Television

Ram Mohan for more animation training centres in India

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MUMBAI: "I want to set up a pre-production and training facility. I am holding talks with people in schools too, and am trying to convince them to introduce animation as a subject, " says animation pioneer Ram Mohan, who recently quit UTV Toons to join Graphiti Multimedia as chairman.

Mohan, a name that has become synonymous with Indian animation, has definite plans of improving the state of animation in the country. "What we lack in India is adequate training. We have lot of talent in our country but unfortunately no one to tap it. Western countries have schools which provide specialisation in all processes of animation . We lack that here," says Ram Mohan.

He insists he wants to continue as a freelance consultant and as a future endeavour wants to primarily develop original animation content and explore possibilities on Indian television.

On the state of animation in India, he says: "We have reached a plateau as far as 2-D animation is concerned. A large number of studios all over India cater to studios in Taiwan, Korea and Philippines. Though contract work has increased, it is not proportionate to the number of studios mushrooming in the country. As a result, work is being spread thin and there is no likelihood of of growth in that direction."

Ram Mohan sees the advent of Cartoon Network as a positive since it has given a much required boost to the profession in the country, but it according to him, it still has a long way to go. "Ninety per cent of the programmes on the channel (Cartoon Network) are sourced from abroad. It is just recently that the channel has started using Indian content such as The Ramayana and the Pandavaas," he says.

Ram Mohan has been drawing cartoons ever since he was in school. But it was a chance encounter with Clair H Weeks, veteran Disney animator, who was in Bombay in 1956 to help the government of India set up an animation studio, that led to a job in the cartoon film unit where he worked for the next 12 years and paved the way for his career in animation. He has made countless commercials, some children's films (including the White Elephant for UNESCO), one animated feature, the Japanese production of The Legend of Ramayana (which he co-directed with Koichi Sasaki) and the Meena and Sara series for UNICEF.

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