M.A.-in-Animation
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Walt Disney, ILS and Pixar. Oft heard names in the field of animation and with good reasons too. All these are ultimately foreign organizations.

And in India? Well, things are not as bleak as you may think. In fact it is pretty good given our talent and the price advantage we offer!

Mentioned below are some names which have done us proud in the world of animation and VFX. These by no means are the only ones. The field being such, there is always room for newer players which we hope comes in fair numbers to increase our output and employment

  1. Pentamedia Graphics

With a staff strength close to 2000 at a time not far back, Pentamedia Graphics is well represented the world over with offices located in Singapore and in Manila. Its Indian operations take place from Chennai from where they do stuff in the field of post production, 2D and 3D Animation, VFX and such movie making services. If you have seen the Academy Awards nominated Gulliver’s travels and Pandavas, you would very well know what is being spoken about. Their motion-capture activity in the movie “Sindbadh” simply takes the cake!

  1. Toonz Animation India

Thiruvananthapuram in Kerela is famous for its beaches, gold (INR 10 lac crores at last count) and…..Toonz Animation; so famous that the Capital of Kerala is now synonymous with toonz worldwide!

And not without reasons! With a staff strength in excess of 500 artists under its employment, it works for names like Disney, Hallmark and Paramount Studios quite regularly. Due to its work, its volumes and clientele, it has a standing of repute in South Asia as a Toonz Specialist.

In India, two of its products, “The return of Hanuman” and “Adventures of Tenali Raman” have brought it accolades. They handle both 2D and 3D movies solo or in conjunction with normal movies. Last heard, orders from all corners of the world are raining down on them!

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  1. Heart Entertainment

The south of India does seems to be upping the ante as far as animation and special effects go. Our next contender on this list is a Hyderabad-based organization which goes by the name, Heart Entertainment. Animation. VFX being big business which is anything but everybody’s cup of tea, they sure had their heart in place to have taken up the herculean task of producing a 90 minutes cartoon strip aptly called “The Hercules”.

Heart Entertainment does have more than its heart in place. They have started a parallel training organization called Heart Animation Academy and do a lot of work for animation and film studios in the west as was the case with Warner Brothers’ “Hysteria”

  1. UTV Toonz

UTV doesn’t require an introduction in the world of entertainment. This Mumbai based entertainment behemoth is quite agile despite its size almost akin to the cartoon characters it hosts through its subsidiary UTV Toonz the latter coming into being in year 2000. Like its parent movie company, UTV Toonz has made its presence felt all across the world especially in the mature markets of North America and Europe. In the former, it has recently bagged a USD 10 billion order. Their hands are full with orders it seems. In the US, they have Kong: The Next Generation and in Canada, they work for Cinegroup’s Clootie and Dunpling. Even places like Luxembourg is registering their presence with a feature called “Snow Queen”!

They do seem to be going places with some very, very good work.

  1. Maya Entertainment

Mumbai has always had its fair share of cartoons and it seems to have led to a deluge of companies here which product world-class animated stuff. Maya Nagari, as it is also called, does have an Animator by the name, Maya Entertainment which is doing wonders in the world of Animation. Founded in the year 1996, it has been growing by leaps and bounds in terms of work. In addition to animation work, it also has training centers in the Middle East and Asia. Employing close to 500 people, it works for Giants like Sony, Google and Rainbow with an annual billing close to USD 1 billion!

Its body of work include animation for movies like “The Mummy” and “Stuart Little” besides a very special character called “Wabo” developed for the United Nation’s water conservation efforts which helps educates its viewers worldwide on the importance of potable water and its conservation.

This by no means is an exhaustive list and we shall from time to time tell you about organizations in India which produce world-class stuff at our kind of prices!

Watch this space for more..…..

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Industrial Light and Magic.

Four words which are the last words in VFX (Visual Effects)…….and just about anything to do with it!

Part of the Lucas Films, it all started in the year 1975 when its owner George Lucas was making “Star Wars” the movie which established him as the ultimate VFX Czar. Scouting for a team to do the VFX, he came across the then defunct VFX department of 20th Century Fox. Things happened and a small team was formed from the ex-employees at 20th Century Fox who would in three years’ time morph into the entity we all know i.e. ILM. From then on ILM has only gone from strength to strength to strength to………..STRENGTH!VFX

ILM has done the VFX for practically all the top-grosser of Hollywood, be it the Indiana Jones series, the Harry Potter series, the Jurassic Park series, the Star Trek films, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the Terminator series, Men in Black series besides doing some part of the movie, Avatar.

