This isn’t a rant against any particular institute but a general comment on our severely handicapped animation education system. With schools that claim to point their magic wand at ordinary mortals and turn them into animation geniuses proliferating all across the country, I shudder to think of what level of artistry and skill our so called talent pool will have in times to come. The poor, unsuspecting souls who enroll for most of these courses are no more than cannon-fodder for behemoth animation ‘schools’ riding on the wave of the global animation boom.
What triggered this tirade? I just read this press release announcing Aptech’s global expansion:
Aptech Global Learning Solutions announced today that it will open its first animation training academy in Brazil in May.
“The centre in Brazil will start functioning within three weeks. We have decided to open 35 new centres in countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Russia and Vietnam this fiscal. These centres will be a combination of Arena Animation Academy and Aptech Computer Education training institutes,” Aptech executive director R. Krishnan told IANS.
“We will also be expanding nationally. New centres will be opened this year at Cuttack, Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Durgapur, Guwahati and Dibrugarh,” he added.
The course content for the two academies is also going to change from May.
Krishnan said: “With animation and computer training institutes mushrooming everywhere, we are focussing on how our students can get faster and better jobs. We will introduce some new modules and methodologies.”
…focus on faster and better jobs? How about focusing on creating better animators? How about exposing our budding animators to world class global animation? How about giving them more well-rounded training in every aspect of the animation business? Getting the job is NOT the be all and end all of it. How about being prepared for and performing well on the job?
“We have introduced a specialised demo reel making module in the syllabus this year. Earlier, the demo reel was just a part of the curriculum. Now this demo reel will act as the portfolio of a student.”
The Demo Reel seems to be the Holy Grail of all aspiring animators. You get that right and a glorious job will fall into your lap, is what most animation students are led to believe. Sadly, it isn’t enough. Yes, a demo reel will get your foot in the door but then what?
Our Animation education system only seems to be churning out robots. We are mass producing tool-wielding technicians, not creative artists who are masters of their tools. Where are the visionaries? Where are the wildly creative artists who will push the envelope and breach boundaries to come up with original ideas and imaginative visual styles?
All companies need to grow and expand, so it isn’t surprising that our training institutes are also branching out globally. But when our own system is so sorely lacking, are we equipped to go teach the world?