Aspiring animation enthusiasts, here’s what Indian animation studios look for in candidates

The AVGC industry in India is constantly evolving and consistently growing. It is shaped by the advances in technology and availability of sophisticated softwares as well as by the creative and imaginative flair of new generations of artists. The industry has continued to witness an influx of a good number of talented and innovative young minds over the years. Thus, many studios in this business prefer to hire students, aspiring to be successful in this sector someday.
Nageswari Namana
Already a name in the industry for their iconic IP Chhota Bheem, Green Gold Animation always have an eye for young talent. They look at students not only as potential employees for their company but as new blood for the industry as a whole. Green Gold Animation HR head Nageswari Namana mentions : “In almost all our interactions, including when we go for campus recruitment, we like to look at individual artists, their work and their career aspirations. We advise them on what job would suit best to their talent. It’s a bit of counseling work and we do it without any vested interest. We have an ingrained respect for all artists – young or old.” Few main things that Green Gold Animation looks for, in a fresher :
  • Passion for animation
  • Talent to express their creativity and ideas, whether through drawings, colours, words or software.
  • A good grip on the basics
  • Positive attitude with a mixture of the need to express themselves, hard work and willing to learn
Advice to Freshers :
  • Work hard, practice your craft daily
  • Commit – Whenever you take up a job, commit to it, focus on learning and practicing. Commit to the job for a few years. Even when you come from the best of colleges, academic knowledge, and college projects are never going to be equal to the actual production work. Don’t focus on earning alone. First, learn and try to excel, earnings will follow surely.
  • When considering a career, you need to self-analyse. Consider your skills and not go just by considerations of what is a trending job or what pays better or ‘have my friends also gotten a job there?’
  • Research the companies that are there in the Indian industry and see if it is a fitment for your skills.
For Toonz Animation too, the basic parameters remain the same. As the studio’s HR Camilla Mary comments, “Our prime criteria for selection of a candidate, depends on whether the he/she is up-to-speed in the required stream, combined with strong foundations in the basics yet harnessing a versatile approach of having to meet the varied requirements of different projects being the constant challenge. And importantly, has the desire and commitment to rise to the level of benchmarking Toonz has achieved along its 20-year path to becoming a leading global force in entertainment, a place it proudly holds today.” Few ‘must-have’ priceless ingredients according to Toonz :
  • An undying passion
  • Willingness to learn
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Flexibility of putting in extra hours especially during crunch time
  • Communication skills
  • A keen eye for quality, attention to detail, and speed of delivery
Camilla Mary and Toonz Animation’s IP ‘Sherazade’
Mary further adds, “The person has to be more of an artist; as in the individual has to be equipped with creative skill-sets, software knowledge and understanding. This is crucial when it comes to conceptualising and visualising. Even in an age of technological advancements, the hands-on approach is more viable, and Toonz embraces and nurtures creative initiative, something which has enabled it to create so many flagship brands and shows.” For the entry level artist, a few more pointers need to be considered which are key to becoming part of Toonz :
  • Minimal generalist who will willingly run the extra mile
  • Possess an inclination to learn and grow, more than be monetarily inclined to start off with
  • One with talent, passion, perseverance and discipline
(From L to R) Soumitra Ranade, Aashish Mall and Mayank Patel
Paperboat Design Studios is another studio that specialises in animation for TV, film and digital forums. Over the years they’ve regularly received resumes, internship requests and job applications through their website. Students from several eminent colleges apply as animators, visualisers and artists to make a mark in the sector.   Paperboat Studios chairman Soumitra Ranade, creative director and co-founder Aashish Mall and Mayank Patel notes : “At Paperboat, we prefer generalists to specialists i.e. we prefer someone who is excellent in his/her field of work but who has exposure to several different areas of work. Also it goes without saying that we require our recruits to have a great imagination and, most importantly, an ability to work in a team.” Tips from team Paperboat to keep in mind:
  • Don’t underestimate the value of a good portfolio. A portfolio is the door to any further interaction. This is probably true of any discipline and it is no less true here.
  • Ability to problem solve. Given enough time, anyone can learn how to use software. What we need is the ability to approach a problem or a task with an out of the box kind of thinking. Our clients come to us for creative solutions and that’s exactly what we look for in a prospective employee as well. At Paperboat there is always a place for imaginative visualisers with good 2D drawing and animation skills
  • We like our artists to be able to draw from real life, but also to be imaginative, observant and adaptable enough to explore different styles.
  • As in any field, for better job prospects, a degree or diploma helps. However, there are many animation and design experts in top positions who have no formal education in art or animation and the secret to their success is discipline.
  • Another important quality to have is a great sense of humour. The stresses of work and deadlines in the animation industry can get a little testing. A good sense of humour helps keep calm in those situations.
  • Good communication skills is another great advantage to a candidate’s career growth – both verbally and in your art
  • Aside from the obvious skill requisites, another very desirable quality is leadership. Besides looking for candidates who are creative and good at their work, we also look for candidates who can take independent and creative decisions and have the ability to lead a team. This is the one quality that we pay the most for.
DQ Entertainment International, (DQE) is one of the largest animation companies in India in the same league who has been executing world class productions and is known for keeping student interest in total focus.
Hatim Adenwala and DQE IP ‘The Jungle Book’
DQE human resources and operations president Hatim Adenwala quotes : “DQE is working out of two locations, Hyderabad and Kolkata with a manpower base of 1700 Artist. We’re one of the few animation companies who gives freshers a chance to enter this industry and hone their skills in different genre of animation. We follow a very robust and healthy recruitment process and also have unique characteristic of having highly skilled and experienced national and international mentors for these trainees. We take the growth of these freshers/trainees very seriously and is instrumental in giving the best animation workforce to various animation companies in India.” The leading criteria for recruitment for DQE are :
  • Fresher’s is a Bachelor’s Degree
  • A Multimedia course in 3D,
  • Good communication skills, good aptitude and attitude and very high level of EI.
  • All fresher’s have to mandatory go through the “Do’s & Don’ts” of the organisation and expectations out of them before they begin their work.
The Indian animation industry holds a huge prospects in itself. And with more creative young minds joining the bigger circle makes the scenario even better. We hope to see some masterpieces coming from talented students in the near future!