Entering the Image – Animation as installation

Day 2 of Chitrakatha 2017
24 October

Amazing interactions can happen between animation and our world when you take the film off the silver screen and project it on the world around you. To take audiences on this journey, students from the Media Academy of Arts (KHM, Germany) presented their installation work, titled ‘Phantom Lichter’. This is a collective animation project by 5 students whose short animations are shown on walls, on textile tapestries, a small globe, and even under a desk. Some of them can even be moved around by the viewer, as it is projected from a small hand-held device. These students now run their own studio, Vamos, and are in the process of balancing their creativity with the needs of running a business. This, of course, is a universal issue, and even most readers of this website must be familiar with it.

Another of the day’s sessions, which many attendees were waiting for, was by Yoshiya Ayugai. Ayugai is an Executive Producer of Animation for Turner Asia Pacific (parent company of Cartoon Network), and he spoke about pitching a concept for a kids’ animation show. The speaker had lots of extremely useful advice, which were largely based on experience and common sense, and helped de-mystify the process. AllAboutAnimation will try to bring you some of these ideas in future articles, but a quick summary would be – Be clear about your audience (both the potential viewers, and the network executives), and have characters that can keep a show running for 52 or more episodes.

The next session was by Jurgen Haas of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU, Switzerland). HSLU has been working with Cartoon Network to create idents (mini clips that announce that the viewer is watching Cartoon Network). The dozen-odd clips that were shown were beautifully done, and outright whacky, perfectly capturing the unpredictable and oddball content of the network. Never more than 10 seconds, it was a win-win for the students and the network to indulge in unbridled creative expression. Haas also showed 4 wonderful short films by the students, depicting the wide range of styles and stories being tackled by the them. Once again, look out for a review of some of these great films in future articles on this site.

The day also had presentations by ex-NIDians, who run their own studios, showcasing their ongoing work. Swarup Deb, Avinash Medhe, and Anuj Kumar (of Girgit Studios), Deval Vala (of Arhat Studios), and Ranveer Singh (of Echostream), are all successful alumni, and shed light on how students can chart their paths after they graduate. Another alumnus, Anirban Ghosh, showed his personal work in comics, covering topics like gender specifications, and communal politics. Along with the alumni there was also a talk by Tanishka Kachru (teacher at NID) who discussed her work with museum space design. This inter-disciplinary approach to animation (also demonstrated by Phantom Lichter) is what makes NID and Chitrakatha very stimulating venues for discussing the possibilities with animation.

The day was book-ended by 2 sessions of competition films (there are 7 such hour-long sessions through the festival). And the night was rounded of by a screening of ‘Kirikou et la Sorciere’ (1998, France), a wonderful film drawn from African folk tales. It gave us at AllAboutAnimation some thoughts on how to develop an indigenous animation style, which will certainly be a topic we will revisit from time to time.

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