I entered the industry in early 1999 as one of the founding members of Toonz Animation India. Those were the times when animation was an alien concept in the country. We had to create talent, awareness and an industry from nothing. In essence, I would say that Toonz and I grew together.
Claim to Fame
We were the first to create a 2D animated series and feature film in India, first stereoscopic feature film in the country, one of the first studios to have a YouTube funded series and a strong presence in Asia, Europe and the US.
While the West celebrates over 75 years of its history, the animation industry in its commercial form is less than 20 years old in India. Budgets are very low which cripple the quality of animation. This makes it difficult for content produced in India to travel overseas since the latter consumes very high quality content. While India has the oldest and the strongest storytelling culture, it is quite difficult to find great talent when it comes to writing for animation. We need high quality training programmes for animation script writing. As viewers, our mindset should also change. We still believe that animation is just for kids. This limits confident angels from investing in the industry on mega projects.
The tech-savvy Indian is overwhelmingly consuming digital content. This gives a lot of hope to animation studios which can now create and air their own content. India now has new and strong digital broadcasters who are commissioning and creating newer and edgier content.
This creates a strong competitive market which in turn urges traditional broadcasters to open up for newer content. This chain reaction is quite a positive change that I see in the Indian scenario. Young parents are getting acclimatised to consuming digital content for themselves and for their kids.
Learning from the West
The West doesn’t try to create shows for the world; they try to create great stories which naturally become universal. While in India I see an increasing surge to create the so-called ‘global content’, I feel that we should create great stories and the globe will enjoy it. The best thing about the western population is their attitude towards the medium of animation. While they enjoy animation irrespective of their age, we dismiss animation as something created for kids. This attitude needs to change.
I believe that I have something to learn from everyone around me. In that way, passion is my idol.