Animation/VFX pioneer, Crest Founder & Digital Asia Chief Shyam Ramanna’s Digital Asia School of Animation (DASA- headquartered in Bangkok) was launched in India in association with Meteor Films’ Satyam Bansal with a big splash on December 6. The launch witnessed perhaps one of the largest media turnouts for any animation event so far. TV Channels, The Dailies, Regional Press, Online you name it.
Commenting on the launch Shyam Ramanna told Animation ‘xpress, “Right since inception of this school my focus has been on providing quality training not only to the first batch that comes out but to every batch. For this we have created a training program for our faculty which is handpicked and trained at Bangkok”
Meteor Films Satyam Bansal remarked,”I wanted to get into this field since a while but I waited for the right kind of association and I take it as an honour to introduce Shyam Ramanna’s DASA into India. We are not thinking short term, our aim is to provide value added education”
The DASA headquarters at Thailand are managed by Sanjoy Bardhan.
Besides the Animation pioneer (Shyam Ramanna) himself, attendance by a good number of media & entertainment celebrities like Alyque Padamsee, Prasoon Joshi, Mahesh Ramanathan (Percept COO) Subhash Ghai, N Chandra, Ashok Kaul, Varsha Usgaonkar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Anant Mahadevan (Who hosted the event), Farooque Shaikh etc increased the glamour quotient of the launch.
While addressing the audience about animation as an emerging opportunity Percept’s Ramanthan commented upon the success of Hanuman and added,”We are going to come up with a 3D animated sequel to Hanuman which will have the same quality and finish as Shrek”
The most impactful presence at the launch was that of Hiranandani Group Chief Niranjan Hiranandani.
The reason that Hiranandani was attending the launch of an animation school was that the Builder Czar is the President of the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegeiate Board which has 17 colleges in its wing including National college and … hold your breath!…. National College (Bandra) is starting animation orientation courses along with DASA. (Now that’s some news)
To begin with the college will have short orientation courses in the evening which will lead up to the course offered by DASA India (Run by Meteor – Located in Lokhandwala).
Addressing the audience, Niranjan Hiranandani remarked,”The idea of starting an animation course excites me a lot. The fact is that our schools and colleges have gone on the old track of Arts, Commerce and Science and there is need for focus on new emerging career opportnities and art forms. When this idea came to us from Mrs Anand, the principal of National College, naturally we were enthusiastic. Once we observe how the course at the college goes along then we plan to replicate it across all our colleges”
DASA, India is located in Lokhandwala, Mumbai and the courses on offer include Virtual Reality, Animation, Game Designing, Film editing and Mobile Gaming. The Film Animation Diploma inludes a trip to Bangkok on which students will visit Digital Asia Concepts, and get a chance to demo their final project to experts, study state of the art motion capture technology, interact with some of the best animators in the world and network with other students from Assumption University. DASA Students will also have a mandatory 2 month internship at Group owned studios like Crest.
Other highlights of the DASA, India course include a special emphasis on Personality development and communication skills. “Whatever the field, it is my belief that personality development and communication skills are a must. India owing to its English speaking population enjoys an advantage over other companies in the animation field, but there is still a gap in terms of communication skills. Whether in services sector or in creating IP, An artist should be able to communicate his viewpoints and ideas clearly. That’s what I mean by Value edition. We have also blocked 1 hr a day just for Video Conferences which shall be a daily meeting of all DASA faculty across branches. Also a plush auditorium for screening animated movies” added Bansal.
Even as things are looking on an upswing for Indian animation and as the Industry expands, the need for good animators is going to increase too. Initiatives like DASA, look promising at face value…. one has to now wait and watch wether the promise is delivered upon.