She knows her strengths and plays to them with perfection. But ask her if she ever thought she’d be associated with one of the biggest names in the cine industry and she answers in the negative. Be that as it may, Kavita Prasad now heads the largest division of an even larger behemoth – the visual effects and film restoration and digitisation division – Prasad EFX of the L.V. Prasad Group
“Prasad EFX has worked on many of the biggies that the film industry has churned out over the last few years, from Krrish to Aranmanai to Bahubali” says Kavita Prasad, Director Prasad EFX. It is certainly safe to say that the post-production of most Tollywood and Kollywood has passed through Prasads.
An MBA in marketing from Mumbai University, Kavita has 25 years of experience of handling the sales, marketing, finance and all ‘non-creative’ administration of the EFX division. Today Prasad EFX boasts of facilities in Hollywood, Germany, Singapore, UK, Japan and Dubai – most markets captured under the leadership of the lady herself. “Our first contract in Hollywood came from Warner Brothers. Initially they were hesitant about the project, but during their trip to India they were flabbergasted with the Prasad empire. We set up a facility there but after Visa rules were made stringent, WB began outsourcing work to us in India,” Kavita says. Somehow the idea of an Indian player making a global mark seems surreal, but Kavita believes that India has the technical know-how.
“We lack the creative, out-of-the-box-thinking but we make up for it with our skill set,” she adds.
For those of us who may have overlooked the South Indian contribution to Indian cinema, Kavita sneaks in a little trivia, “Visual effects in India have been around since the early 1990s and was first started in the south.” What started off as a 25 member group at Prasad has now multiplied manifold to 250 members. While the L.V. Prasad Group is proud of its association with more than a fair chunk of movies, Krrish remains a personal and company favourite. “Krrish was a trend-setter. Up until then, EFX only used to work on effects for regional movies,” says Kavita.
Prasad EFX largely works on digitisation and restoration. So far the division has worked on 400 titles and the count is ever increasing. “We are making amends. The industry has lost classics that will never be seen again,” says Kavita. So what does the future of cinema restoration look like at Prasads? To which she answers, “We are moving past just digital restoration of film. Currently we are training and preparing our team for physical restoration. This could be the beginning of a new era in restoration and storage of content.”
Though Kavita Prasad is candid about her lack of creative prowess, this 50-year-old handles clientele from all over the world. “I am personally overlooking restoration for the Rotana group in Cairo. We have a scanner on site and are digitising almost 1,500 titles for this client alone. We manage to complete around 40 to 50 restorations a month. You cannot be found slacking as entrepreneurs.”
With a woman at the helm of affairs, the L.V. Prasad group seems to be striving towards encouraging the fairer-sex to enter a thoroughly male dominated field of work. It is nothing less than a hint of pride on Kavita’s face when she talks about the ‘Venus’ restoration team. “At present about 10-12% of the restoration team are women.”
Husband, Sai Prasad and she look forward to working towards reviving shooting on film in India. “Star Wars was shot on film and then worked on digitally. We expect to see a revival in India as well,” Kavita hopes.
From banker to the Director of Prasad EFX Kavita Prasad has grown into a perfect fit for the job. It is heartening to know that legacy and history-in-the making rest in capable hands.