Teamwork is key to success of Indian animation content

MUMBAI: While John Lasseter heads Pixar Studios, he has 10 equally qualified professionals working under him and that is one of the key reasons for the studio’s success. On the other hand, in India the egos of the talent pool are so high that two equally qualified people are not able to see eye to eye or work shoulder to shoulder. They would rather spurn off their own little outfit and prefer to work individually.

On the second day of the FICCI FRAMES seminar, Liquid Comics co-founder Sharad Devarajan, Prana Studios VFX director Samir Hoon, BIG Animation HR head Vijay Sinha, Imageworks India general manager Joe Gareri and Maya Entertainment group executive vice president business development and marketing Jai Natarajan spoke at the session titled The Great Indian Talent Bazaar, which was moderated by Greg Acuna.

Natarajan said, “Egos have to be curbed when the talent is at the fresher level. One needs to work as a team in order to churn out quality animation and special effects content.”

Devarajan added that talent in India had a lot of work ethics however, in the global scenario India is not doing too much beyond Bollywood in the field of animation and special effects. "The goal should be to change India’s image from being an outsourcer to being a source of animation content. It is a level playing field now."

Acuna said that the animation business is not an IT business. It is an art and needs to be treated like art. “We are story tellers and filmmakers. We need to encourage new ideas and encourage people to be artistic,” he said.

Speaking about the talent pool in the animation and special effects industry Hoon said, “There is a certain amount of investment that a company needs to make in an artist to take him to a level where he us productive for the company. The industry and the institutions in India are to be blamed for lack of good talent because this is a field where one needs to have a passion for it and not be involved just for the money.”

Gareri added, “We don’t hire experienced people, instead we hire freshers and train them.”

The consensus was that India has a lot of talent, which has the willingness to perform, solve problems and learn. However, this talent pool needs to be honed properly, given incentives and the opportunity to grow within the organisation.