Interview with Mover & Shaker of Indian Animation, Ranjit `Tony` Singh -

Interview with Mover & Shaker of Indian Animation, Ranjit `Tony` Singh

null“The training industry has to make the move towards engaging senior professionals at commensurate compensation for their time and effort”

It’s been a long while you have been in the industry and your innings with TASI has been a big achievement. Please share with our readers about how the movement was then (6-7 yrs ago) and how it is now?
TASI was born out of a strong commitment to selflessly give back to the industry, our time, effort, energy and expertise. We started out as informal get-togethers which basically gave us a chance to meet once in a while and share some thoughts on our respective work. Over the years these have taken on a more professional and organised flavor. There is an efficient machinery working behind the scenes that co-ordinates the entire effort.

These sessions have found value for the members which is evident from the recorded attendance over the past years. Initially we would get 25-30 people who felt it worthwhile to spare time for some learning, today we get over 300 people at events. So itâ€?s been nothing short of fantastic. I’m proud to be a member of TASI.

When it comes to Education, you have been amongst the most vocal professionals in the Industry and your 12 part series on The Importance of Industry Based training in Animation has been amongst the most in depth insights into the subject. Have the times changed in the past three years? Your comments on Indian animation education – No Holds barred!

You’re going to make me annoy some good friends! Seriously, the education front has improved a lot since then. I’m not saying it’s become perfect or as it should be, but I think there has been some soul searching and people have realised the importance of imparting good training. Your education never ends, i’s the training that provides you with the building blocks and for that alone it becomes a crucial element. At the very least I can say that all is not hot air. Education is seeing a change in mindsets and organisations are making the right moves. I’d just like the movement and pace of change to be faster. The training industry has to make the move towards engaging senior professionals at commensurate compensation for their time and effort. I still find people being penny wise pound foolish on that front. Please remember they have to create a situation that it becomes prestigious to lend ones name to a private player. Building goodwill and credibility in any industry is hardwork and takes time. People will not risk it for a shaky relationship.

TASI workshops are gaining traction, and Anifest India 2007 is the biggest summertime event on the Indian animation calendar. Are you satisfied with the kind of volunteering and participation that studios are making for the community events?
What do you mean gaining? TASI is up there at the forefront of any move that will benefit artists. That is the commitment this society demands and gives in return. I�m proud of the artist fraternity and all the members who have consistently supported this belief. The genuine believer will always support these activities without demanding payback, whether it is a studio, professional or student. Those who want to misuse TASI don�t really succeed as the movement has its own self regulatory checks and balances. You can get an idea of the kind of support we enjoy from this years Anifest India Festival scheduled for May 25-27.

When are you going to make a short film?
My professional and voluntary time commitments have still not allowed me to finish my book. At least not before that.

Your comments on the Indian animation industry and the challenges and positives according to you?
Industry is on the upswing, challenges are as before – trained and talented manpower. The achievements of Indian animation overseas and the growing awareness amongst the film fraternity locally are definite positives.

Additional comments?
One call for all professionals, and students – Join TASI and support your community. We need more people to volunteer a little bit of their time towards community building exercises. There is a high to be found beyond work for hire.