CG Today : You have worked for a 22 minute episode of Tenali Raman, which remains one of the most popular and witty characters in Indian stories. How was the experience working with AMM studio on this episode? Was your approach to the character any different from the earlier portrayal of this lovable person?

Deva : AMM had outsourced this project to us after scrutinizing our capabilities and we were put to various test and standards before getting through with this project. The pre-production was designed and were sent to us, we were involved in the production of this animated series. Our schedules included animation and ink and paint. Tenali Raman remains as a lovable hero for many kids even today and we are very happy about our involvement with that.

CG Today : Your association with Pentamedia Graphics is quite long, extending over 6 years. That is also your first workplace. Pentamedia is one of the pioneers of the Indian animation industry, where you had joined after finishing graduation in art & craft. How was your experience at Pentamedia and were there any lessons for life that you picked here at your first job?

Deva : Pentamedia was the spring board for all of us, being a pioneer in the industry it was our dream come true for us to work with Pentamedia. It was our second home, we were in office all through the day learning, experiencing and experimenting all of CG & Animation. It gave us an exposure in to the world of Animation and created an avenue for us to work with people form around the globe. Talents from far and near come together in to this alma-mater; it gave us the contacts and network to establish us professional in this industry.

CG Today : You have worked on the promo for 101 Dalmatians, which was a Golden Globe nominated movie. How was your first experience of working on this promo that was eventually approved by Walt Disney?

Deva : Yes it is really a good experience, we were introduced to the concept of ‘Slug In’ where every details of the animation action is recorded in the X-Sheets, we had never worked on this technique before that demanded a steep learning curve for the entire team. I later took special interest in ‘Slug In’ and had learnt it from Zaldi Zunyo who is an acclaimed animation and timing director in Philippines. To add on this question it was a moment of truth for us when this project was approved by ‘Walt Disney’

CG Today : You were part of the project Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists, which was the first motion captured 3D movie in the world. How was the experience of working closely with Evan Ricks, the director of the movie? Can you please tell us about any challenges, which usually hit first-time projects?

Deva : Evans Ricks is a very talented Hollywood Director; it was my special privilege to have worked with him. I cherish every moment that I had worked with him; we had a very special bondage. He had guided us though the process of movie making indeed he was holding hands through this project. He works lot on the details and he is a person who will ‘Plan the Work’ and ‘Work the Plan’. I can share a lot about him and the experiences on working with him, I am sure you can not accommodate such a space in this interview .


CG Today : You have been involved across the entire spectrum of tasks from art direction, character designs, story board, layouts, supervising, compositing etc. To our readers who are interested in creative arts, can you please tell; what is the single most important key area in the making of an animation movie is there is any?

Deva : As how all the ingredients in the right mix gives a tasty food is how movie is also. A dash of salt more or less will make it not so interesting. However in my experience if I have to single out one of the most important aspect of movie making I would say it’s the Script. Some of the successful movies have capitalized on these by giving immense importance to the Script & Screen Play. This is where we connect with the audience and typically the audiences for animated movies are quite young and hence the script has to be treated with care and diligence. As always this industry says ‘Content is King’ the packaging has to be interesting.

CG Today : Mr. Saravanan, one can fairly say that you have dabbled in all aspects of animation including pre and post production quality checks, editing and creative direction. What is your favorite task and why?

Deva : The entire modules of animated film making is interesting and challenging in their own ways. I am personally interested in character animation, the reason being a good animator should be a protagonist in the whole movie making series. He should be aware of drawing scene, acting, body language, human psychology, knowledge of human anatomy, storytelling, posing, timing and a good sense of humor. He is a creator who can make his character walk, dance or fight. He makes the character interact with the audience and can give life to animate being or inanimate objects.

CG Today : As someone who has spent a long time in the industry and with know-how of the nuances of animation, what is your favorite animation movie? Can you also tell our readers what is special about your favorite movie?

Deva : My all time favorite animated movie is ‘Prince of Egypt’ produced by Dream Works. I like this movie for amazing art direction, fantastic music and camera layouts. The feature had used excellent character designs that added to the liveliness of the movie. It is a beginner’s guide to character design; an entry level professional or aspirants can learn quite a deal from this movie on the usage of the technique of ‘exaggeration in designing human characters with perfectness. Fresh Animators can learn how and where to use the technique of ‘moving hold’ by watching this movie. Animators of this movie have used this technique wonderfully.

CG Today : Mr. Saravanan, thank you for sharing your experiences with us and all the very best for your future endeavors.

Deav : My Thanks to CG Today for giving me this opportunity to share my experience; I would also like to encourage many more talented and skilled people to take up animation as a career. All the very best for all who are reading this and a Happy New year 2011


Deva Saravanan - Creative & Animation Director


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