hence, software, pipeline tools, storage and rendering machines are not required. All one needs is a computer and internet connection. Both producers and freelance artists can collaborate from anywhere in the world using the integrated, online communication tools to review projects.
Given the value of the intellectual property created by gaming, animation and VFX producers/artists, file security is a critical need. GAFX has put in place a robust security mechanism to ensure enhanced safety of project files. All files can be saved in one location (cloud) for easy access from anywhere in the world and piracy can be controlled with remote access, allowing uploading of work on VM’s from GAFX platform and sharply cutting the risk of digital pilferage/unauthorised downloads.
Making payment hassles and trust issues a thing of the past
Payments are a matter of great concern and churn with producers and freelance artists. GAFX has thoughtfully designed and put in place an evolving payment system that is fair, convenient and dependable for both parties. While producers pay only for work that is satisfactory, freelance artists are assured of their fee as per the pre-agreed terms. The payment is facilitated through a secure and trusted payment gateway on the GAFX website.
In a freewheeling chat with AnimationXpress, the promoters shared their goals and plans for GAFX.
On the growth and expansion of GAFX:
“Our goal is to post one million projects, attract at least one million registered freelance artists and facilitate at least Rs. 500 million in collective earnings for our freelance artists in the next five years. By 2022, we also dream of achieving a physical presence in at least 25 countries across the globe.”
On the future of the GAFX platform:
“We aim to be the most advanced online collaborative platform with innovations that will drive ease-of-use and value-for-money transactions on the platform.”
On the growth influencers:
“While GAFX is currently bootstrapped, we wish to take the company forward through an aggressive growth plan. If the situation demands, we are not averse to considering private funding.”
On the ultimate goal:
“We aspire to achieve a bold dream…of emerging as a globally admired and leading freelance marketplace in the gaming, animation and VFX sectors in the next 10 years. We will do everything within our power to build the most elaborate and ramified online network for producers and freelancers while enabling the best in all dimensions. We have stitched together a great team of technical, creative, marketing and administrative talent, we are committed to our mission, philosophy and values. We are constantly experimenting and innovating on ways to build value and wealth for all stakeholders. We don’t simply aspire to be the number resource in our sector but to positively impact the very future of the gig economy and the pace of its progress.”