Agni Interactive is a Global Creative Content Development Company with offices in Hyderabad & USA. Agni assists clients in conceptualizing and developing the art style and content for any of digital platforms.
AnimationXpress.com’s Farhatnaz Ansari spoke to Harish Rao,Director of Creative Services & Project Management(USA), Agni Interactive about Agni’s objectives, current projects, services and future plans.
What kind of work does AGNI do?
Agni Interactive is an International Outsourcing & Content Development Company, that has a very niche offering to its clients. Team AGNI offers a very unique service of conceptualization and creative direction to bring Ideas to life in multiple digital entertainment platforms. While there are other outsourcing companies which offer game art and animation services for both games and movies, we at AGNI offer something different. We take a client’s vision, create orginal concept art from the scratch and translate it into video games, social games, comic books, graphic novels, matte paintings and more.
What are you doing in the area of ‘Comic book and Graphic Novel‘ treatment?
In India, video games, animation and graphic novels are all separate industries, where you rarely see any production house in India catering to all three forms of content. In the USA, where transmedia is becoming more mainstream, offering hybrid services across all 3 industries is more of the norm.
In this way, it is an absolute must for a comic artist to work in collaboration with a video game artist in order for both to learn from each other. This allows Indian companies to actually embrace globalization, which leads to an apparent inference that, in American companies you find people in the Art Department who usually come from the Concept Art Industry and have 2D skills, yet working with the 3D artists from the Video Game Industry. This is reflected in the various types of content, references and convergence of popculture content across film, TV, internet and interactive media.
So, I‘m not reinventing something, since I have both Indian and American backgrounds my ability to communicate with both the parties helps me to serve as a nexus between the two cultural worlds, which in turn helps AGNI deliver quality services to the client.
What is AGNI currently working on?
We have a few unannounced client projects we are presently working on. We are also working on a major animated feature film called Kaptara for which we have been providing services for client for a year now (http://www.kaptaramovie.com). We just announced a major collaboration with a large game publisher in Sweden called Paradox Interactive, for which we are driving the creative direction and game art development for their upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO) called Salem.
We are also developing few ideas to create our very own original Graphic Novels that we hope to turn into films which will eventually be our own IPs. We are working on couple of different other entities but it‘s very early to talk about them as of now.
When was AGNI established?
AGNI was established in early 2010. The Founder & CEO of the company, Sachin Gangupantula, from Hyderabad, presently operates the company from the USA. I am also based in the USA and I interact and guide the Art Department with training and interfacing with external clients.
What is the employee strength of AGNI?
Right now we have 20 employees and we hope to grow more in number and quality as well. The team is made up of Creative artists (2D/3D), Technical Director and Producers based out of our main office in Hyderabad. Our Executive team is in San Francisco and Los Angeles, which focuses on Business Management and Creative Direction .The main production and development happens in our own studio at Hyderabad.
This, I feel is the key differentiator for Agni Interactive (Outsourcing Plus), as we provide the local expertise to the US/ European clients, while developing and executing through a world-class creative team in India. Unlike other outsourcing companies, we do not grant necessarily direct access for the client to our talent in India because of the culture gap and penchat for misunderstandings.
We will continue with providing Creative Concepts, 3D services and Graphic novel services for movies and video gaming publishers in US/ Europe. We are working on our first original graphic novel currently and looking forward to releasing it next year by planning to analyze both statistics and the original content for the graphic novel. It shall take some time to get started, as we don‘t work independently. We work with 100% consent and confidence my team shows on any decision we take, as we have to go slow while developing these properties and understand the real efforts that go in creating them, only then can we take it on board.
Anything else you would like to add?
It has been an exciting growth right from the inception level for me at AGNI. I think with the global landscape what we are doing here at AGNI, is something that you have seen only with the American companies. I think if we continue to execute the way we are doing it now, then we are on the right track and AGNI can continue to establish partnerships with major studios and publishers.
I would also like to say that the skills our team developed at AGNI are amazing because, at AGNI, the team is learning a limitless freedom of creation across a variety of client projects, our own IP development, and also in the execution of projects. It is something which I believe is not that prominent in India. Traditionally, in most companies here, artists and engineers are given a similar task list to complete, with little or no input.
Our artists are now starting to think out of the box and come up with ideas and creative concepts. Most often, our clients are so surprised to have seen a variety of options and creative ideas we as a team give. And that‘s some good change that‘s happening at the right place in the right environment with AGNI as a laboratory for pure creation.