After graduating from the Digital Character Animation program in 2006 (back when it was known as Maya), Ashwin Mishra returned to his native India to begin his animation career. He recently completed work on Delhi Safari, an animated feature film that will be in theatres this October.
The first 3D Indian animated film to be simultaneously released worldwide in North America, the UK, China, Russia, and Turkey, the film is already gathering buzz. With a plot line that focuses on current environmental issues, telling the story of jungle animals attempting to save their own lives from human destruction, the film is also unafraid to make a statement.
We spoke with Ashwin to learn more about the film, his experience at VFS, and his advice for aspiring animators.
Why did you choose to come to Vancouver Film School to study?
Ashwin: I was looking for a school that would provide me with the course I was interested in. I searched on the internet and found VFS as one of the best film schools in world. The content and the duration of the course was exactly what I was looking for.
What were your first few months after graduation like?
Ashwin: I had decided that I would be returning to India after graduation. While still in Canada, I was offered a job as a Centre Head with Maya Academy, one of the biggest animation institutes in India. While working there, I helped students create their show reel according to the international standard, something I had learned at VFS. Many students were placed at Krayon Pictures, an emerging studio located in Pune, India. After seeing the work of my students, the creative head of the studio asked me to join Krayon. I started as an animator but I became interested in the fur and foliage department as well as lighting.
How did VFS prepare you to work in the industry?
Ashwin: My instructors at VFS were very encouraging and supportive. They taught me that each and every department is important in this industry. They taught us what it really takes to make a career in CG industry and the lectures were really helpful. I was amazed to see the quality of students from different parts of the world that came to VFS.
You worked on Delhi Safari, a new animated feature film slated for release this October. Tell us about the film.
Ashwin: Delhi Safari is a bilingual stereoscopic 3D animation film produced by Krayon Pictures. The film is about deforestation and global warming. The voices for the original Hindi version of the film are Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Boman Irani, Urmila Matondkar, and Suniel Shetty. For the English version, the characters are voiced by Jason Alexander, Brad Garrett, Vanessa Williams, Jane Lynch, Christopher Lloyd, and Cary Elwes.
I worked with a small team on fur and foliage, and as a lighting artist. I was very glad to have the opportunity work on this movie and it was a great experience for me.
What projects are you working on now?
Ashwin: I am working on an international TV series and I recently completed work on a film called Kamlu, by renowned Bollywood director Govind Nihlani.
What advice do you have to current or potential animation students?
Ashwin: Being able to multitask is very important for artists in the animation industry. Also, as the technology is advancing every day, upgrading your skills is definitely one of the key factors in succeeding.
Thanks for speaking with us Ashwin, and best of luck!