What is your name and your current occupation?
I am Deva, born and brought up in Chennai.India. I completed my art graduation at Chennai Government Collage of Arts and Crafts.
I got married and I have beautiful princes named Prathusha. Having 15 years of experience in animation industry as creative and animation director with both 2D and 3D animation across Asian countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, etc.)
How did you become interested in animation?
It was accident. Well a very interesting accident. When I was a student in Chennai collage of arts and crafts I got a chance to see the movie “Lion king”. In that movie there was a scene where Simbha the cub will cry in front of his father’s dead body “Help me… Anybody… Somebody…” I was moved in to tears, it’s so amazing that an Animator can make audience laugh and cry. Yes art has that capability to bring emotions in to the people mindset and let them go vivid with their imagination. Animation is a structured way for making the audience think what you are thinking or what you want him to think, that’s the power of animation and that has been keeping me moving on all these years.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Chennai, southern part of India, Animation was not a well heard name those days; it was Mr. Chandrasekhar, Managing Director of Pentafour software & Exports Limited (Pentamedia Graphics) who introduced us to this industry. After graduation I took up my career in Animation with Pentafour.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
In animation business, most difficult part is you have to deliver the project in time as per the dead line with quality and consistency.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
While I was in college, involved myself as an assistant art director for few Tamil feature films, As soon as I completed my graduation I joined pent media graphics, in animation deportment.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I and my team are using Maya software for key frame animation which is my favorite. Combustion, Photoshop software also we are using for compositing and texturing.
What are some of your favourite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Thirukkural has always been close to my heart and ‘Ek Tha Jungle’ was based on this, which made it very special to me. I was heading this project from the Chennai Studio of Accel where we were a team of 38 artistes on this project. We also had our Trivandrum Studio working on this. There were many challenges during this project since it was like real time and had very little lead time, every three week we had to have a release and we will be always over lapping the projects, it required great levels of project internalization and being an animation director I had to be on top of each episode. It was like an assembly line production, we were successful because we had defined the framework. It was an excellent and fab team; I always cherished working on this project and the team. I can say this is my glorious moment which I never forget.
Also I have worked various projects as an animation director like tele serials, home videos, etc. both in 2D and 3D like Medikids, Ek tha jungle, I prin, Bait, Mangoes in Command, Higglytown Heroes, Gully Cricket, Govner, Ugly Hero, Christmas Stories, Tenaliraman You Cheeky Monkey, Walid Comes to Egypt, etc.
Describe a tough situation you had in life
When I was doing a project called Gully Cricket, I was thinking that it was very easy project as we were watching many cricket matches but I didn’t know the technical part of the cricket game which is very difficult and important, I could not do a good animation without knowing those techniques. I was struggling at the inception of the project but learned those techniques from the professional cricketers and worked on the same. At the end of this project, lot of cricket professionals appreciated the efforts we put on the project.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
The biggest learning would be managing time schedule and also planning, these are two very important characters that an animator or director has to learn, we are very obsessed with quality and perfection, hence we loose out on the schedule. Most of the production initiatives have overrun cost and time, but working with international client and studios gives us the edge in terms of picking up their time consciousness and also the eye for quality within the stipulated time frame, that calls for immense planning. These are the learning that we have acquired from them and slowly imbibed them in to our work culture.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
The entire modules of animated film making is interesting and challenging in their own ways. I am personally interested in character animation, the reason being a good animator should be a protagonist in the whole movie making series. He should be aware of drawing scene, acting, body language, human psychology, and knowledge of human anatomy, storytelling, posing, timing and a good sense of humor. He is a creator who can make his character walk, dance or fight. He makes the character interact with the audience and can give life to animate being or inanimate objects.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
Right now I am involving in TV series production in 3D for international market.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can write mirror writing using my left hand which needs mirror to read.
I love watching international movies as much as I can.
Doing Meditation gives me energy.
I love to read books especially History, Psychology, Linguistic, Cultural, Mind, etc.
I always Love to travel.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
I always suggest that he/she must learn to practice body language and acting which is very important to be a good animator.