If you thought ILM only did mind-boggling stuff, think again. In movies like James Cameron’s Schindler’s List, extras, things and places were apparently placed into the film, AFTER it was completed! Roads widened, buildings coming up……the list is endless.

It goes to ILM’s credit that they created technologies like Image Based Motion Capture Technology and “OpenEXR format” for High Dynamic Range Imaging. The latter being its proprietary software which can be downloaded for free.

George Lucas, besides being a Producer and prolific writer of films like Star Wars and the Indiana Jones series, also is a great business man! He sold the computer-generated graphics part of ILM to Late Steve Jobs for a hefty sum. And in 2012, the entire remaining ILM was hived off to the Walt Disney Company.

In terms of awards that it has garnered, the year 2009 was especially rich. It received 15 Best Visual Effects Oscars and 23 additional nominations. Additionally, it also received 24 Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Truly the last word in VFX….Industrial Light and Magic!Nuke 

Click to know more about ILM http://www.ilm.com/

 

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He came, he saw and he is in the process of conquering! His name? Sharukh Khan!

Also called King Khan in entertainment circles, his Dreamz Unlimited with Juhi Chawla and Aziz Mirza is now the red-hot Red Chillies Entertainments.

It is said of the Khan that he has a nose for money which can be seen in the way Red Chillies Entertainments is structured. Starting out as a producer for Farah Khan’s debut film “Main Hoon Na” in 2004, it has now branched into five entities which cater to five distinct areas in the entertainment industry.  These are

Nuke Red Chillies entertainments, the main brand. It deals with the production of all kinds of movies be they full length like “Main Hoon Na”, “Paheli” or “Billu” to commercials and advertisements for myriad products like a “santoor soap” or “lux cozy undergarments” to specialized events like the opening ceremony of the Pepsi IPL 2013 where they did the entire activity from planning to getting the stars on the stage (no prizes for guessing who the main star was! The Khan himself!) to recording all the jing-bang to its promotion. All these get done under one roof!

A visual effects studio known as Red Chillies VFX, formed in 2005, this division today employs over 150 people- the largest in any single entity under the Red Chillies banner and has done some pioneering work in the field of visual effects, animation and VFX. Case-in-point? Movies like “Ra-One” and “Om-Shanti-Om”. “Ra-One” till date has no comparison in India as regards VFX and had swept all the major awards in the year of its release. Scenes within another movie, OSO were also created using VFX and the results were for all to see. It too won accolades within and outside the country. Besides making full-length VFZ and animation assisted movies on their own, Red Chillies VFX also farms out these capacities to others as was the case with  Chak De India, Krrish 3, Don – The Chase Begins Again, Dostana and De Dana Dan to name a few

A Television programs production division under the name Red Chillies Idiot Box, which as of now is mainly into chat-shows featuring cine artists besides innovative formats like showing the day-to-day and minute-by-minute lives of these stars.

An equipment Leasing division which farms out cameras, editing and sound recording equipment to other producers and film makers.

Stakes in the Indian Premier League cricket team, Kolkata Knight Riders. With this acquisition, the world of sports, entertainment and advertisement has been merged into one seamless mass with each contributing to the growth of the other.

In terms of work, the first four cater to various facets of film making and entertainment. The last deals with forming and sponsorship league cricket teams in the latest avatar of cricket called 20-20.

VFXRed Chillies Entertainments has completely changed the way entertainment is promoted. With so many (and sometimes unrelated) activities happening under one roof, cross advertising has become the order of the day. No one is complaining as everybody wins!

His wife, the charismatic Ms Gauri Khan is his partner in most of these ventures besides other actors and professionals who too contribute to the growth of this enterprise.

Red Chillies Entertainments was ranked as the third, fifth and seventh most powerful production house in Bollywood in 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Red chillies, bringing cheers without tears!!

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The animation movie ‘Home’ is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated buddy comedy film by DreamWorks Animation. The story is based on the 2007 Adam Rex’s children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday and stars Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Steve Martin.  is the director, and Chris Jenkins and Suzanne Buirgy are the producers of the film and it is directed by Tim Johnson. The film is adapted by Tom J. Astle M.A. in Multimedia Animation and Matt Ember. Distributed by 20th Century Fox, November 26, 2014 will see the release of the film.

