TASI Successfully Conducts ‘A Filmy Day with Sons of Ram and Krishna aur Kans’

For those who have missed out on ‘A Filmy Day with Sons of Ram and Krishna aur Kans’, here’s what went into the making of the appreciated movies. Interesting revelations about the Mythological  Animated Feature Films ‘Sons of Ram’ and ‘Krishna aur Kans’ for sure must have set across a power packed impact in the minds of attendees at the recently conducted ‘A Filmy Day’ session by TASI. The event took off with the screening of ‘Sons of Ram’ and was then taken ahead by Writer/ Director of the movie, Kushal Ruia with an comprehensive presentation unfolding the hard work taken behind the Story and Visual Development, Story and Screenplay, Casting and Music, Character and Prop Design, Story Boards and Color Design with the theatrical teaser showcased at the event. Kushal, in his session, shared that the entire pre-production of Sons of Ram has been done at ACK Animation Studios whereas the animation executed by a Malaysian Studio named Inspidea Animation Studios. For achieving the look and feel of the movie, the team at ACK Animation Studios did extensive research on Miniature, Madhubani and Ellora Paintings. Also, the team sculpted the characters of the movie, before bringing it out in production. Emphasizing on the aspect of choosing ‘Sons of Ram’ as a subject for an animated feature film, Kushal said that he always had in mind, a different perspective of showing the story Sons of Ram, which he thought would be great and the idea behind the movie was not to show an epic, but to give an intimate touch and to bring characters that the audience would relate too. Initially, Sons of Ram was to be made as a television series for Cartoon Network, but later it was finalized for a full length animated feature medium. Kushal showed his screenplay notes, which he did for writing down the screenplay of SOR. He presented various aspects of script writing with showing relationship graphs that he created for making the script stronger. Initially the screenplay of SOR was about 90 minutes, but then it was cut down as it became quite long. Speaking to Animationxpress.com’s Zeenia Boatwala about the experience at TASI A FILMY DAY, Kushal, says, “It was a fun experience. Want to thank Vaibhav and TASI for organizing this! It was great to see all the behind the scenes from Krishna aur Kans by Ashish Kulkarni too. I enjoyed the interaction with the audience and the dialog was great.” Kushal showed the character designs and spoke about the importance of Design and Animation approach for creating his movie. He said that, for Sons of Ram, his prime focal point was Design and finally animation. Expressing more about Mythological movies in India, Kushal, states, “I think mythology is a great asset to us. It is upto the creative people of this country to interpret it in various ways through various mediums in innovative ways. The west has yearned for such rich stories. However, we should be inspired by this rich storytelling culture and create new properties and mythologies too and not just be stuck in a rut.” Kushal also disclosed various character color charts of characters, mood scripts, color schemes, lighting. Also, he appreciated Sunidhi Chauhan for the voice over , which she has given for Sita and said that Sunidhi’s voice is the heart of the movie and played the making of ‘Free to Be’ song, sung by Sunidhi in the movie. The entire movie is divided into 19 chapters and was given color tones according to each chapter. Also, the entire sound of the movie was completed within 4 weeks of time. Other challenging areas of the movie, according to Kushal were the story and maintaining a particular style throughout the movie. Spotlighting more on Indian Animation Market, Kushal informs, “I think there are many pre-conceived notions about animation that need to change in the minds of Indian audiences at large and the film industry as a whole.  We need to be cut some slack so we can get our movies out there and compete with huge Bollywood and Hollywood movies and give Indian animation a chance. The change starts with the animation industry itself, which should start creating quality content and not just creating for the sake of creating. The industry which includes students, artists, and executives should all support our products in theatres, home videos etc and pay to access the content. A degree of unconditional love is needed, as we are more than just the “general audience”. We need to introduce as many people to the wonders of animation as we can…by doing this we would be investing in our own respective careers.” The event was then taken forward by Ashish Kulkarni, CEO of Reliance Animation and Executive Producer of Krishna aur Kans, played a partial screening of ‘Krishna aur Kans’ and