Animation Masters Summit 2017 concluded with a blast, leaving the audience wanting more

The signature music of Animation Masters Summit plays in the auditorium and rejuvenates each one present in the auditorium, announcing the beginning of the second day. The first day was heavy with the talks leaving an imprint in each one’s mind, inspiring and persuading the young animators. The buzz of day one had not yet died down and the spirit seemed intact as the day began with V A Shrikumar Menon’s (PUSH Integrated Communications, founder and creative head) session on ‘Local Brands, Global Dreams’. Menon was reluctant to come to the Summit for giving a talk because he does not think of himself as an expert and was nervous to share the dias with the other Masters whom he thought were extremely talented. He was searching for excuses but could not come up with a rational one, and eventually decided to attend the Summit and give the talk. A modest man, having helped build brands like Kalyan Jewellers and Manappuram Gold Loan, he still calls himself a local boy; and works only with local brands. “It all starts with a dream. Dream leads to an idea,” he said. He shared with the audience his journey of picking names from regional level and making them national brands. Followed by Menon’s session was John McKenna’s (One Animation, Studio Head) session on ‘Why Care About the Money? The film-maker’s journey’. A challenge that animators and artists universally encounter is – money. They come to the industry with passion, not with the intention of making money, but at the same time, they cannot neglect it. McKenna explained, “You come to the animation industry with the burning passion to write, so you need to take money from others.” He said that he began his career in animation with an intent to make great films but “now I spend most of my time thinking about the money – where do I get it from?” He solved this conundrum and concluded by saying, “Think about money, don’t chase it.” ICONIX Entertainment, new business division head, Dong-Su Jung had arrived from Korea to share the digital success story behind Tayo The Little Bus, a YouTube sensation among kids. The 3D animated series did not initially receive the expected average response as there was a lot of competition. There were already animated shows on bus, cars and heavy machines. But as the creators of Tayo started uploading the episodes, the show started gaining acceptance among the kids and became a huge hit. The Tayo Movie, an animated feature based on the character of the bus earned huge revenues after it was released on YouTube.
Dong-Su Jung during his session
Equally interesting was ad-man Abhijit Avasthi’s session on ‘Here, There, Everywhere: Looking for Inspiration’. A wave of nostalgia gripped the crowd as Avasthi played the clips of some of the most iconic ads he had created with his team at Ogilvy & Mather for well-known brands like Fevicol, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Five Star, Google and many more. The ads had left an impact on the minds of everyone who had watched them and it’s no wonder that they were a success. “We see things, but fail to see the potential in them,” he puts it simply. Advising the young animators who seek for ideas and ideas only, Avasthi said – as it was no complex code to crack – that ideas arise from everywhere. His retaining of visuals, sounds and conversations has always been a boon according to him and he uses these very in his ads and while making taglines for a brand. The observation of his surroundings alone has given him taglines that we cannot part with no matter what. “Kuch meetha ho jaaye” from Cadbury Dairy Milk and “Dimag ki batti jalao” from Mentos have not lost fame yet. Bhimsain Khurana, the legend of animation was then called on the stage and honoured with a memento as the audience gave him a standing ovation. His most famous works were made into a showreel and showcased to the audience as a tribute to the man who fearlessly followed his passion for animation. Toonz Media, CEO, P. Jayakumar welcomed today’s chief guest, a political cartoonist from Tamil Nadu – Maadapoosi Govinda Kumar. Akshata Udiaver from YouTube India was then invited on the dias to give a few words after which Sach Chandaria gave the concluding words with a clip from Sanjay Patel’s Oscar-nominated animated short. Winners for The Flying Elephant Competition that had seen 925 entries this year from countries all over the world were announced and awards were given to the winner, runner-up and second runner-up. The Summit closed with a few brilliant classical dance performances by a group of girls and a Kathakali dance by a boy. The Summit arrived, bringing with it excitement and anxiousness, and left all with optimism and a sense of belief in one’s art. Teaching lessons and driving aspiring talent, the Summit stayed true to its tradition, with the Toonz team promising to make it bigger next year. Can it get anymore better though?