BY PRASAD AJGAONKAR
What could be more appealing than sitting in an office which looks straight out of the sets of your favourite animation movie? Think flying pigs, hanging monkeys, superhero figurines, animation posters---my office would make any child jump for glee. Of course, first time visitors are quite taken aback. However, the rest of my colleagues and repeat clients are quite familiar with the quirkiness that is my space.
Eccentricities apart, the reason I surround myself with toys goes far deeper than trying to ‘be different’. Creating such an atmosphere is imperative to getting my creative juices flowing and inspires me to think out of the box.
Animation is a genre which appeals to everyone, cutting across age, gender, culture or professional backgrounds. It brings out the imaginative child inside each one of us.
Take the example of ‘The Lion King’, for example. It is one of the most loved animated movies which has an emotional connect with audiences the world over, regardless of age. In fact, the movie was an eye-opener for me as well, inspiring me to create similar impactful and heartwarming animation films, with a takeaway for everyone. Personally, Simba is a character from the movie whom I strongly relate to. I really identify with his exemplary display of how to stand on your own two feet and keep marching on despite the many hurdles; all the while holding fast to the strong values instilled in him by his father, Musafa.
In my own journey as an entrepreneur who began quite young, the only guidance I had was the value system instilled in me by my parents, teachers and mentors. Hard work, determination and drive are what propelled me to start my own business, which graduated into a team of like-minded passionate professionals, working towards a common goal. In the last 25-odd years of my career, I have faced many ‘hyenas’, or challenges, just like Simba, but I have continued to move forward, without letting the hiccups get me down.
One example of this would be successfully dismissing the myth in the Indian film industry; which existed until about a decade ago, that animated movies do not hold mass appeal. Last year, my team and I proved them wrong by producing Chaar Sahibzaade, India’s most successful animated movie.
Several advertisers also incorporate animation into their campaigns, which has proven to be a great success, time and again. Animated content can even be used as a highly valuable business tool for large corporates. Animation in the business context creates impact, regardless of whether it is used in advertisements, e-learning or for social messages.
That said, just as good writers are also avid readers, good animators, too, need constant exposure to highquality graphics. Surrounding myself and my team with toys and other animation-related paraphernalia, provides us with a constant flow of creative ideas and inspiration. Moreover, if we ever experience a creative block, we always have animation around to look at and help us get back on track.
And while our favourite animation figures always make us smile, I strongly believe that motivation comes from real-life superheroes. Keeping this in mind, I make it a point to display posters of the 3D films and television series which my team has produced, around the office. Showcasing the team’s achievements make us believe in each other and ourselves.
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