Thursday, January 24, 2008

Interview with Manu Ittina

Name : Manu Ittina
Studio : Worked as animator in PDI dreamworks, Right now the Founder/Director of Ittina
Animation Studios Pvt Ltd
Hometown : Bangalore/India
Site : Http://
Studio : Http://

Happy birthday and welcome to animation monsters

: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Mond Momelo: What makes you laugh the most

: Hahahahahahahaha

: ...... Huh ... ?

Mond Momelo went to scare Manu Ittina on his birthday and ended up in an interview.

Mond Momelo: What makes you laugh the most

Mond Momelo: What makes you laugh the most?

Mond Momelo: What makes you laugh the most

Manu: Funny thing... (smiles) If you're talking about movies it's very hard to say since it depends on my mood, but I like anything that is well crafted, I love things that have different layers to it and not just very bland movies…I hate lazy ones, when I feel the film maker has not put in enough effort into thinking about the movie, I don’t really enjoy such stuff. When I go to a movie whether its funny or serious or tragic or comic I would like to see depth in the characters, I like to see depth in the story and that’s what gives me a kick when I watch a movie.

Mond Momelo: What makes you laugh the most

Mond Momelo: Which animated character would you like to marry?

Manu: Its hard to say... all Disney princesses are cute. It’s very hard actually... Uh.. I think Jasmine... Who wouldn't say 'Yes' to Jasmine!

Mond Momelo: Your take on the Animation monster blog.

Manu: It’s great! Internet is a great equalizer it’s a good to have its democracy.. since you guys can interact with everybody else in the world . You're just as good as any other students in the world. I think more and more people are visiting the blog, I think its actually befitting people who are submitting to the blog, because they are raising their standards, because they are proud to put their work out there, get comments. For me its great to watch since I love to see developing works, new works from students. I visit once a week.

Mond Momelo: Please share your view about Takshaa and its growth.

Manu: Takshaa is very close to my heart. I give my 100% to the classes that I take. It’s close to me for many reasons. When we started with only 6 students, Raj and me, between the two of us we taught most of the classes.

It was very inspiring because I didn't really know, I didn’t really think it was going to be like this but at the end of the semester when I saw the work from the beginning of the semester it was very touching to see the student had absorbed the principles and had gone up to the next level. I love to come back and see that students have picked up the things that I have not taught them. It feels great to see students apply the principles that I have taught them and when they show it to me and tell me that they've understood what I taught them and applied it in their work. As far as overall Takshaa goes, it’s so incredible to see young minds every semester. I see the plays, it’s so brilliant. What they do and it’s quite inspiring to all of us, everybody in the studio, and me as an artist.

I always found whenever I'm a little down; coming down to Takshaa makes me bright. It’s inspiring to see young people pushing their boundaries, trying to improve. One of the things with Takshaa is we are very selective with the entries but at the same time we don't advertise much and we still get students. Its word of mouth publicity. Students are taking the initiative to say good things about us. That's a good feeling to have. Another positive side of Takshaa is we have managed to hire students and the students are the future of the industry and they are the ones who are going to shape industries in tomorrow's day and age. We realised there was no point in complaining about the animation schools or the industry , and that we had to do something about it, so we went ahead and started Takshaa. most people don't know the calibre of work we produce here, and I hope that they learn more through this blog. Since we get suggestions and ideas from people all over, I think we might expand the module without compromising on quality.

Mond Momelo: What would you say about the Indian animation industry and developing Indian original content?

Manu: India is great! It's an amazing opportunity for artists, animators, entrepreneurs, for students, for everybody. It's an amazing place to be, right now in “animation” in India because of the exciting projects that we are working on. At the end of the day, it's still the content, the story, the character that talks. It doesn't matter whether you are making American content, European Content, African or Indian Content. You still have to tell the story the right way. The only difference is, if you are making a story for India, maybe you use certain types of characters, you take certain liberties that you can’t do with world wide content. But at the end of the day it's still storytelling. My feeling about Indian content is, it's great! Its gonna be great. It’s not great yet. I think more and more young people are getting into this field. You will start to see more and more revolution in this field. And this is something the whole industry is acknowledging.

Mond Momelo: We heard that around 70 new movies are coming out. So many things are happening. Don’t you feel quality may go down?

Manu: You can’t control what other people do. We can only control what we can do. We can't worry about others not going the right way.

