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MEET Darcy Prendergast from Australia on the joy of creating animated characters

Darcy Prendergast has matted dreadlocks, clad in a pair of Berumudas and peering at animated figures on a computer screen is very different from the prim and proper character in from Jane Austen's Pride and Preju dice. Darcy, an animation specialist from Australia, was in Chennai to conduct a seminar on “Animation Magic” organised by BIG AIMS Centre and the Australian Consulate-General, Mumbai and supported by the Australian High Commission, New Delhi. Twenty-six-year-old Darcy's first works would probably be the ones he doodled on the walls of his house. “After that my parents promptly got me numerous sheaves of papers,” he laughs, adding, “Cartoons and animation films appealed to me so much that I decided to make a career of it. It's beautiful. You can create anything …it's pure expression.” .

“I studied in the second worst high school in Victoria and my art teacher didn't know who Picasso was. Luckily I got a scholarship at Mowbrays College and there I got to experiment with clay animation. I love sculpting, story-telling, film making so it works fine for me. Audiences are interested in a good story. The medium is irrelevant,” smiles the animator.

Apart from animation films such as Ron the Zookeper , Mary and Max , and shows such as The Critter Litter on Nickelodeon, Darcy also produces advertisements and music videos. His next project titled Loss to Gain , is an autobiographical animation production that narrates the tale of how the animator as a child lost his baby brother and his journey in the pursuit of happiness.

Giving life to imaginative characters can be a lot of hard work. So what does he do to de-stress? “I play the drums, skate, play cricket and soccer; rock climb…Actually my work doesn't stress me out. If you love what you do then it's not work at all,” and with that he goes back to the moving figures on the screen.





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