Shelley Page answers some questions.
Why hasn’t animation in India taken off beyond executing backend technical services for foreign studios?
It is a question of demand. First, animation is not seen as an equal form of filmmaking yet. It does not have the same budget. The cost and risks involved are high because there is no guaranteed audience. It is the reverse in China where there is a demand but no supply. In the case of India, I feel it is just a matter of time and exposure.
You stress more on storytelling, but animation students and professionals in India get more opportunities relating to technical execution.
Storytelling comes in at every stage of animation, even at the hardcore technical rigging stage. It is important to understand the story, the script, the characterisation and performance to be able to execute it accordingly — it requires knowledge of storytelling and an emotional temperament to connect with the story.
Trends in animation…
No one knows. But it is moving on to different platforms.
What works best for an animator — working in a group or individually?
There is a divided opinion about it. When you are building a career, working in a group helps as students learn about working in a team, troubleshooting, to listen... They come to learn that their opinion is not the only one that counts, sometimes it will get shot down, and they learn to deal with it. Also, when working as a group, each person brings in a different expertise to the table.