Though the streaming platforms are a boon for animation films, the greatest evergreen trend in animation film making is emotional storytelling, said Mark Osborne, American film-maker and animator famous for his films like Kung Fu Panda and The Little Prince. He was leading a Masterclass session on the topic ‘Animation as a Tool for Expression’ on the sidelines of 53rd International Film Festival of India.
“With the emergence of OTT platforms, creating content for a global audience is going to be the norm. But at the end of the day, the film needs to connect with the people and touch their hearts“, he added. He further said that for creating such type of content, it’s really important to find out what is meaningful to you. “If it is important to you and you are honest about it, you will find your audience. Honesty creates a fresh approach,” he elucidated.
Emphasising on the power of Animation, Mark said that animation is a diverse and vast medium that can tell any story. Digging deep he said, “To make somebody feel about something that doesn’t even exist, is really magnificent. It is the result of a continuous process of rewriting, rebuilding and experimentation. We feel the magic of animation when you see it come to life eventually.”
Mark Osborne also opined that one cannot finalise an animation project in script form. “As far as animation is concerned, the script is not locked. There is always scope for improvisation right to the last moment. It is going to evolve and change. Being a visual medium, we need to allow the visual medium to do a lot of work on the project”, he explained.
Responding to queries, the master animator said that every animator needs a support system to bring out the stories within them. “Supporting the artists and creators can help miracles happen. A safe space is needed for the artists to create animation”, he asserted.
On a cautious note to aspiring animation makers, Mark said that though it is important to draw inspiration from masters, care should be taken to not imitate their work. “You have to find a balance by exploring your own ideas. Every person will have a different perspective and life experience. Bringing this personal journey and experience into filmmaking is paramount. Mark Osborne also gave a detailed presentation of his journey in creating the movie The Little Prince by adapting the novel written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The session was moderated by Prosenjit Ganguly.
The Masterclasses and In-Conversation sessions are being organised jointly by Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), NFDC, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and ESG. A total of 23 sessions comprising masterclasses and in-conversations are being conducted this year to encourage the students and enthusiasts of cinema in every aspect of film-making.