Vaibhav Studios; who said animators can’t be storytellers!

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Creators of Vodafone Zoomies, the Amaron battery and Fevicol animated advertisements and many more are none other than the Mumbai-based, Vaibhav Studios. On the occasion of completion of 12 years in the animation world, the story of Vaibhav Studios is a journey from a one man start-up to creating a well renowned studio submerged in creativity and quality work.

Everything begins with a thought…

“I wanted to create something of my own, try out my own style and fabricate my own animation,” says Vaibhav Kumaresh. Initially, having worked at Famous Studios, Vaibhav worked on many animated shorts and videos but was not content with the ‘content’ he was working on. So, one fine night he decided to start his own studio to optimally utilise his talent and develop his skills across varied platforms. He exclaims, “It was an overnight decision to quit my job as I wanted to work on a children’s animated film, project of Children’s Film Society India (CFSI). But, what after that project, was a question for which I had no answer.” But good work does not go unrecognised, people knew Vaibhav and work started coming to him gradually and he accepted the projects with utmost excitement. He recollects, “We started with 4 people and worked tirelessly on every minute project that came our way. We committed ourselves to make a mark through our quality of animated content.”

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Learning is an ongoing process…

Animation is a platform which has a variety of styles and Vaibhav Studios tapped this factor. The studio began with hand drawn animation, moving into 2D digital animation, and later exploring stop motion, Claymation and finally mastering 3D CGI animation as well. “We were using Flash and wanted to go a step ahead so we learnt the new software Maya for 3D animation,” recollects Vaibhav. Experimenting and trying out things, the animation artists created animation using simple equipments like light box, thermocol boards, clay, props and costumes for various characters. Each artist at Vaibhav Studios attempts working on all available platforms and helps in the entire process right from preparing the concepts and designs till the final production.

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Stories teleport you into another world…

Right from childhood, stories are the only thing that have fascinated all of us, our vision and imagination have expanded due to stories, stresses Vaibhav. “We want to create our own stories that cater to Indian audiences, influence people, entertain them and leave a lasting imprint. Our focus is content and our USP is the art of storytelling. If a good story is told we are happy,” he further informs. With an attempt to be one with the audience, the studio made stories with characters like Simpoo, the Birthday Bhoot, adventures of Chulbuli and so on. “You feel overjoyed when you are in touch with the audience through unique animated characters and at the same time convey the message flawlessly,” exclaims Vaibhav.

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When working is fun…

“Sometimes we work all night to finish the project in the specified deadline. But, it is always fun and it does not seem like work, it is more like a family,” exclaims Ajit Aher, senior animator at the studio.  Bhavesh Gondaliya, an artist since 8 years, says, “We know the process from start to end, the whole team is a part of every project right from the conceptualisation of the idea till producing the final output.” The whole team together brainstorms and works to make every project better thus, there are multiple perspectives and styles that are unveiled. Production assistant, Baadal Chaurasiya claims, “Kaam karne me itna maza hai ke itne saal kab nikal gaye pata he nahi chala.” (I have been enjoying work since years, and never even realised how and when so many years passed by). The team has grown and is on the verge of expansion by roping in new artists now.

Vision leads to action…

Believing in the power of storytelling, Vaibhav Studios aims to create a full length animated film where it can create its own characters to convey emotions through a long format film. And this vision is on the verge of being fulfilled soon as the 100 minute long animated feature Return of the Jungle is already in production. “Commercials act as a refresher for us as they give us breathing space and freedom to try and improve our skills. However, our main focus is full length features now,” claims the visionary Vaibhav.

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And the future has a lot in store…

Having created commercial content along with the animated sequence for the Bollywood film Ra.One, Vaibhav Studios has been creating global content too. But what has kept the team excited is their upcoming full length feature. Moreover, this project is self funded by the studio. It certainly is a risk that the studio has undertaken but the team has faith in their work and their ability, and that is what makes them different from the rest. “Anyone who enters the field of animation should have a clear concept in mind. Do not come just for the sake of money, because at times there is no money in this industry, at least in India,” highlights Vaibhav, who also teaches at various animation schools and advices to take up animation only for the love of the art. Vaibhav is himself an alumnus of National Institute of Design (NID).

‘Drawings, characters, cartoons speak…nothing is written’ as the studio still follows the traditional art of drawing on paper. Although it has adopted the advance forms of computer animation Vaibhav reveals, “If ever I have to explain anything to my team, I just draw it.” A Studio where words are used less but artwork is the bread and butter, Vaibhav Studios is a unique studio that provides simple but effective creative solutions for their clients and more than anything they dare to do what many animators in India fear – Tell a good story…

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