disclosed about the stages of research  undertaken, the voice overs, storyboards, production. Ashish shared that research is the most crucial aspect of any movie, and it had taken around 4 years research for bringing out ‘Krishna aur Kans’. Around 900 stories about Krishna were researched, from which 110 stories were used in the feature film. Ashish asserted that doing voice overs for the movie was a challenge as only character descriptions were given to the voice over artists way back in March 2007 and the actual production started later. References of Heritage properties were disclosed to the attendees with showing the Statue of Bali from Indonesia and Large Paintings from Iskcon. The research also included the lotus feet of lord Krishna, which was taken from the Bhagvat Puraan and the team studied around 63 various descriptions of Krishna. Around 45 -50 character designs of Krishna were worked on to come up with the final one. Informing more about the Research and Development of the movie, Ashish, showed pictures of Govardhan Parvat, Mathurai Region Haveli, Hindu architecture and also showed visual development sketches. Talking about the experience at TASI Filmy Day, Ashish Kulkarni, shares, “I was pleased by the quality of questions that we have seen at the TASI event and hope such Filmy Days are celebrated and organized in different cities in time to come.” Concept Art of Krishna and other characters of the movie were uncovered with Attitude Poses, Expressions and Color Keys shown. Ashish said that Om Puri as the voice over artist for Kans did a commendable job of bringing out the variety of emotions and also matching the various age profiles of the character while maintaining the characterization perfect all throughout.  Ashish also said that initially Renuka Shahane and Ashutosh Rana were approached for the voice over for Vasudev and Devaki, but finally it was done by Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar. Around 4500 props were used in the movie. Ashish feels that, the largest saving in making an animation movie is by constantly improving your storyboard. Initially the movie was going up to 3 1/2 hrs, but it was re-edited to ensure that the length of the film is not more than 117 mins and yet delivers a complete viewing satisfaction and a wholesome storytelling experience. The songs of Krishna aur Kans were composed in 2007 Emphasizing more on Mythological Movies in India, Ashish, says, “If we look into West, even they had started with their folklore’s (since they don’t have the wealth of mythologies like us) as content for a specific reason. When the industry is nascent and not enough budgets are available to establish new brands, such known stories help the content to reach out to mass much easily. As for us in India, Mythology did the same thing. Moving ahead, as the market gets consolidated and expanded with further investments and distribution falling in place, we will surely get to see an array of new age contents beyond mythology coming up on screen.” Coming to the Production area, Ashish showed the importance of Scene and BG Planning and displayed acting reference video of Krishna aur Kans Director Vikram Veturi. The artists working on the movie were made to attend choreography sessions and also navratri festivals to make the animation in the movie realistic. According to Ashish, while all the songs were extremely challenging to write and compose, one stands out in particular. Krishna growing up from 18 months to 7 years old was to be composed as a song. 3 different songs were written and composed before the final version was arrived at. Also, Ashish feels that Shlokas in Krishna aur Kans played a major role in beautifying the movie to a greater extent. Commenting on the Indian Animation Market, Ashish, adds, “We require help at several stages, primarily the distribution and marketing as that’s been the biggest challenge for us so far.” Sharing thoughts on the success of ‘A Filmy Day’, Akshata Udiaver, Honorary Secretary of TASI, says,  “Following the panel discussion with filmmakers at Anifest India this year, TASI had taken a decision to actively promote indigenous animated films by spreading awareness, and offering a platform for the filmmakers to interact with the community and audiences. “A Filmy Day” was a step firmly in that direction. We are very happy that Team ACK and Team BIG Animation set aside an entire day to share their experiences and talk to budding film makers about the challenges that came their way. We hope to have more such interactive sessions in other cities as well, and with smaller studios and independent filmmakers too. TASI has a lot more interesting stuff planned for 2013, which we will be announcing very soon on our website – www.tasionline.org.”   connect@animationxpress.com