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“Postudio’s cloud SaaS disrupts traditional studios for efficient, affordable post-production”: Harish Prabhu

Harish Prabhu

Harish Prabhu and Dhawal Gusain launched Postudio – a first-of-its-kind SaaS (Software as a service) post-production studio that’s completely on the cloud and on demand. With a mission to reinvent the way people create content, Postudio was founded to pave the way for an accessible, affordable, collaborative and creator-friendly future for the “FMCG- Fast Moving Creative Generation.”

With just an internet connection and a browser, creators can now access all their favourite and best-in-class tools from editing, VFX, graphics, colour grading, audio systems and more and only pay for what they use. The platform has a centralised storage system which allows team members from across the globe to work together seamlessly on the same project in real-time, making edits and approvals super quick. It is also integrated with superior data analytics so teams get a cockpit view of all their projects and tasks from anywhere, at any time. 

Prabhu is invested in reinventing the way creators make art. With over 25 years of experience in the field of post-production, Prabhu has been witness to and led the digital revolution in the media and broadcasting industry in India. He started his career at NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) as an editor. He then moved to CMM studios and later got into film production. This was the time when digital editing was just being introduced in India.

Being one of the senior-most professionals in the field of post-production, he helped many of the media and broadcasting companies in their digital transformation journey. 

In 1999, he joined Channel [V] as editor & head of post-production, where he was editor of India’s first non-fiction reality show – channel [V] popstars. This is when he started the ‘promo’ creation trend in India, which plays a big part in any media/film release even today. 

He later joined Star India Network in 2002, as senior editor and compositor. His creations were awarded and recognised at Indian and International Promax. This was when the network began its digital transformation journey with Prabhu leading this effort. From charting workflows and building the tech infrastructure, Prabhu was in charge of building the digital brand. He was also a founding team member of starsports.com – India’s first online sports video platform which marked the beginning of a new era for sports viewing. 

With incredible success on this launch, he then began his next task of building India’s largest digital entertainment platform – Hotstar. 

After over a decade with the Star India Network and completing the entire digital transformation for the company, Prabhu decided to move on and build something of his own. In 2017, he co-founded Desynova, a cloud-first content supply chain platform offering content management including archive, subtitling, and cloud broadcast playout services to OTT and broadcasting networks.

Indiantelevision.com in conversation with Postudio founder Harish Prabhu on the launch of Postudio, the USP and much more. Excerpts from the interview:

Postudio was founded to pave the way for an accessible, affordable, collaborative and creator-friendly future for the “FMCG- Fast Moving Creative Generation” – can you elaborate on this?

Postudio’s inception stemmed from a commitment to reimagine the traditional post-production landscape, replacing it with an end-to-end cloud-based paradigm. This transformation is driven by the recognition that the Fast Moving Creative Generation (FMCG) within the post-production industry is defined by talent who have grown up in a tech-savvy world, valuing key attributes such as affordability, security, creative freedom, geographical mobility, and data analytics. Postudio addresses these evolving needs by providing an accessible, affordable, and collaborative cloud-based platform. 

This digital shift eliminates the necessity for creators to invest in expensive hardware and software, offering a liberated environment where they can work from any location and enjoy heightened security for their content. Moreover, Postudio places significant emphasis on data analytics, empowering artists and post-production employees with actionable insights, thus revolutionizing their creative processes and decision-making. In essence, Postudio ushers in a future where the post-production journey is characterized by seamless, efficient, and secure workflows, perfectly aligned with the expectations of the modern creative workforce.

On the moot idea of opening Postudio:

The driving force behind founding Postudio was to confront the pressing challenges that the post-production industry faced, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, it became evident that our industry was among the few that could not adapt to remote work, which was a significant limitation. 

My interactions with both industry veterans and emerging artists illuminated that this was just the tip of the iceberg. The Fast Moving Creative Generation (FMCG) needed a solution like Postudio to break free from the constraints of traditional setups. We recognized that the content creation was poised for significant growth, but it was being held back by high costs, limited accessibility, and inefficient collaboration. 

In response, Postudio was conceived as a solution that would make post-production more affordable, accessible, and collaborative by transitioning it to the cloud. By offering industry-standard tools and seamless project management, we aimed to empower creators to focus on their creative work, unburdened by the costs and complexities of traditional hardware and software. Postudio represents a step towards a future where the creative community can thrive, regardless of geographical constraints, and fully embrace the limitless potential of their artistic visions.

