Baiscope Entertainment, a non- profit society devoted to all aspetcs related of film making conducted an animation seminar on 23rd July 06 at Fun Republic. The event focused on two aspects of the animation industry. Independence in animation and the business of animation. The two prominent speakers at the event were animator Gitanjali Rao and Head of Animation, Adlabs, Siddharth Jain.
The highlight of the workshop was the screening of Gitanjali’s latest movie, The Printed Rainbow which won three awards at the Cannes Film Festival.
The session began with Gitanjali speaking about her background as an animator, beginning from the time when she joined Ram Mohan at his studio till her latest film which she has independently created.
Touching on the topic of the difference between workign independently and being attached to a studio, Gitanjanli pointed out that it was easier to be independent in the animation industry than live action films, since the material and machines are available at the studio itself. Her career started in 1994 at the legendary Indian studio Ram Mohan Biographics, where she was involved in the creation of animated TVCs.
Not satisfied with the short, sub 30 second time frame that making TVCs offered her, the film maker and story teller in Gitanjali made her opt to go independent and make short films on her own.
Stressing on the difficulties that independent film makers face, Gitanjali remarked “Many a time visualizations and dreams stop mid way and never get completed due to the lack of funds”
Being an expert in 2D animation, she spoke about it and went a little into the detail of cell animation. According to her to make a film, the basics of the film maker have to be clear in terms of how to use the tools and the techniques of drawing.
Speaking about her film The Printed Rainbow she elaborated on the look development and feel of the movie and showed its entire storyboard the way she had prepared it for Annecy.
For the last few years Gitanjali has been free lancing and has made a short film and several TVCs. Interestingly her short film Orange did not pass the censor board.
Adlabs Animation Head Siddharth Jain was the other speaker at the event. The emphasis of his talk was on the business of animation in India with a focus on the current scenario. Jain lamented the paucity of talented and trained animators in a country with such a rich tradition of art and culture.
Speaking on what the studios look out for, he said that story and not just animation is important. Other things that are important is high concept, capacity to deliver in the specific budget, innovative use of technology and talent, cult characters and getting investment back.
Another area of concern which he spoke about was the ownership of IP, high budgets and long schedules. There is not enough trade support, development funding, institutional funding and lack of trained animators. Collaboration between film makers and animators is essential and also increase in the number of studios and financers. According to Siddharth the animation producers need to understand the mechanics of the film business and accordingly develop the project and a purely creative approach is not enough. So far the only successful animated theatrical in the Indian animation history has been Hanuman.
Speaking about the future of animation in India, Siddharth said that the next two years are very critical. At the moment the animation market is scattered and lots of studios work in isolation making their own products, sometimes the quality of which is not very good. He stressed on how India is a virgin market for animation and that creation of local characters is a must. Visual effects is on the rise in India today with movies like krrish, Alag and the like.
The workshop was concluded with a question and answer session and the screening of Gitanjali’s movie, The Printed Rainbow.