Sanjay Banerjee is currently CMD at Turtle Animations Pvt. Ltd. Before he helped establish Turtle Animations, Sanjay was an Animation Artist at Picasso Centennial College. He was educated at Cambrian Hall, and Lucknow University in Bsc.,

Turtle Animations was started by Mr. Banerjee and four other highly qualified, motivated, and skilled animation artists. Their goal is to make quality family entertainment with computer generated animation.


CG Today : Mr. Banerjee, welcome to CG Today.

Sanjay : Thank you!

Sanjay Banerjee - The man behind Angelina Joe Lee!CG Today : When you worked for BAG Films, you developed and set up infra in IT, would you say you gathered a better understanding of the media and entertainment industry?

Sanjay : I started my career with BAG Films and this is where I came face to face with media and the people related to the industry. Initially it was difficult to understand the procedure and work flow of the industry but with experience and time things started falling in place. Though it was not easy but once you get into the groove, I think either you fight or you are out especially in the field where meeting deadlines are as important as your breathing process. One deadline missed and there is no other chance. But yes I was also lucky to have the support of my seniors who guided me through all the ups and downs.

CG Today : Please tell us how winning the NASSCOM Super Pitch award in 2007 at the Gaming and Animation convention has been a boost to Turtle Animations. Can you tell us about the project that won this award?

Sanjay : The Truth is Turtle Animation Pvt. Ltd. was formed after winning the Nasscom 2007 Super pitch. We were a team of five, we left our jobs as the artist in us was constantly telling us to do something that we believed in. It was a very difficult decision to leave our jobs and walk the road without any money in the pocket. But the passion to do something of our own was on such a high that we couldn’t stop our selves and Turtle was born. Winning Nasscom gave a boost to our idea. It gave us tremendous confidence and strength and we could see our dream coming true. We know that animation is a business with a very long gestation period but the appreciation that we got at Nasscom made us believe that it may take some time to reap the benefits but the returns are going to be very high.

 



Now, about ‘Angelina-Joe-Lee’, the award winning project; It’s a story of three frogs, Angelina the female frog, Joe and Lee the male frogs living in the junkyard as neighbours. The Story revolves around Joe’s inventions and crazy schedules, Angelina’s attention towards Joe’s innocence and Lee’s undying love for Angelina. So basically it’s a very healthy love triangle.

Lee would do anything to grab Angelina’s attention but she is more interested in innocent Joe, who is always lost in his own world. Angelina, a fashion freak lives inside a discarded television set, while Joe and Lee share a broken radio set apartment next door.

Angelina is a gorgeous and is madly in love with her self. She like both Joe and Lee and three of them are good friends too.

Joe is innocent but extremely talented. He likes to be in his own world. He is fond of Angelina and always manages to get her attention. Lee is a disastrously over smart and polished frog who is in love with Angelina. Lee, though a good friend of Joe is jealous of him for getting all the attention from Angelina while his plans backfire one after the other.

There world includes friend and other animals, who live in the same Junkyard. Together they set out on Journey full of fun and adventure saving there homes and each other, all these while pursuing their own individual agendas of being a beauty queen, the biggest scientific inventor and the hunk who wants to have all the beauties around.

CG Today : You had the good fortune to work at one of the leading production companies in India, Picasso Animation Productions. Can you sum up what skills you learned at Picasso?

Sanjay : I can't pride myself with much academic achievements to be honest. I finished the high school with a "Foreign Languages" diploma and after that I got lost in jobs and the work of building myself as a freelancer. So I'm what people call "self-taught". That doesn't mean I didn't had to study and that talent was enough. Passion helped a lot and I got to study with the greatest artists of the world, past and present; who inspired and instructed me through their work.

CG Today : What prompted you to move into a career in animation? How did you go about pursuing it?

Sanjay : Just after I graduated from Picasso Centennial Collage I was picked up to start up the production of the studio. Lucky again to get the opportunity, it was a great learning curve for me to work with Mr. A B R P Reddy the MD of Picasso group, a person with immense knowledge and experience in the field of education. It was here that we decided to first create IP’s and there on start building a production team and set the base for the studio.

CG Today : Does Turtle Animations aim its projects toward Indian audiences, or do you have a more global target?

Sanjay : The basic aim is to create and produce world class animation content that has richness of our culture but also has a global appeal. We at Turtle, focus on producing stories that have Indian origin but has the potential of appealing to the global audience. Moreover to expand and reap the benefits of our work it becomes important to create something that has global acceptance.

CG Today : What would you say is the “standing” of India’s animation industry as compared to other countries?

Sanjay : India is right now in its early stages in the Industry compared to the other countries. It is very easy to be critical on this issue but with all due respect to the industry and its people, I feel we still have to cover a long way. The Indian industry is right now experimenting with the mindset of the Indian audience only and we still haven’t had any luck so far to show case are work on an international platform. There is a very tough competition from the west when it comes to the quality of the content produced. We have to understand that animation is just not for kinder garden we have to create much bolder and quality content so that it caters to the older audience too. I think Tom and Jerry is one such product that caters to one and all from a grand kid to a grand parent.

CG Today : Do you plan to collaborate with any film studios, in other countries, in the future?

Sanjay : Yes, after winning the Nasscom we went out hunting for investors, distributors and even technical people in India and abroad. We had finalized deal with global Distributor and scripting will be done by Emmy awarded Hollywood script writer, but just before we could start the production markets fell and our financer backed out. Well it was unfortunate but we have started recollecting the effort and talking to people in India and abroad. I believe that technical knowledge from outside would help in improving the quality of the content, their experience will value add on our IPs.

CG Today : What demographic is the most important audience for animated projects and gaming projects?

Sanjay : Well to my knowledge I don’t know if any country has rejected animated content, and has failed to gather audience. I think the most attractive market is taken by the Japanese, Manga and Anime they are going great guns.

 

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