The film was formerly known as Happy Smekday! It follows an alien race invading Earth as their new home to hide form a mortal enemy. But when one lowly alien (Jim Parsons) accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a stubborn teenage girl (Rihanna) to right all of his wrongs. The animated film introduces us to the alien characters trying to find a new home planet, including the voice over by Steve Martin.
The story has that an overly optimistic, yet inept, alien race named Boov, led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin), invades Earth to hide from their mortal enemy and make it a new home. Convinced they are doing a favor, they begin to relocate the human race. Now, there is one resourceful girl named Tip (Rihanna), manages to avoid capture, accompanied by a banished Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons), who has accidentally notified the enemies of his whereabouts.

Do watch the movie and share your comments.

Image © googleVFX

 

Suggested Reading

 Film Review: ‘The Lego Movie’ 

‘Boonie Bears’ – a Chinese 3D Animation Film to release soon

Amazing Spiderman 2

 

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The most ornamented studio with Academy awards more than anyone – Disney studios celebrated after winning two Oscars after a long gap as the Nuke      recent winners were Pixar & Dreamworks.  Disney won the two Academy awards in the category of Best Animated Feature Film- “Frozen”

& Best Original Song- “Let It Go” from the same movie.

To know more, read this blog .

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The image is a icon of Academy Awards alias Oscars

The Academy Awards or Oscars in short is the biggest film awards extravaganza in the world. The ceremony is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an independent body. Started in 1929, the Oscars has a rich and eventful history. The 86th Academy Awards was hosted by famous TV personality Ellen DeGeneres. The awards was given to both veterans and  upcoming stars in the hollywood film industry. Audio-Editing-CourseThis ceremony was the most viewed Oscars since the year 2000.

Here  is the full and complete list of Winners of Oscars 2014 in all categories:

Best Picture:  12 Years a Slave

Best Director:  Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

Best Actor:  Matthew McConaughey (Ron Woodroof – Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress:  Cate Blanchett (Jasmine – Blue Jasmine)

Best Supporting Actor:  Jared Leto (Rayon – Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Supporting Actress:  Lupita Nyong’o (Patsey – 12 Years a Slave)

Best Writing – Original Screenplay:  Spike Jonze (Her)

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay:  John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Best Animated Feature Film:  Frozen

Best Foreign Language Film:  The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Documentary – Feature:  20 Feet from Stardom

Best Documentary – Short Subject:  The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Best Live Action Short Film:  Helium

Best Animated Short Film:  Mr. Hublot

Best Original Score:  Steven Price (Gravity)

Best Original Song:  “Let It Go” (Frozen)

Best Sound Editing:  Glenn Freemantle (Gravity)

Best Sound Mixing:  Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead & Chris Munro (Gravity)

Best Production Design:  Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby – Production Design); Beverley Dunn (The Great Gatsby – Set Decoration)

Best Cinematography:  Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:  Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Costume Design:  Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby)

Best Film Editing:  Alfonso Cuarón & Mark Sanger (Gravity)

Best Visual Effects:  Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk & Neil Corbould (Gravity)

The 86th Academy Awards a grand event making new stars and respecting veterans of the film industry. Now, preparations have already started for the next Oscars i.e. 87th Academy Awards. Let this legacy of Oscars go on.

Image © google

Suggested Reading

Oscars 2014: Frozen wins best animated film & Gravity takes best VFX award 

2 Oscars for Disney studios

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Nuke      Hulu has made an agreement to showcase the Pokemon Series in episodes. Hulu Plus subscribers will get the opportunity to view Hulu Originals like Pokemon: The Rise of Darkrai, Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl. Now kids can enjoy the adventures of Ash Ketchum  and his group on Hulu Kids.

To know more, read this blog.

Check Hulu Kids online

 

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2D & 3D AnimationThe submissions for Nickelodeon Animated Shorts Program is open for students and professionals. The deadline for the submissions is March 14, 2014. Films with a duration of 2 minutes and having a single setting is allowed . All mediums like 2D, 3D, stop motion and mixed media are allowed.

To know more, read this blog.

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Mr. Magoo – A Shout Factory release

 

Audio-Editing-CourseShout Factory in association with Sony Pictures are slating to release in DVD format. A bunch of 53 shorts were made between the years 1949 to 1959. The DVD will also include 1001 Arabian nights – a Magoo feature film in it also.

To know more, read this blog.