Introducing animation concepts to school kids A report on the Animax initiative

What was your experience in dealing with the school children? Did they spring up any surprises? It was great fun working with kids, the most surprising thing was that they understood animation principles very quickly and they could actually act on them. For eg while explaining persistence of vision with the thaumatrope (using 2 images which are not necessarily related ) the understanding was immediate. Also what surprised me was that most of them didn’t draw typical cartoons. And yes it was also a surprise to see that they really worked very hard. Do you think that if animation were to be made an optional subject from the secondary school level, it would help? Absoloutely! I think rather than just animation, they should have graphics. Dynamic graphics can be one part of it. Countries like China and Japan have graphics at school. What could have helped make the workshops better? Smaller groups could have helped a lot. Would you be interested in being involved if any such workshops were further held in the future? Certainly. It is so fullfilling to see kids understand and learn the art. Besides you can’t just whet the appetite of kids and not offer them more. This has to be an ongoing thing! Bangalore Atish Tripathi Director, Parijat Animation Parijat Animation Director, Atish Tripathi interacting with kids at the Animax animation workshop in Bangalore What was your experience in dealing with the school children? Did they spring up any surprises? My experience in dealing with school children was fantastic. It wasn’t a surprise in a way that every one knows kids like to watch cartoons and it was expected that they would show interest in learning how to make cartoons. But what was surprising was the ease with which they picked up the basic technique of animation and started coming up with amazing little flip books where you could see birds flying, volcanoes erupting, cells dividing. The sheer joy on their face, when they saw their creations moving was awesome. Do you think that if animation were to be made an optional subject from the secondary school level, it would help? Of course! if kids are told about how to become doctors, engineers etc then they should also be told about animation. Animation is one of the most powerful medium of audio visual communication and also a leading job provider all over the world. Exposure to kids in animation will result in Long term human resource development and a culture of animation in the country. Besides Animation can become a great education tool where kids can be using animation to make other subjects simple. In my interaction with kids I saw a kid making a flip book, which illustrated the Phenomena of “Cell Division”. If animation is incorporated as a cirriculum in school, then its long term consequences can be very positive for animation in India as well as the Economy. Animation contributes nearly 20% of total earnings from exports in France. What could have helped make the workshops better? Nothing much, the workshop was great as it was. However I feel that the momentum shouldn’t be let go. Having taken such a huge initiative, we should see that we drive the whole point home. Animation competitions can be organised where different schools field their candidates as teams. Each team can be assigned to a senior animator. This senior animators job is to introduce these kids animation , as well as enable them to create a short film using simple techniques. This competition can be one whole day long from morning to evening or could be even a two day event. This competition can even be televised. I think this will create a lot of awareness. May be An animation channel can be involved to televise and broadcast this event. Would you be interested in being involved if any such workshops were further held in the future? Definitely. Hyderabad Prince Paikattu Head Animation Faculty, ZICA Zica’s Prince Paikattu recieving a boquet at the Animax animation workshop in Hyderabad What was your experience in dealing with the school children? Did they spring up any surprises? Indeed, it was full of surprises..!! among the first, the fact that younger ones have done the activities (drawing characters…making a flip book..saying a story..etc) far better than the elder ones..!! a seven year old having drawn an original character design with amazing perfection while the fourteen year drawn a fearful sketch of something that he called his favorite cartoon..!! More than the surprise, it was a little shocking to me, because it emphasized the fact that our education does not nurture the inborn, natural talents. in fact, the flair for art subjects lessens in kids as they grow up..!! any body listening..?? Another surprise was the increasing interest towards cartoons themselves. Almost one hundred percent agreed they watch their prime time favorites. Most of the teachers too agree they preffer cartoon channels more, mainly because nowadays the television shows are having more violance and vulgarity. There were quiries from parents on having short term courses for their kids..i think the work shop helped to break some ice. Do you think that if animation were to be made an optional subject from the secondary school level, it would help? yes..! it will. What could have helped make the workshops better? More time..!! talking about animation and letting them do some animation requires more time. I think the enthusiasm would have been more if you would let them develop an original short concept and animate it themselves..!! There is nothing like seeing your own character talk, walk and dance around. next time may be we should have it for a week or so. Would you be interested in being involved if any such workshops were further held in the future? Oh, yes..!! a thousand times..!! anything for animation. Delhi Shrirang Sathaye Animation Director, VCL Animation Director, VCL, Shrirang Sathaye at the Animax animation workshopin Delhi What was your experience in dealing with the school children? Did they spring up any surprises? I think I had most wonderful response from the kids.They were extremely excited and enthusiastic about the workshop.Unfortunately, we did not have enough time (only four hours) and the the first day one parent asked me to finish the session early as they had to head back home!But over all the response from the parents too was good and some of them came and spoke to me later that even they learnt a few things about animation and they (the kids) should attend more such events. Do you think that if animation were to be made an optional subject from the secondary school level, it would help? I think some amount of basic animation training would definitely help in getting the kids interested in this medium. What could have helped make the workshops better? I think it was organised rather well. Although I was not very happy with the location in Delhi. Even though the hall was big and spacious, it needed to be cleaner and better lit. One thing I would like to repeat again is the time given to each batch.I think a minimum duration of a day (8 hours with a break of half hour for lunch)would be required for one session. Would you be interested in being involved if any such workshops were further held in the future? Absolutely! I would be more prepared the next time! Kolkata Dennis Deegan Dean, ToonzWEBEL Academy Kolkata ToonzWEBEL academy Dean Dennis Deegan with assistants Jeet and Tinku at the Animax animation workshop in Kolkata What was your experience in dealing with the school children? Did they spring up any surprises? It’s always good working with kids,surprises? Yes technically some were asking questions you would expect from students,good story ideas and some really good drawings. Do you think that if animation were to be made an optional subject from the secondary school level, it would help? yes..! it will. Would you be interested in being involved if any such workshops were further held in the future? Sure of course. Maybe set up a summer course,[animation camp?] connect@animationxpress.com