Women’s Day Special Interview with-Yogalakshmi General Manager -Basilic Fly Studio

Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about how you started in visual effects?
I had my background training in managing projects in the IT domain. But- after starting Basilic Fly Studio along with Bala – I donned the role of managing the operations at BFS. I got to work on very challenging assignments during the initial stages of my career in VFX.
I thank Bala for the trust he reposed on me.
Also, I got to meet and interact with some very talented in companies like Columbia Tristar, Warner Bros, Paramount, to name a few. I could see how passionate one can get by surrendering to your interest.
With such lofty benchmarks as my reference and exponential growth in my personal interest in this field, I knew that I have found my calling, i.e., VFX.

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How was your beginning? Challenges you faced
The beginning was not smooth for me and that was challenge in the VFX industry that things doesn’t work as per the planned routine. I remember spending hours at length to produce high quality VFX contents – as per client’s requirements. I knew the output determines our sustenance and growth. Above all, the quality of a VFX studio – such as ours – is only as good as its most-recent deliverable.
I distinctly recall spending many nights at my office, even during the advanced stages of my pregnancy.
I have many such unforgettable challenges faced during the days I began my career in VFX.
Also, we had to travel to Europe with our 5-month old baby. The tour was planned for 20  days. It was very difficult for us to manage our newborn’s needs amid the business needs of a growing company.
But somehow, we could manage the challenges – thanks to the support we received (and are still receiving) – from all our colleagues, clients and family.

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What made you start up a VFX house? What was your motivation?
My passion for VFX stems from our collective (my husband and mine) dream to make a full-fledged high-end VFX film. We are aware that our teams are currently working on a few interesting segments of VFX films of many leading studios. Our motivation is to scale up the value-chain to perform FX, lighting and other valued-added works.
We are confident that the day would soon come when we would get to make the VFX movie we have always dreamed of.

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What’re your greatest achievements in the VFX Industry?
In this field, there is a lot more to achieve. What we have done is but a small speck in the VFX space. There is still a lot more to do.
This beginner’s mind-set keeps us going. I know we will always embrace a learner’s mind, regardless of the distances we traverse in the VFX domain.

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Who is your inspiration Women in the VFX industry why?
The women who inspired me are Anne Kolbe, Chloe Grysole and Arwen Munro.
Anne Kolbe’s (EVP Visual Effects at Warner Bro’s)  grasp of things around her and the way she carries herself continue to inspire me.
Chloe Grysole’s (Managing Director Framestore Montreal ) approach towards people is something I would perennially remain in awe. She has inspired me with her people skills to the highest possible level.
Last but not least, I wish to note Arwen Munro (VFX Producer ILM) as another inspiration. Her abilities to plan things to the last mile, stay focused and exude energy all through the project will be deeply etched as inspiration points in my mind.

Above all, my biggest inspiration is my husband.
Bala continues to inspire me every day. He is the man who showed me what I’m capable of. Thanks to him, I have consistently pushed the envelope. At the end of each such push, I end up being surprised with my capabilities; which my husband somehow seems to be well-aware of, even before assigning responsibilities to me.

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Women in the VFX industry?
To me, there is no such thing as “gender” in VFX. If you have the right attitude coupled with determination and focus, you are here for a long inning in VFX. So, gender is not the point, and I’m glad that it is so here.

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Challenges for women in the VFX Industry?
Again- women or men, the challenges include how to stay resilient and focused despite the pitfalls/disappointments. In VFX, a few projects may have to be restarted due to technical reasons. These are points that test your resilience levels. If you could hold yourself together and find your flow, you will arrive safely.

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Tell me about your company?
BFS began its journey as a start-up. We had very few artists while we started, in 800 sq. ft office.
Today, we have 250+ people. The place is teeming with producers, supervisors, and artists. We take pride in retaining most of our clients and having grown our business through word-of-mouth of overwhelmingly happy clients.

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Any memorable shows you wish to share your experiences?
All our projects stand memorable to us. So, it’d be unfair to single out a particular show.
But, in terms of technical challenges, our works for Alita Battle Angel had a lot of difficult shots and hence is memorable to most of our teams.

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How can one apply Job to your company?
One can apply through the website or our LinkedIn page.
I have provided the links here for easy reference
http://www.basilicflystudio.com/page/career/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/basilic-fly-studio

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Any advice for Women artists and production?  
As I said, there is no woman or man thing here. Stay focused and up your determination coefficient if you wish to make it big in this field. Good luck and best wishes to all!

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vfxexpress – prabu – Thank you Yogalakshmi for sharing your experience with us

Yogalakshmi – Thank you for giving me a opportunity

Image may contain: 4 people, including Yogalakshmi Sundaram, people smiling, people standing
Vfx express visit Basilic Fly Studio it was a wonderful time with Basilic Fly studio members

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