KAM Summit ’21 concludes with industry experts shedding light on the various key factors that will boost the animation ecosystem

15 and 16 July marked the first two days of the power-packed Kids, Animation & more Summit. The summit has been presented by Nick and is co-powered by Cosmos-Maya, Unreal-Engine and Discovery Kids. YOTTA serves as the workstation and OTT service partner whereas Green Gold Animation is the summit partner. ABAI promoting Centre of Excellence – COE are the associate partners and the event is supported by IN10 Media (GUBBARE) and HUION. Digicon6 Asia is the festival partner and ASIFA India serves as the community partner.

The final day of KAM Summit 2021 commenced with Fireside chat with Rajiv Chilak which a was an insightful session where Green Gold Animation founder and CEO Rajiv Chilaka and Animation Xpress founder and editor-in-chief Anil Wanwari discussed over Licensing and Merchandising scenario in India.

Chilaka shared his thoughts on how the pandemic changed the entire working model of the studios and how technology is evolving for faster production.

He also highlighted that merchandising is a more challenging and tricky business than licensing.

Chilaka proudly shared how Chotta Bheem is still rocking as a most loved and popular Indian character and how it is reaching global audiences. He further shed light on the scope of licensing the character in gaming, edutainment and education space and how Mighty Little Bheem is performing well globally.

Chilaka termed animated film as tough terrain but believes that animation is a bigger canvas, and he has to create a high-quality product to go worldwide for which he needs the right partnerships.

During the session, Chilaka also revealed that one of his wishlists is to create girl shows, and that they already have some four to five girls shows ready, which may be released at the right time.

Next, it was time for the panel “Riding the Digital Gravy Train“. The speakers of this panel were Sprout Studios CEO & founder Rahul Rohilla, Cosmos Maya SVP – revenue and corporate strategy Devdatta Potnis, VideoGyan director and CEO Vishal T.M, Green Gold Animation sr. vice president – content business Bharath Laxmipati and the session was moderated by Dancing atoms creator, creative producer and director, Saraswathi Vani Balgam.

Previously, YouTube has always been the go-to platform for kids’ content on the digital front. Now, with Netflix also adding lots of original animated content in its kitty, other platforms have not been too far behind and have been quietly making their own debuts to satisfy the huge maw kids have for entertainment. The speakers shared various insights on how their business scaled up in the digital space and spilled the secret sauce behind their success.

The speakers believe that compelling content is the key to achieve success in the digital space.

They also shared their views on how educational based entertainment content are doing wonders as it helps parents to keep their kids engaged and it is also something where parents could be involved in activities with their kids.

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Next up was Making of Trollhunters Trilogy” session. 88 Pictures team revealed the making of Trollhunters Trilogy. Trollhunters is an American computer-animated fantasy television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro. 88 Pictures head of animation Manish Kumar, VFX supervisor Prakash D Cunha, FX supervisor Nidell Curham, and animation supervisor Yohesh Rupani were the speakers, while producer and COO Aby John hosted the session. 

While animated content is fun to watch, it is quite a great challenge to create. And the main reason is the plot, as coming up with an engaging plot requires creativity, innate talent, and keen attention to details. In animation, rare and unique ideas add life to your characters. 

The session took us through the entire process of the show’s development; right from the hiring process to working the animation style to the tiny details that went into bringing to life the director’s vision for the show.

Craft of Writing” panel witnessed informative and creative aspects of becoming an animation writer. The panel included great writers from the industry like Salt Content CEO Angela Salt, Nucleus Media Rights vice president creative and development Sonam Shekhawat and independent writer/producer Atul Rao. The session was moderated by Discovery Kids India co-founder and Indusverse CCO Alok Sharma.

The session began with each panelist giving their thoughts about what is craft of writing and how it can be developed. They also shared some points on how they get bored in their work and how they overcome it.

Salt highlighted how time management and discipline is important for a writer and how to manage their works and complete them before the deadline.

Shekawat shared the basic rules of story writing and how creativity is more important than logic in kid’s shows.

Rao shared his perspective of writing stories for different franchises as each show has its own flavours and codes. He also mentioned that writing is nothing but analysis and creativity coming together at a point. The panellists also discussed how to be inclusive while writing and how to encourage diversity in your story as well as in your ideas.

Sharma signed off the session by saying that currently, writers in India usually think in their regional language and then pen down their thoughts in English, and then someone needs to translate the script to the animators in their language. So to cut down the hassle, the writers should be given the freedom to write in Hindi or the regional language as it will help the animators understand the script in a better manner.

