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Interview with Varun Mehta Productions – Wiz Animation Studio – Founder, CEO

Posted By : Abhinav Jha    At 12-07-2013 14:42:40


Tags : Varun Mehta Productions    Wiz Animation Studio     

Varun Mehta, an avid and passionate creator, conceptualizer and animator is the founder CEO of Wiz Animation Studio, Aligarh, and has been in the field of creative arts, particularly motion graphics and animation since the last three years. Winner of a number of international awards, Varun's resounding achievement was 'The Unknown World'.  THE UNKNOWN WORLD was declared the Best Film at Buzzgoo International Film Competition at Columbia, GA, US. The Film has topped on both - judges' scorecards and Voting Panel. The film has been awarded with a cash prize of 5000 USD.  That took Aligarh by storm, and he became the darling of the animation scenario in and around Aligarh, to whom he gave its first All India CG Awards Competition, taking that countryside by storm.  That was almost a year ago, when he conceputalized and set up his Wiz Animation Studio.  A year on, on the first anniversary of Wiz Studio, let us ask Varun Mehta himself where he finds himself and his animation world today.

On the first anniversary of Wiz Animation Studio, how do rate your experiences been so far?
It was an amazing experience. We couldn’t ask for anything better. Two of our movies got internationally recognized and brought honours home. We launched our first CG Contest in October which was a resounding success. Also we produced shorts, music videos and ads for various International Brands (Including perfumes, watches, hairbands and skateboards). We also produced shorts for social causes like Cancer, Ending hunger and violence against women. An online animation quiz contest was also launched this year and received phenomenal response. The beginning has been nearly perfect, by the grace of God. And we hope it continues for many anniversaries to come.

Your films have almost always focussed on social causes.  What are the reasons for making social causes central to your animations?
I always feel as an Individual you carry a certain responsibility towards the society. Generally we ignore it. When it comes to doing something selflessly, we often take our backs off.  What I think is that something needs to be done, to address your thing in some way or other.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to carry out an agenda or you are committed for making a difference. But in order to get your voice heard, you need to pull up your socks and run in that direction. The message is important. Voice does not. So In order to have my message heard, My Voices are my animation films that carries out the messages be it – Saving the trees, stopping female foeticide or injustice against women.

How did you find your experience as a judge in the "Take a Stand" Contest?
It was a very different experience. It was the first time I was judging something. It was an honour to judge a contest that was based on my film. It was very interesting and went for 1-2 days. I really thank Animation Galaxy for such a great Initiative and I hope it carries the legacy further.

Any Special reason for using animation for the campaign?
Well, I believe Animation is the most powerful medium. In India, it is not tapped with its full potential. Other than the professionals, Animation is still beyond the common man who is yet to realize its importance.  Still Animation’s voice is far more loud and clear than any of the visual medium. If taken seriously, Animation can light up everything, especially a campaign. 

You won three big titles for your films last year.  This hat-trick is a record of sorts for an Independent studio / filmmaker.  How do you feel on that?
It feels fantastic. Call it destiny, luck, hard work, struggle. I just made it somehow. I wouldn’t say things like ‘my films deserved it’ or ‘I was destined to make it like that’ because I know my weaknesses. All I am happy that my voices were heard. I am aware that it shall not be the same in future, but things like these happening in the beginning of your journey makes you feel great and gives you a push to do better.

What kind of revolution is necessary in Indian Animation Industry?
I beg to be differing in this case when such discussions come my way. I think we should get a reality check that Indian Animation Industry is struggling for survival. All those articles floating around ‘how much potential the Industry has’ and ‘how much it can expand over the years’ carry no meaning. The Prime studios are already in losses and the Independent studios are finding it hard to hold professional projects. ‘The revolution’ which is being talked about here can apply once only when the digs inside the Animation Ecosystem could be filled up.  To make it simple the Industry needs to join hands within to form a better Infrastructure. There is no planning. There are only discussions. We all want to do something from our own corners but the facts that our own unwillingness of coming together costs us big. I won’t say that ‘Revolution’ is not possible but it remains to be seen when and where it comes from and then we would see Production of Animation is happening in large chunks. That would be the ‘Real Revolution’.

How do you see Animation and Real Life?
There is not much difference to me when it comes to Animation and Real Life. The best thing I can say is that I am living a Goofy Animated Life.

On which project are you working now?
‘The Hope’ is a short film that tells the story of a dancer with a leg injury, who is about to make her last dance in the same situation. She has one last chance to make one memorable piece of her life before she leaves the stage. The film is a blend of 2D animation and Drawing on paper. Then there is a movie named “Survivor”. There are also some projects involved with online brands like Poptent, GeneroTV, Eyeka etc.  

What do you think is the success formula for a hit Animation Film?
For me it’s always the concept, the idea and the story, after that comes the technique.  Even if you use the most amazing technique for animation, if your film doesn’t have a story that can be connected, it’s soulless.
One last question.  At this juncture of your journey into Animation what would you like to say to our readers?
Animation Galaxy is an amazing portal. I am proud to be associated with it since the last one year. I am really happy by its progress. It’s the best way I can connect to my well-wishers and readers.  For exclusive animation news and coverage’s, stick to Animation
Interview by Abhinav Jha
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