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Indian animation: Making rapid strides, but not getting enough bright talent

16-August-2005
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Indian animation: Making rapid strides, but not getting enough bright talent

India is fast making its presence in the animation industry with its laudable initiatives. While creativity is undoubtedly the critical factor for growth, other parameters like cost effectiveness and power of imagination seem to be understood well by India.

The wide spectrum across which animation finds its applications, include simulation, military training, medical and scientific teaching among others. That the field has many opportunities for India can’t be denied.

Rajesh Turakhia, CEO, Maya Entertainment Ltd, a leading computer animation and visual effects studio for film and television in India, is upbeat about animation. “The cost of executing 3D animation are rising and recovery of animation projects is shrinking, which presents India with a huge opportunity. India is being looked at as a destination for high quality English speaking animators with the right skill sets for the client’s animation needs.”

India’s bold initiatives are certainly booking its berth in the list of countries encouraging animation. An example here is Zee Telefilms’ movie ‘Bhaggmati’. At two hours and 40 minutes, ‘Bhaggmati’ is longer than earlier movies like ‘Prince of Egypt’ (one hour and 25 minutes) and Lion King (one hour and 20 minutes).

Kenneth P Silverman, President, Interactive Teamworks, who has worked with Pentamedia and Tata Elexis, analysed, “As of now, India does work for many television series with 11-22 minute episodes. However, the future lies with theatricals, direct to video and DVD titles.”

Silverman further said, “CGI animation is a major component of medical and scientific teaching. Its application is also in industrial areas and demonstrations.”

However, there is a need to attract and encourage more talent in the animation field. Turakhia said, “It is time parents recognised this industry as a serious business with decent salaries. If the child is inclined towards this field, parents should encourage him. There is a shortage of talented and passionate people and hence, more entrants should be welcomed in this industry.”

Silverman sounded upbeat about India when he said, “What’s exciting about India is that it is beginning to recognise animation. I am sure the future will see Indian theme based animation movies too.”

Turakhia also suggested that the government should reserve some time for Indian content and kids channels, in addition to provision of funds. Such practices exist in countries like Canada, France, Singapore, etc, which give a tremendous boost to the industry.

Maya Entertainment works in India on animated tele serials, DVD movies and some feature films providing visual effects. The sectors that promise growth are entertainment- films, television and games.

Silverman said that offshore talent was being recognised for cost effectiveness and the ability to deliver with regard to quality. According to him, animation films in India could be made at one-third the cost of those made in the US.

He, however, cautioned that there was a need to understand the differences between the Indian and western audiences, which would enable filmmakers to develop content that would find wide acceptance.

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