On AI having a major role to play in the post-production industry? And how:

I believe AI is an ally for post-production because AI’s impact on the post-production industry is transformative. It automates labour-intensive tasks, like video compilations and colour correction, resulting in increased efficiency. AI streamlines workflows, reducing the time and effort required for these processes, and allowing creators to focus on their creative vision. Furthermore, AI-driven content analysis simplifies the management and retrieval of specific clips or scenes, facilitating more precise and efficient post-production work. Embracing AI to its maximum potential is the key to unlocking new heights of productivity and creativity in the industry.

On the plethora of post-production studios because of TV & OTT. And Postudio’s USP:

Postudio’s distinctiveness is anchored in its cloud-based, on-demand SaaS platform, which stands in stark contrast to the conventional post-production studios reliant on physical infrastructure and expensive post-production systems.  It heralds a new era of digitization for the post-production industry. Through years of research and experience, we have built Postudio to be the most comprehensive, intuitive and seamless SaaS platform for all things post-prod. All one needs is an internet connection and a browser! 

This transformation touches every facet of post-production:

  • Creative Freedom: Postudio liberates creators from constraints by granting access to industry-standard tools and removing the need for expensive equipment.
  • Geographical Mobility/Work from Anywhere: Our cloud-based platform empowers creators to work from any location, transcending geographical barriers and promoting global collaboration.
  • Best-In-Class Security: We place a premium on content security, employing AES encryption and stringent access control to safeguard creators’ invaluable work from unauthorized access.
  • Deep, Actionable Data Analytics: Postudio equips creators with robust data analysis tools, facilitating insights into their projects for enhanced managerial control and informed decision-making.
  • Substantial Cost Savings: Through our pay-as-you-go model and elimination of the necessity for costly hardware and software investments, Postudio offers substantial cost savings, placing creators’ financial resources to better use.
  • Collaboration: The platform enables real-time collaboration between multiple editors through centralised storage. This makes project management easy with up-to-date analytics, high content security and access control tools.

Comparing Postudio to traditional post-production methods is like comparing Uber to kaali-peeli taxis. In every aspect of the consumer experience journey, Postudio represents a significant leap forward, offering creators a comprehensive and game-changing solution for post-production, positioning itself as a trailblazer in the industry’s ongoing transformation.

On some of the biggest challenges in today’s post-production industry:

A key problem in our industry is that we often resist change and stick to what we know. This causes many issues that hamper day-to-day productivity. Issues like limited creative freedom and being tied to specific locations for work. It also leads to messy workflows, data security problems in the digital age, high costs, and a lack of tools for analyzing data. To fix these problems, we need to be more open to new ideas, embrace technology, encourage innovation, and invest in talented people and data analysis. The good news is that more people are starting to realize the importance of technology and are slowly adopting these advances.

On having spent many years as a post-production person in a broadcast channel, Harish you were instrumental in launching Hotstar. How are you looking at the post-technology today :

I have long felt (being 27 years in this Industry) that with post-production we have barely scratched the surface of what Tech can do. COVID showed me how ill-prepared and antiquated we were as an industry. Fortunately, others realized it too. I look at the post-prod journey as two-time phases 1) BC – before covid where the laissez faire/inertia was deeply rooted and 2) AR: after realisation when I believe the industry (or at least a large part of it) realised that we cannot thrive if we continue to work the way we did. There have been incremental improvements in collaboration and communication tools and most definitely in content supply management but with Postudio, I believe we have the first exponential change that will benefit every player in the post-prod world from the editor to the studios to the production houses and the distributors.

On Postudio operating on the cloud, can you explain this in layman’s terms:

When we say Postudio operates on the cloud, think of it like this: Instead of having all your post-production work stored and processed on physical computers or servers in a specific location, we use the internet to store, process, and manage your media assets and projects. This means you can access your work from anywhere with an internet connection, collaborate with team members worldwide, and use industry-standard tools without the need for expensive hardware and software. It’s like having a virtual post-production studio in the cloud that’s always available to you.

On the importance of privacy and security in today’s content-run world and on measures that have you taken on this aspect in particular

Privacy and security are of utmost importance in today’s content-driven world. At Postudio, we take privacy and security seriously. We use AES encryption and strict access controls to ensure that your content remains secure and protected from unauthorized access. Only invited team members have access to the projects, creating a safe and collaborative environment. We also implement data analysis to maintain optimum managerial control and ensure that your valuable work is kept confidential. Our commitment to security and privacy is integral to our platform, allowing creators to focus on their art with confidence in their content’s safety. 

(This article is written by Indian Television Dot Com associate editor Kalpana Ravi, and was originally published on Indian Television Dot Com website.)