David Grindle, Executive Director of SMPTE, announces greater focus on India

David Grindle, Executive Director of SMPTE, announces greater focus on India

Sep 26, 2023

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 26: The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is the world’s foremost association of Media & Entertainment Technologists. Over the past 107 years, SMPTE has created some of the most important standards for motion pictures, television, digital cinema, and audio. The SMPTE India chapter has been in existence since 2011, with Ujwal Nirgudkar as its President. Further, since 2021, Chaitanya Chinchlikar – Vice President & CTO of Whistling Woods International has been appointed to SMPTE’s global Board of Governors and has been a key part of SMPTE’s Virtual Production Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS) initiative.
The newly appointed Executive Director of SMPTE, David Grindle, recently landed in Mumbai and announced special focus on India during his very first visit to India. On his visit, at a gathering of Indian M&E technologists, he met many CTOs, Technology Heads, Cinematographers, post-production technologists, and faculty from film institutes. Several important announcements were made by David during his presentation on Sunday evening.
The key announcements and information shared by SMPTE were:- to explore setting up of engineering education with a Media & Entertainment engineering focus in India, in association with Whistling Woods and engineering colleges/universities, which would be supported by SMPTE and SMPTE members through curriculum, contributions, master-classes & guest lectures. - quarterly seminars / workshops by SMPTE professionals at PVR-INOX Multiplex Screens across the country. The chain has offered these up for complimentary use by SMPTE. These sessions will be used by SMPTE to impart technical knowledge about new technologies in the media and entertainment industry. These shows will be conducted in various cities on a rotational basis. Global experts will be invited to India for these sessions. Mr. David also mentioned that this is the very first arrangement between SMPTE & Multiplex Theatre chain in the world.
* SMPTE proposes to start collecting membership fees in Indian rupees soon and are proposed to be adjusted from their current amounts, based on purchasing power parity basis.
* It is further proposed that all enrolled SMPTE members are likely to get both the SMPTE standards as well as all the educational videos created by SMPTE, on a complementary basis rolled into their membership fee. These videos will also be subtitled in multiple Indian languages. This will benefit many who have the skills required by the media and entertainment industry but cannot acquire the latest knowledge to update their skills because of the language barrier.
Ujwal Nirgudkar, Chairman, SMPTE-India Section, played a key role in concluding the deal between SMPTE and PVR-INOX. He says, “I am very happy that we are beginning our activities again after the COVID-19 pandemic, and I thank SMPTE Executive Director Mr. David Grindle for his full-fledged support to the SMPTE-India Section."
Subhash Ghai, Filmmaker & Founder – Whistling Woods International added “I see SMPTE’s increased focus on India as yet another step forward in the Make-in-India initiative. We always talk of intellectual property being the key driver for industry growth. New technologies, new workflows and new standards are intellectual property as well. With SMPTE enabling greater education and assimilation of our engineers and technologists with the world, we can now add Research & Development and creation of new tech workflows to our ‘Make-in-India’ initiative as well.”

Chaitanya Chinchlikar adds: “In the past 2 & 1/2 years as a Governor and the education co-chair for SMPTE’s Virtual Production RIS, I have seen SMPTE’s operations from up-close. As of today, I am absolutely sure that SMPTE will play a crucial role in enabling India to take its rightful place in the world of global M&E technologists. India, with its scale & size and being the highly digitalised market that it is, comes up with solutions (which we colloquially call ‘jugaad’) which are staggering in their ingenuity, technological innovation and application. These should really be taken out to the world and showcased as such. Not only will this integrate India’s M&E technologists with the world, but it will also enable a robust exchange of ideas, & solutions which fuel research & development in multiple areas of Film, Broadcast, Digital, Animation, Gaming technologies, in addition to showing a path to young engineering aspirants today on how they can explore a global career in the M&E industry, as an engineer. This will enable our engineers to play a larger role not just in the application of technologies but in the development and creation of new workflows, technologies and standards thereof.”
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