‘$300 are being spent every second on animation’ – Satyam Bansal

Films like Jurassic Park and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Shrek, Finding Nemo the list is endless when it comes to animation in Hollywood films.

India is not far behind. Directors are working hard and trying to be on par with Hollywood. The animated adventure caper from the epics – Hanuman has been a big grosser and has inspired other filmmakers as well. Animation today has entered our lives and that is why business trends are predicting that animation might create the next gold rush to our economy.

Keeping with the trend an young entrepreneur Satyam Bansal set about setting an Animation School in Mumbai, The DASA (Digital Asia School of Animation), alongwith Shyam Ramanna the founder of Crest Animation Studios, which is currently the largest animation studio in India. He has branches in Thailand, Singapore, Dubai and USA.

Here Bansal speaks about his animation school to Businessofcinema.com’s B Preshit. Excerpts:

What made you set up an Animation School?
I was working with Universal Pictures as a marketing executive in Hollywood where films like Hulk and Sea Biscuit were being made. I was enamoured with the development that Animation is making into movies. India was lacking in animators. Filmmakers were jumping into Animation. Big banners like UTV, Chopra’s, Subhash Ghai who is also setting up his animation school Whilstling Woods. That’s when I decided to have an Animation School here in Mumbai. We want to outsource our animators across the globe.

What is the right qualification to become a good animator?
Ten plus two is all that we require a student to do. Our animation school has been specifically designed and is not an elimentary school. The students will have to give an entrance test. Once they have passed out from the course will be sent to Bangkok for a four day study tour on Motion Capture Technology.

What is Motion Capture Technology?
It is a technology where human actors wearin a special suit make the moves. This suit is connected to the computer where the animated character is displayed. When the actor makes the moves the animated character makes the same moves. Films like Hulk, Jeans and Lord of the Rings have used this technology. Every emotion, like the cheeks moving the facial expressions are all captured on the screen through this technology.

Will the students be able to afford your courses here in India?
Of course. Our courses are reasonably priced. We have facitilites and tied up with banks so that students can avail loans. They are convenient loan plans. Our labs are open 24 hours for practice. We have the facilities of international stature. After a two year diploma our students can go directly for further course to North Umbria university in New Castle, England which is considered the second best animation school all over. They can also affiliate to the Assumption University in Bangkok for short time courses. The strength of our classes is eight students per batch.

What does the course offer your students?
We begin with the basic course we also have an huge audiotorium where students can view animated and special effect films as part of their study course. The faculty also discusses how an animated character is brought to life. We are working aggressively at creating our own studios where we can make 3-D films. Once they are through with the course jobs are guaranteed at our school. The starting salary will begin with Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 and slowly will rise to Rs 35,000.

Apart from Animation what will the students at Dasa Gain?
Apart from Animation we also have a personality development course included in the cirriculam so that they learn how to speak English, how to approach people, how to prepare a CV,so that it doesn’t hinder the progress of our students who are looking for jobs. We are aiming at global outsourcing and our students are trained with this initiative in mind. Animation is an expensive affair. USD 300 are being spent per second. A film like Finding Nemo cost USD 90,000 . We have to look for global outsourcing.