The first day of the two-day Nasscom Animation and Gaming India 2007, being held in Mumbai, presented an opportunity for industry experts to come together under a single roof and discuss newer opportunities and problems facing the industry. Following presentations from Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom, and inaugural address by Nelson Recinos, stage for the following day was set by Biren Ghose, CEO, Kahani Inc. Subhash Ghai, CMD, Mukta Arts, in his keynote address called animation “the reality of future.”
A panel discussion, ‘Animation / Gaming as the turbo power in branding’ had Preet Bedi, CEO, Percept Picture Company; Srilekha Agarwal from Quantum Market Research; and, Sharad Devarajan, CEO, Virgin Comics, share their experiences on creating and marketing properties through animation.
While Agarwal talked about how kids had become decision makers in a family, she observed that trends had ended and only fads ruled. Bedi, on his part, wanted to extend the brand experience through animation and gaming round the year and across all ages. Talking about some of the challenges faced by the medium, he also pointed out the positives coming from the medium. Devarajan dwelled on the topic of how international audiences were embracing Asian stories, including Indian folklore. He also went on to explain how Virgin Comics had created animated properties that could be extended to several properties like comic book series and feature films.
Revealing plans on his forthcoming movie, ‘Hanuman Returns’, Bedi observed that the merchandising figures alone made it worthwhile for creating these movies. Looking to have a ‘Hanuman’ series film once every two years, the new movie is slated to release in Hindi, English, Spanish and French. The company has already tied-up for multi-crore deals with 15 different retail partners that include a stationery brand, an ice-cream brand and a jewellery brand.
Virgin Comics has also revealed their plans to launch animated properties based on actress Priyanka Chopra and Sachin Tendulkar.