If you meet this man in person, you will not fail to notice his cheerfulness, humility and unadulterated enthusiasm. He has this smile on his face that is warm and welcoming, and very soon, you see yourself talking to him ever so comfortably.
Ever since DreamWorks Dedicated Unit (DDU) closed down, staying in India and continuing work has been most important for animation industry veteran Philippe Gluckman. Delivering high quality work and developing a team of artists who can do that has been Gluckman’s goal and he wishes to continue doing that at the young animation studio in Mumbai.
Early this August, 88 Pictures got Philippe Gluckman on board as the studio’s chief creative officer. Gluckman has been in the animation industry for more than two decades and has to his credits, films like Boss Baby, Kung Fu Panda 3, Trolls, Penguins of Madagascar and many more.
Having worked together at DDU in the past, Gluckman and 88 Pictures CEO Milind Shinde already share a professional chemistry. Both wish to extend this relation to take 88 Pictures to the next level, a move which Milind likes to call “Neighbours Envy, Our Pride!”
When asked what skill sets he will be bringing to the studio, Gluckman humbly says, “Too many years of experience.” What he has enjoyed most in the last nine years of his career are creative process and working with people. “I really do enjoy talking about film and how to take it forward creatively. It’s not just about the result, it’s also about the process, working with others.” His biggest pleasure is to work with a great team of people and he hopes that he can “guide them to go to their best potential.”
Echoing that is Milind’s view: “We are excelling in what we are good at but we are always a big critic of our own self and are constantly looking for ways to push ourselves to the next level. If we want to be the best, our crew needs to learn from the best.” Milind always has plans to get top notch creative talent to shepherd their creative and technical envelope further and “Philippe has the perfect blend of “creative and technical expertise that is combined with the hands on experience of building the studio to the international level,” he states.
Gluckman sees Milind and himself as complementary. “He is very strong in business and in running the organisation, and I am horrible on the financial side,” Gluckman laughs. Saying that Milind is someone who likes to take things forward, he feels that he too shares the energy and desire to take things ahead. “I think we see in a common way and can both be in-charge and collaborate.”
“We are a very encompassing culture that gives the freedom and space for everyone to own up and be a part of the 88 family. Philippe comes with a vast experience and we are on same page with our philosophies on how we want to build the studio further,” says 88 Pictures co-founder and studio head Siddhie Mhambre on changes Gluckman will bring to the studio. “Philippe will have a complete freedom in implementing the best processes and practices to make 88 Pictures as one of the best creative and technically advanced studios in the world.”
Talking about the animation workforce in India, Gluckman exclaims that the potential of the studios has no limit. “The talent and energy is present, but what is missing are the opportunities. “Our goal is to give those opportunities,” says he, explaining how growth remains stagnant if the most talented person does not get the right type of work. “Also, we need to continue to run the studio in a way that peoples’ development is as important as the films we produce,” he adds.
Having moved to Mumbai, Gluckman is anxious and excited. “There’s an energy in this city which feels different,” he smiles. Clearly a people’s person, he believes in creating workspaces that feel like home, “a place where people can stay and constantly progress.”
In film-making, there are always problems that you don’t expect and issues that you don’t know how to solve. That is part of the fun, Gluckman strongly feels. His philosophy being: “If you can get people in a room and have a brainstorming session, everyone will come with their expertise. And when you know you can trust their opinion, that is the best place to be.”
Well, one advice I’d give too: sit with a book and a pen with this expert, because when there are words raining from this sky of knowledge, you would definitely want to save them for harvest!