In the next, Educationist Perspective on Animation panel, Toon Club founder Tehzeeb Khurana, Karadi Tales co-founder Narayan Parasuram, Mussoorie International School principal Meeta Sharma, Adamas University pro vice chancellor (PR & media) Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Oberoi International School head of Visual Arts Department – Secondary Section Aparna Mugwe were the expert panelists who threw light on the educationist perspective on animation, sharing insights on how animation can be a part of education in schools. The session was moderated by Animation Xpress founder, chairman, and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.

They discussed how it was very difficult initially to incorporate arts in the regular curriculum. But, with the international schools coming into the picture and accepting it, things are getting much better now. “Earlier the focus of education was on STEM and now it’s become STEAM; thankfully art has come in. Very few schools teach animation or art as a subject and include it in their regular curriculum. We have a distance to cover, so it will take some time. In the west and in the European countries, there is a lot more emphasis on art and that is where all the creative innovations are happening,” mentioned Tehzeeb Khurana. 

“I believe that there is a lot of potential in using animation to teach students who find it difficult to learn some subjects. Creators like you can make it simple for them and you’ll be contributing a lot to society,” rightfully said Anil Wanvari.

For “Animation Business 101 panel, Vaibhav More Films founder and director Vaibhav More, Popcorn Animation Studios VP strategy and business development Shambhoo Phalke, independent visual artist Saumin Suresh Patel, and Animation Xpress founder, chairman, and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari were the speakers who shared informative insights on animation business and the nitty-gritty of scaling up small-scale businesses. The panel discussion was moderated by Assemblage Entertainment director Arjun Madhavan.

Commenting on how important focusing on your work is, the panelists mentioned, “Once we know what we want to do and what our guiding principle is, it is important to bring in discipline. Discipline that can empower us. Discipline just does not entail to one person, it has to be followed throughout. And the discipline needs to translate to systems that are measurable.”

Anil Wanvari’s spoke on the hygiene principles. He said, “It’s extremely important to get together with the right kind of people and if it’s you only, then you have to get the basics totally right. For starters, if you are just beginning, get your GST done,” he said. Vaibhav More had a little note for the budding artists, “I would encourage students and those who are getting into the profession to adapt to the open-source culture. It really helps a lot in cutting the costs,” he urged. 

The informative three days of KAM summit came to an end with Wrap up with Industry Leaderssession with the summit’s advisory members who are the pillars of this industry and helped AnimationXpress in setting up this terrific summit. The advisory members include Toonz Media Group CEO P Jayakumar, Zebu Animation CEO Adi Shayan, Green Gold Animation CEO Rajiv Chilaka, Assemblage Entertainment founder and CEO A K Madhavan aka MadMax, Walt Disney Animation Studios character technical director-simulation supervisor Avneet Kaur, Autodesk India technical solutions manager Samit Shetty, Joan Vogelesang Consultants president and CEO Joan Vogelesang and Srinivas Sribhakta who is the CEO of VedAtma Animation Studios, AVGC Centre of Excellence, Karnataka and secretary ABAI.

The advisory members shared their thoughts and vision on how to make the animation industry move further and also congratulated Animation Xpress team for organizing such a power pack and insightful summit with a lot of speakers from the industry.

Jayakumar highlighted the growing diversity and inclusiveness in the animation industry and how to produce global level content.

Chilaka shared about licensing and merchandising and how to run a successful animation studio. Added to this Srinivas highlighted the importance of education and skill development required for the animation industry. Shetty shared his viewpoint on evolving technology and how stories and idea play crucial roles in the field of animation.

MadMax shared how the industry has grown in both volume and quantity in the last five years and the process is continuous and evolving.

Shayan expounded how the animation industry has shown a sense of agility, adaptability and making great progress. Kaur gave her insights on how to develop global content and where the Indian animation is lagging behind and how to push to the next level.

Vogelesang talked about how to penetrate local IPs in the global market where she mentioned that to get to a global audience, we have to be aware of global sensibilities and there has to be the internationalisation of content. The breakthrough will come when there is a great marriage between local and international content where the content will be local but it understands the global community that is reaching out.

The session covered all the aspects of the animation industry right from education to business.

The summit was followed by a grand award ceremony titled ANN Awards where the best talents in the world of animation were honoured and recognised for their artistry and creativity.

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