You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
At a tender age of 5, I loved Disney’s cartoon that came on the television. I’d a flair and inspiration to become a computer graphic artist since then. There was no training program to become a computer graphic artist in India back in the 1990s but I nursed by passion. While in college, I started learning classical animation and tried to learn little computer graphic software.
After graduation, immediately I joined a popular computer graphics studio and started working on Bollywood projects. I was an unpaid intern for a few months. I remember, on the very first day, my team leader directed me to put up through the night to complete an assignment.
I was quite surprised but it was the way of the industry and to my surprise, I left for home 3 days later. I don’t believe this but I was working for more than 18 hours a day to complete that assignment.
Thereafter, it was sometime a week or sometimes half a month that I used to put up inside the studio, but the work was awesome and I enjoyed thoroughly; especially meeting quite a lot Bollywood stars of that decade. I felt like a God because I created.
Life was good. I worked on many popular films, television serials, television commercials, and music videos — doing computer animation and visual effects for them. Later, I had a craving to work for the international market. I kept dreaming day and night when one day I got that opportunity too!
A Hollywood based animation studio was supposed to set up in India and I was selected for the core team. The test was difficult and lasted for 5 nights.
I was working in another studio in the morning and used to go there to give a test at night, but I was selected. And, there started a completely new journey in a different world altogether. Foreign bosses, strict timings, difficult work, and good money.
Life was quite difficult because of the timings. I followed the same pattern of staying inside the studio for days together, as the workload was heavy. We had to make a good demo reel to show to foreign clients so that they can trust the animation quality of Indians.
We worked for long hours for two years and made a neat demo reel that won the hearts of people in my dream studio — Disney. There was no looking back from here; they gave us several projects to work on. We presented them the finest quality of computer graphics they ever saw from India and within the next five years, we planted the map of India on the global animation market.
Thereafter, we worked for many other animation giants from more than five continents and more than 50 countries. Once, I had a team of 100 members to take care of. That was the peak of my joyful career.
I still remember my desk, decorated with toys and lights. Christmas time would be very special as our American bosses used to get us lots of goodies for us. I spent a good 10 years in that animation studio and life was all fun and colors and lights. I want to inspire and motivate students to take up animation as a serious career but only if they have the passion to create.