You are right. But at the end of the day, the audience is the judge. You can not underestimate your audience. So audience will make sure a good movie works and a bad movie doesn’t work. Of course lot of bad movies might prevent good movies from coming out. But you can’t do anything about it. You have to accept it as a part of the industry.

Mond Momelo: Continuing with the same question, why are Indian studios not thinking beyond mythological stories? Do we lack other concepts?

Manu: You're asking me a very general question. Our mythologies are great no doubt. They are very charming, incredible stories, they're amazing. But I don’t know why people keep telling the same stories, maybe people love it, maybe they're not creative enough, it’s very relative. I don’t know what the real answer is. My suggestion to students: don’t worry about what others are doing. If you don’t like mythological stories, you come up with different stories that you feel are great for Indian audiences.

Mond Momelo: If you hadn't been an animator what would you be?

Manu: I would have just loved drawing from morning to evening. I like sketching from life.

Mond Momelo: What do Indian students lack?

Manu: Energy and passion. Animating’s not a lazy job. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of thought and passion, to be able to be what you want to be. The second thing a student should have is courage. They should be brave. Brave enough to try something and fail, and stick by what they believe if they think it's right.

Mond Momelo: How do you multi-task between animation, business, teaching and family?

Manu: If you throw somebody in the water and they don’t know how to swim, somehow they pick it up; I don’t think it’s an inborn talent. :)

Mond Momelo: We all are aware that motion capture is competing with animation, so what’s your take on that?

Manu: I don’t think it’s really a competition. Thinking that there has to be one winner and one loser is an outdated outlook. It's not like cricket. I feel there can be two winners and two losers. Film making is not a play, that’s why I said at the end of the day story is all that matters. At one point of time 2D was traditional and 3D was novel.

Motion capture is helping a lot in many ways. Something like Gollum could not have been done without motion capture.

Both are good.

Mond Momelo: What do you expect from budding animator as an artist and an employee?

: Energy – hyper energy

Mond Momelo: Your wildest dream?

Manu: 10 days vacation, land on a beach and do absolutely nothing.

Mond Momelo: If given a choice, what would you like to remove or add from the Indian animation industry?

Manu: Not remove but I would like to add. I wish I could have started animating much earlier. I wish we started in 60’s and 70’s. We have all grown up with US animation. Nobody knows what Indian animation is. I wish we had that culture of content creation so that we indians could have benefited from it.

Mond Momelo: What is your next biggest challenge?

Manu: What we have in hand is very daunting. We have in house content, we have Takshaa, we have many dreams, and challenges which we haven't overcome yet. All these are part of one big challenge.

Mond Momelo: Any funny moment you would like to share?

Manu: I always find it funny how scared students are when they come for their orientation. I don’t know, its kinda funny . Their expression you know. When I do orientation and we scan the room, you can see lot of different types of student sout there.

Mond Momelo: How do you get the character out in a character? How do you make the audience love it? And how do you know whether a particular performance or character will work?

Manu: There isn't really a way to be certain. I think what you gotta do is, do the best you can to be sensitive enough to be able to understand what’s going on in the character’s mind. You need to be empathetic enough to invoke the same emotion in the audience's mind as well.

Mond Momelo: Tell us something about Ittina animation studios (IAS)

Manu: It's a grand dream, its great vison for us. We assembled a bunch of the craziest talented artists - who are trying to redefine the way we do animation in India.

Mond Momelo: Anything we missed that you want to emphasize?

Manu: I can only say love what you're doing - doesn’t matter whether you get instant rewards or not. That’s what I want to say. You know, I couldn’t draw when I started in art school; I thought I made a mistake, I think everybody can learn and everybody can be a great animator.

Mond Momelo : Thanks for the chit chat.

Manu: Better luck next time with the scaring thing.

Thanks for all the crew who supported us.

Vinay(ADMIN), Kasana(ADMIN), Roshan, Vedanth, Chandu, Ganesh, Varun, Aparajitha, and everybody who helped us make this happen.

Special thanks to


Deepak Arasu said...

Yo! people good effort on the interview idea :)

And Birthday greeting to Manu as well.

Have great day!
Happy animating

Prasad said...

Accept my greetings too ! said in was work of few people (students actually) which lured me here...i feel really lucky to be part of this....but at the same time it really hurts big time that I am not directly associated with Takshaa, Ittina studios or Manu Ittina sir....I from bottom of my heart wish I could get involved with all this some all have nice day and nice life ahead...

KASANA said...

Oh! Lovely.........
Many Many Happy Returns of the day.
Wish you great future ahead.

Thanks Everybody to make it happen.