Careers: FutureWorks' head of learning & development Savita Shekhawat
December 22, 2023

Careers: FutureWorks' head of learning & development Savita Shekhawat

Savita Shekhawat is head of learning & development at FutureWorks (, covering all sites across Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. With over 25 years of experience, her career spans 2D cell animation, 3D, and more, at companies that include Digital Domain. She is also a guest lecturer at Whistling Woods International, a film, communication and creative arts institute in Mumbai. 

Savita currently leads the FutureWorks Academy, the studio’s in-house training program that offers a structured pathway from entry level to skilled artist with the help of senior-level professionals and live-project opportunities. She joined FutureWorks in 2022 and helped to open the academy later in the year. Today, she plays an integral role in developing aspiring and experienced talent. 

Here, Savita shares her advice and insight into developing a career at a leading post production studio, like FutureWorks. 

Tell us about your background prior to joining FutureWorks. How have you progressed into a role that leads the training and development of a large post production team?

“I was working as a compositing supervisor, and while working with my previous team, I realized that continuously up-skilling artists, at all levels, is crucial to both retaining talent and delivering the best level of service to clients. There is a need for well-trained individuals. As our field demands a mix of technical, creative and interpersonal skills, continuous growth and up-skilling is required to maintain a strong and happy team. A large part of my role requires me to ensure talent at FutureWorks is continuously growing, regardless of their level of experience, and that learning & development remains at the forefront of our business strategy.”

How do you stay on top of industry and educational trends to  ensure that the talent at FutureWorks have access to the best tools and resources? 

“The ever-changing landscape of VFX technology requires professionals to constantly stay up to date with the latest tools and techniques. I have been in the industry for the past 25 plus years – as an artist, mentor and teacher. These roles have always taught me the power of learning the latest trends.

“FutureWorks gives artists all the tools they need to succeed in their careers, including regular one-on-one meetings that provide actionable, short-term goals as they progress through the ranks. Likewise, the FutureWorks Academy helps entry-level and junior artists achieve their goals by providing workshops, lectures, tutorials and mentorship by senior artists.”

How did the FutureWorks Academy come about? What has your involvement in it been like? 

“The FutureWorks Academy came about due to the short supply of skilled professionals in the VFX industry. The need for high-quality visual effects in films, television, gaming and other media continues to grow. The earlier the studio gets involved in the development of talent, the sooner they will be production ready.

“The academy is a continuing program for both employees and students. It utilizes experienced artists and FutureWorks team members, providing the necessary mentoring and training that individuals need. This is in the form of lectures, one-to-one tutoring, and on-the-job training with live projects. 

“As the head of learning & development, my role also focuses on building and growing the academy program, its curriculum, alignment with industry standards, and overseeing the development of our students and employees to become better artists.” 

Are you noticing any differences in the generations of talent? How can studios adapt for younger generations, such as ‘Gen Z’?

“Yes, Gen Z are typically more digitally proficient. They utilize digital communication platforms and tools much more proactively.

“FutureWorks has a culture where we hold one-to-ones for regular feedback. This is particularly effective for the younger generation of talent, as it opens up communication and encourages feedback. They strive for professional development and mentoring opportunities. Growth, as well as flexibility and work-life balance, is important to them too – all of which are strongly supported at FutureWorks.” 

Alternatively, what advice would you give to a more experienced or senior artist who is looking to develop or progress their career?

“Continuously learning and staying up to date with new techniques, tools and technologies in the VFX field is necessary. Consider branching out into related areas that complement your existing skills. Likewise, developing management and leadership skills by sharing knowledge, teaching and mentoring others. This not only helps the community, but can also deepen your own understanding and skills. Also, be open to revisiting and refining your work based on feedback, as it can contribute to your professional development.”

What are your goals for FutureWorks in 2024?

“To continuously update and refine the training and development strategy. This will include providing ‘re-skilling’ opportunities to artists looking to move from existing departments to another, inspired by the FutureWorks Academy program. This will be known as the ‘Inter-Departmental Training Program.’ For instance, say an artist wants to move from roto to prep, or prep to comp, for example.”

What advice would you give to aspiring students and future talent looking to embark on a career in post production?

“Set personal and professional goals to stay motivated and focused on your career development. Connect with other artists, professionals and influencers in the industry. Attend networking events, join online communities and collaborate on projects. Learn from failures, adapt and keep moving forward. Diversifying your skills can make you more adaptable and open up new avenues in your career. Look for opportunities to expand your skill set.”