Dominic Chander is the Head of Animation Production at Sun Animatics India Pvt. Ltd. In the past he had also taken the roles of production manager at companies like Accel Animation Studios and Ken Kreative Limited. Before moving to bigger things, Dominic had started his career as a senior animator at Pentamedia Graphics Limited. Over the years, he has gained a lot of experience in the animation world and counts motion capture animation, scheduling, cost estimation and exploring of new talent as some of his specialties.
CG Today : Dominic, please accept our warm welcome. Thank you for agreeing to share your experience and insights with us, garnered from years of industry experience.
Dominic : It’s a pleasure and thanks for giving me an opportunity to share my experience with you.
CG Today : Dominic, you are head of animation production at Sun Animatics, which has quickly established its reputation over the last half a decade for doing 2D and 3D animation, visual effects and offering training as well. What are the challenges in your role to manage and supervise the production pipeline?
Dominic : Rather than saying it as a challenge, I would say it as a different kind of an experience. The pre production was done in Los Angeles by renowned artists and they were well organized. Communication through mails and online conferences played a vital role in getting things done with them. But in production, I had to do a lot of planning as assets were done with various studios located in Mumbai, Chennai & Hyderabad. Hence, I had to set up the project pipeline not only within the studio but also between the studios in such a manner, so that the data can be seamlessly transferred between them. Moreover, a centralized system was put in place and all the works done in various studios were transferred into this system to be shared between the studios. With a few hiccups in the early stages, now I am at ease in supervising the pipeline.
CG Today : Your role in any project is crucial especially because you are hands-on, with the 3D asset creation, the director’s vision, the pre-production team’s working and the budget. What is the key to juggling so many tasks at the same time?
Dominic : First, I would thank my Managing Director, Mr Vinod Suryadevara for entrusting me with all the tasks related to production, from planning to completion. With the experience gained by me, the support received from the management & fellow artists and the coordination given by other studios, I am thirsty for more juggling of tasks.
CG Today : In the creative animation industry, where projects are pushing against deadlines, what do you do to ensure that your coordination is inch perfect? Are there any lessons that you are implementing while coordinating with pre-production teams at Germany and Los Angeles, along with the one in India?
Dominic : Communication & Interaction – communicating with the right person at the right time and timely interaction with the teams makes the coordination perfect. I have learnt a lot of lessons in my career and still in the process of learning. “Be perfect from the word go” is what I have learnt while working with the teams abroad and I am trying to achieve the same with the teams I am working here.
CG Today : You are at the helm, for the production of 2 full length 3D animation films. Eshan – Legend of Bhairavi, with Mark Zaslove as a writer and none other than Singeetam Srinivasa Rao of Appu Raja fame as a director. How are you going about your role in the project which includes coordination with external artists, getting the right resources, budgeting project and managing approvals along with deadlines? Are there any special challenges you are encountering?
Dominic : Whatever role I am assigned I enjoy it. This is one of the reasons that make me perfect. There are always challenges in a project and you need to have skill & patience to overcome it. Nothing happens in an instance. When a project involves more external artists, finding the right resources always becomes a challenge. Most of the time I found the right talents, but in a few instances I had a bitter experience. It happens because you can't be winning all the time.
CG Today : In spite of handling a lot of responsibilities related to soft skills like coordination, attending meetings, interaction with production studios and identifying talents, you continue to be hands-on with the technical aspects advising the production teams. How do you manage to stay in touch with your technical core even after years in the industry?
Dominic : I always prefer to have a workstation rather than a PC on my desk and whenever time permits I start working on the software rather than being idle or spending time on other things. Moreover, I strongly believe that a production manager should always be a technical person. It has helped me a lot in planning schedules and to get things done in the right way.
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