Vaibhav Kumaresh has transformed a childhood fascination for cartoons into a fulfilling career making animation films
How did your tryst with animation begin?
VK: I was always attracted to cartoon strips by RK Laxman, Mario Miranda, Keshav, etc. I also loved reading comics - Tintin, Asterix, and Mad. I was also an Amar Chitra Katha addict. I liked the Amul butter campaign too! In school I used to doodle on my school diary and illustrate my own comics. During my graduation in Fine Arts, I used flip books and storyboard panels to illustrate my ‘ad campaign’ project. So I guess it was the storytelling that excited me.
During my final year of graduation we visited NID as part of an all India study tour. I had heard about NID and was very curious to know about their animation department. I had seen and enjoyed many animation films but I didn’t know there was a place where you could learn how to make one! When we went to NID, it was vacation time so there were no students around. However the student workplaces looked so exciting! Some had their matchbox cover collection pinned on their soft boards; some had storyboards, doodles and so on. I knew right away that this is where I wanted to be. I applied to NID for my post graduation in animation film design and fortunately got through. That’s where I got introduced to design and inspiring teachers and batch mates. The design process to me is a simple, logical guideline that helps you to approach your work and apply your art with more clarity. At NID I got the opportunity to explore film making and tell my stories my way.
Was it a long way from there to Vaibhav Studios?
VK: After NID, I joined Famous House of Animation in Mumbai. I directed many successful animation films including TV commercial campaigns and channel promos However I was developing a very strong urge to tell longer stories. An opportunity to produce a short animated children’s film came my way and I was extremely keen to work on it. Being employed at Famous, I could not work on an outside project so I made an overnight decision to quit my job to jump into the film. That has been one of the happiest moments of my life! I decided to continue making films on our own and that was the birth of Vaibhav Studios. My wife Suranjana and I started it off and soon more friends joined the gang and the journey began.
What is the process from idea to completed animation?
VK: The process entirely depends on the idea and how we want to convey it. Some ideas are primarily driven by plot, script, or the story, while others are driven by the medium, sound, music, treatment or the character.
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