Monday, August 29, 2011

Meetings with animators and artists

“It is high time that digital media technology came to Nagaland!”
Moasenla Jamir read about the 3 day Animation Workshop at the Nagaland Institute of IT and Multimedia in the newspaper, and she decided to meet the resource person, Tara Douglas.  She left Kohima on 27th August with her mother, Dr. Watikala, and they reached the institute by late morning. 
Moasenla has studied outside Nagaland - in Chennai, Bangalore and she finally specialized in animation from Delhi.  “It is high time that digital media technology came to Nagaland!” She observed.  “I have always been interested in folktales, even before I got into animation.  Because I studied outside I am aware of these things and I am now taking interest in our culture.    Animation is a very sophisticated way of portraying culture and presenting it in a more visually interesting way”.

Moasenla is presently working on six episodes of public service announcements, each a minute long, for the Department of Health and Family Welfare.   She explains that the topics were given to her and she then spent a month doing medical research around the subject, before preparing a script for the series.  The script was approved and she has been working on the production since April, with a delivery deadline in September for the completed 2D animation.

“I would be interested in working on stories from 16 tribes.  Once this current project is over, we plan to visit all the places mentioned in the Ao folktale of Jina and Etiben, as I am considering making it into a film.  It would probably have to be done in live action with actors first and when a team has been established it could be adapted for 3D animation.” 
“There are lots of folktales that my mother and grandparents know that would be interesting in 3D animation, though first she needs her team.  I support her fully in her work;  At the moment we are constructing a building in Kohima and we have already promised the top floor to my daughter to use as her studio”, adds Dr. Waltikala, who is the Joint Director of the Government Department of Health and Family Welfare, and is presently serving as the Chief Medical Officer for Phek District. 

“I have a tug of war going on,” says Moasenla.  “I am feeling a bit claustrophobic knowing about all those big studios out there.  It is too early to be a one man team!  During my training as an animator we were a group of 25 students in each batch, but there were only 3 or 4 girls.  That gender issue is prevalent.   Here it is very male dominated and it will take years to shed the conditioning.  Girls do not have the exposure or the confidence that comes with it.  Here the whole thing is the government.  Right from the beginning I decided that I did not want to be part of the government franchise.  It is high time to break the mould; In fact, there should be a campaign on this topic!” declares Moasenla, adding that when you do something outside on your own, you enjoy it. 

I was impressed by Moasenla’s attitude and I requested her to address the participants of the workshop: She agreed without a moment’s hesitation.  “You need support from your families because animation is new here.  You are the first batch of animation students and there is an advantage to being the first as you are pioneers.  You need sincerity, commitment and dedication and it all depends on your interest.  Seventy five percent of what I know is self taught; Maya is very vast software and you have just seen one layer in this workshop.  You will need 4-5 years of coaching and it might help to download tutorials from the net.   You must also develop your own technique of working and you have to start to think out of the box.  The hardest thing is to apply what you learn and this is why it is so creative.  Experiment with the software and remember that it is just a tool and that you need creativity to convey your message through it.  I was interested in animation even as a schoolgirl.      I have always been into cinematography.  In our group project at Picasso Animation College, I was the cinematographer.  My instructors advised me to watch a movie everyday with the volume turned down, because before handling the software you need to know how a story works, and then when you master the software you can apply it to the story.   There are resources and organizations ready to support animation here, but you need to arm yourselves with the skills to implement it.  I feel strongly about it here in Nagaland.  There is hardly any one for me to form a team with, but if we can catch up again in a few years and work as a team that will be really good!”


  1. Animation is one of the latest and most breakthrough technologies of the computer applications, it is not only useful in the technological world but animations have also slowly taken over the entertainment and the other daily aspects of life.Especially the Animation colleges in Bangalore encourages the students to go beyond the present technologies. Thanks for sharing this information.