Quick Q&A with Toon Boom CEO Joan Vogelesang

“Its not about 2D vs 3D but¬†about how do we enable people to use whichever technique that they¬†wish to use”

Toon Boom CEO & President Joan Vogelesang
Here’s someone whom many an Indian animation CEO refers to as mentor, friend and guide. Toonboom CEO & President Joan Vogelesang has been one of the strongest believers in Indian animation and has stood by it in times good and bad. The extremely busy, globe trotting CEO is here in Mumbai for the ongoing FRAMES 2005. While readers can expect a full blown in depth interview with Joan in a few weeks time, here is a quick Q&A with Joan conducted by Animation ‘xpress Anand Gurnani. Excerpts – How long have you been involved with India and has there been any significant growth since then? Toon Boom is into its 11th year of operations. I have been involved with the Indian animation industry for the last 7 years, the first few studios that we dealt with were DQ, Heart Animation, Color Chips and UTV Toons. The number of studios that we are involved with in India has risen considerably of late, however I would still like to see many more studios getting on board soon. I’d like to contribute in terms of creating a vibrant industry which is profit generating and creates content that cuts across cultural barriers. Are you satisfied with the growth of the Industry? What is the challenge? One can never be satisfied because one is always striving for growth. Today the Indian animation industry has accomplished a lot in 7 years time. Lot of the Top Executives are individually known across global animation circles. The challenge is to make it something sustainable and growing. What about animation education in India ? We are trying and we continue to take interest in coaxing some of the top international animation schools to come and share their knowhow in India. Last year there were more than 12 Canadian schools that came and looked at the Indian market. The discussions are beginning, its a matter of getting the right partners together that can come up with a win win scenario. Talking about training, India lacks in numbers when it comes to good animation faculty. Why doesn’t some intl studio or body start a decently sized institute out here? I am not sure why that doesnt happen. One of the reasons, is that which you have already mentioned in your question, there is hardly any mass of well trained people. Actually its a chicken n egg story. Which are the formats that contribute to the consumption of animation globally? TV, DVD , Feature, Webisodes, Mobile. 2D vs 3D – Your views Artists are people who like creative variety, they like different looks and styles too. At Toonboom we support the mixing of techniques to create newer fresher and original styles and looks. To me its not 2D vs 3D to me it is how do we enable people to use whichever technique they wish to use. We have a network pipeline management system which helps enable the same. What’s your market share in 2D We are available globally and have a 75% share in the 2D segment in most of the Asian countries like Taiwan, Korea, China , Phillipines and India. We have recently come out with a product called Harmony. It enables artists at work to do a flash style animation (Industrial quality) at a reduced cost due to production effeciency. I’d like to sum up with a single fact and that is ‘Globally consumer interest in animation is increasing by the day and these are reflected by number of downloads of our software from the web which indicates that not only is animation growing as an entertainment form wherein studios create it, but also as a personal art form as a substantial part of our downloads is from kids and children’ connect@animationxpress.com