Maya Digital Studios to scale team size, add projects: Interview with MIST CTO Yogendra Bhangley

With 14 years of experience in the Animation Industry, Yogendra Bhangley, an Electronics and Tele Comm. Engineer with a P.G in Advertising and Public Relations and a Diploma in Digital Character Animation from Vancouver Film School Canada has now completed a year as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Maya In House Training (MIST) at Maya Digital Studios. A Close Look at Yogendra’s career graph reveals that he juggled many roles including being an Animator and Rigging team leader, Character Technical Director, Generalist TD, 3D Supervisor and 3D Studio Head at leading studios like 2NZ Animation, Tata Elxsi – VCL, Krayon Pictures and Broadway Pictures. had a free wheeling conversation with Yogendra to know more about his in animation journey so far, his experience of being a mentor at MIST and the future plans of the studio. What attracted you to animation? The most exciting fact which drags my attention towards animation is that it allows one to create an imaginative world, own character in which the animator breathes life into. I had a hobby of reading different comics under the titles Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Asterix, Archie, Tintin, Superman, Batman and Spiderman. From the VFX perspective, movies like Jungle Book, Superman, and Star Wars inspired me in my growing years as well. A Readers Digest book titled ‘How Things are done’ made me understand that these innovations were done by a breed of techno artists, mortals and decided to belong to such a creative breed. We would like to know about the projects you’ve contributed to till date? I have had the opportunity to work on a numerous local and international projects Television : The Tales of Jack Frost -BBC, Tronji – a series for BBC, Dear Dracula (feature)- Arc Entertainment, Abominable Christmas (Feature)- Arc Entertainment, Adventures of Motu Patlu (On going series) – Nickelodeon etc. Game Cinematics: Neo Pets, Pet Pets, Soldier of Fortune, God of War, Pimp My Ride, Disney Princess. Films: Toonpur Ka Super Hero, Ramayana, Roadside Romeo, Motu Patlu in Fantasyland. Commercials: Coke, Boost, Shark Tooth Vodka, Poppins, Meri Bhains Ko Aanda Kyon Maara, Liberty Footwear, Royal Challenge Whisky, Royal Challenge Beer, IIFA Awards Logo. I even moved forward as a creative stint in film departments of various Advertising agencies like Triton Communications, Efficient Publicities, Enigma Film Production to name a few having worked on brands like – LUX, Royal Challenge, Antiquity, Lifebuoy, Close Up, Provogue, Ajanta Pharmaceuticals, The British Consulate, Standard Chartered Bank. Could you share about your role at MIST? I have been appointed as the CTO of MIST and dedicate myself towards grooming animation talent for the youngsters of the 2nd Batch of MIST. We, at MIST make our students ready to take on any challenges thrown at them, with enthusiasm and confidence. The training given by my team and myself  helps instill a fresh perspective of artistic skills, art and aesthetics knowledge that is required to deliver quality work as desired by the clients in today’s generation. What are your thoughts on a training idea like MIST? I consider MIST as a support system for the animation industry. During my initial days, there were a very few studios and the kind of grind we had to go through was very intense. What I realized and still do feel is that all these fresh pass outs definitely require some more knowledge nourishment. It is through MIST that helps me to keep them motivated, keep their spirits high guide them till they can take on the challenges on their own. How many students have you trained at MIST? Currently I have a team of 40 animation interns at various stages of their MIST programme. A few have shown amazing improvement in a very short span and there are others who take some time to bloom. Maya Digital Studios the MIST team has lately been regularly delivering four eleven minute stories in a month and this month onwards we are targeting five. Could you elaborate on the response and success of the batches at MIST? At Maya we’ve always evolved with the times and kept pace with the best in the global trends in the animation and visual effects industry. Keeping in sync with this idea, we started with the fresher’s course and after the successful completion of the first batch and now we are ready for rolling out the second batch. The Fresher’s course further fulfills our objective of creating the human resource eco-system that will drive the future of this industry. Would you like to put light on any expansion plans of Maya Digital Studios and MIST? Yes! Maya Digital Studios now plans to have at least one anchor animation series with each of the local Indian Kids content broadcasters. They want to expand their team size up to 2500+ artists working on multiple projects across animation, VFX and 2D to 3D. It is on a mission to become India’s leading technology focused entertainment content creation hub with key focus areas being international quality Indian animated content. We would want to produce at least one high quality visual effects driven/ animated feature film for the global audiences every year. Aruna Kumar, Head of MIST appreciates the efforts taken up by Yogendra by saying, “Yogendra’s is excellently performing his key role towards each and everyone at MIST by his advanced production skill set.” In short, his advanced level of knowledge has helped the students who are pass outs from various institutes.  MIST is confident enough that their Students capability will be shinning out through the two live projects like Motu Patlu, Vir and International Project like Censtable which will soon be released.