For an animator, the sky is the limit Image: Thinkstock
Animation is quite an enthralling form of storytelling. From Tom and Jerry to Popeye, from Finding Nemo to Chipmunks, each of these pieces of art testify to the magic of animation. While animated characters with their zany antics look pretty and simple on screen, it takes a hell lot of effort to churn them out on paper, storyboard and make a reel. So, while the job of an animator comes across as quite exciting, it requires a lot of training to master the art form.
Now, there are quite a number of colleges and courses on animation, but to come out with flying colours as an animator, you need to make the right choice. And the biggest question is what do you do after your certification in animation? The market is pretty competitive and chancing upon a lucrative job isn't easy. But that doesn't mean one shouldn't take up animation. T2 Online spoke to some experts and young guns who have been in this field for a while now, and here's what they have to say:
Getting a job depends on one's specialisation
"Animation is bifurcated into various sectors. There are key animators, Inbetween artists, 2D animators, 3D animators, etc. Getting a job in this industry depends on the area you want to specialise in. For instance, there are a hell lot of new studios cropping up, which especially dabble in 2D animation. Plus, well-established companies such as Disney, UTV, Sony, etc., are also there. VFX is another genre of animation that is a rage currently. So, an aspiring animator who has done a course on VFX can join any production house," says Pritam Das, who has worked as a 2D animator with Green Gold Animation Pvt Limited, the brand behind producing characters such as Chota Bheem and Mighty Raju.
Chancing upon a job isn't difficult
"There are a number of options an aspiring animator can opt for. First, he/she can enter the film industry. There are projects coming up that require a lot of VFX, CGI and other stuff for live action films. Other than the industry, one can join studios that are pretty common in our country. Such studios help one chance upon freelance projects from inside and outside India. One can also opt for ad films. Then again, the corporate sector is also a viable option. Companies such as Microsoft, Google and Cognizant provide lucrative opportunities for budding animators. Talking about companies that specifically deal with animation, I feel Disney India, Animagic, Greengold, Paperboats Animation and Maac are some of the organisations an aspiring animator can apply to," says 22-year-old Anindita Mondal, who is currently studying at the Industrial Design Centre, Mumbai.
An animator's key to success is patience and hard work
"An animator's portfolio gets him the deserving job. Each job becomes a milestone in his/her experience-gaining pursuit. Disney, Miyazaki, Petrov did not become what they are in one day. So, one is expected to work really hard to make it big in the industry. This ever competitive field requires patience, hard work and years of practice to master. All said and done, one can opt for companies such as Aardman, Disney, Laika, Dreamworks, etc.," says Mark D'Rozario, a student of Animation Cinema at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute student.
In animation, there's nothing called good or bad
"An animator is a Jack of all trades, speaking in the language of visual design. The entire spectrum of the animation industry, from scriptwriters to post-production, is open for grasp and then beyond. I personally have worked in animation studios as Inbetweening artist, have worked in broadcasting as a writer-producer and I'm currently working in the information design industry as a visual designer. Unlike other fields, in animation there's nothing called good or bad companies. It all depends on where the animator wants to see himself/herself working and then working towards it, " says 25-year-old Dipanjan Dutta Chowdhury, a visual designer with IBM India in Bangalore.
If things don't pan out, pick freelance work
"One has several options. One can move straight to animation filmmaking either independently or by joining one of the several studios in the country, dabbling in long and short format animation projects. One can join a studio specialising in marketing, advertising and branded content. One can also work closely with live action film crews for storyboarding and concept art. Visual effects is another option. The freelance scene in India, though, is in need of a stronger stand in favour of work protection, and is very open to experiments in title sequences, show packaging, music videos and so on," says 24-year-old Upamanyu Chatterjee, a founding partner at the Kolkata-based Ghost Animation Collective that works on 2D animated films.