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Ramesh Ruia talkes about TASK (The Animation Society of Kolkata) PDF Print E-mail
Ramesh Ruia
Ramesh Ruia talks about TASK (The Animation Society of Kolkata)


Graduating in B.Sc. from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata Ramesh Kumar Ruia went to complete his M.S. in computer science from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA and graduated in 1987.
Has been working in various capacities in industries and diverse as Engineering to Consumer durables till 1998 when he found himself in the Animation sector where he has been working for the past ten years.
A keen golfer and equally passionate about animation, he currently heads the Arena Animation Chapter at Park Street, Kolkata and has been one of the few from the training industry for whom quality is a passion.
Under him, Arena Park Street became the first ISO 9001:2000 certified chapter of Arena in India and has won numerous awards including the Best Centre Award (All India), Academic Excellence awards to name a few.
His current passion is to act as a catalyst to sync the requirements of the animation industry with the constraints and possibilities in the training industry so that the two can work in tandem to make India the most happening space in the animation vertical.

We caught up with him to know more about the initiative of TASK (The Animation Society of Kolkata).

Q. Hi, Thanks for talking to us, Can you tell us about the initiative of TASK? How did the concept come into picture?
Having been a part of the animation industry for nearly a decade, we found that the divergence between the requirements of the industry and the availability of skilled manpower in the animation field was only increasing over time. One of the main reasons for this was the lack of exposure of the student community to current trends and techniques.
Unlike other parts of India, where such societies are active, the students of the Eastern India were deprived of a forum which could address their concerns and queries while exposing them to dimensions of this medium beyond tools and software. This is where the concept of TASK took shape.

TASKTASK president with Delwyn and Debjani

TASK president with Delwyn and Debjani at the launch

Q. How was the Advisory board formed? How did you decide who should be approached?
We wanted the advisory board of TASK to be a mix of people from academia, industry, films, music, acting and other art forms in order to get as wide a perspective about animation as possible. A talk by Prosenjit Ganguly in July ’08 at Kolkata inspired me enough to decide on that day itself to share his thought with every animation lover in the Eastern India.
To our pleasant surprise we got an overwhelming response from everyone whom we approached in this regard. We would like to specially mention Mr. Sekhar Mukherjee who literally held hands to make us stand by his utter passion for this medium. It was an unexpected welcome which left us wondering why we didn’t start this earlier!

Sekharda during “Every Picture Tells a story” at the launch

Q. Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak are the honorary members of TASK, How would they be contributing to TASK?
Both Vinayji and Ranvirji are actors par excellence and not afraid to work in offbeat roles. TASK hopes to gather insight into the acting for animation space from them as and when time and resources permit. They could also throw light on the timing and other creative aspects of animation film development.

Sekhar da, Mr. Sanjay Mukherjee and Mr. Arijit Dutta at the launch

Q. Tell us about Kol.Katha09', How is it coming up and what can be expected from it?
Kol.Katha’09 is all about encouraging animation film makers to showcase their talent and benchmark themselves with peers. Initially, the contest was to be limited to the Eastern Region but we felt the need to expose the students and film makers of this region to the kind of work and the wide variety of mediums of animation being used in other parts of the world too.
We are extremely happy from the kind of response that we have received from the animation training institutes as well as the animation industry. We are expecting a large number of entries which is going to make our selection process really tough. And that’s an encouraging sign.

When teachers turned students

Q. How would TASK be influencing the animation work culture and encouraging IP creation which is the definite need of the hour?
Encouraging IP creation is one of the main objectives of TASK and we need to first create the foundation for this to take shape. The student community relates animation to software and feels that by learning software one could become an animator and draw huge salaries.
Through its various workshops and talks, TASK hopes to wean away this community from software and introduce them to the art of storytelling through alternate forms of animation like clay, sand and even paper or puppet.
We would introduce to and encourage our members to follow the entire production pipeline while developing films and would provide resources in terms of knowledge and benchmarks where ever required or possible.
TASK hopes to inculcate the importance of pre production for animation which is unfortunately almost non-existence in this lot. In the process we hope to tickle the right brain of our members which would eventually be responsible for original concepts, stories or IP.
With the latent creative talent already available in Bengal, all it requires is proper channelization of these skills for really great work to emerge.
Please do not expect miracles and it will be some time before this actually begins to happen. At least TASK has started the process.

Vaibhav Kumaresh

Vaibhav Kumaresh during TASKmaster

Q. How has your affiliation been with other art forums regarding the initiative? What are the plans for the year 2009? What more coming up? How will we see TASK grow over the years?
Since its inception on the 8th of November, 2008, TASK has aimed at organizing an event every month for the animation enthusiasts. In 2009 we wish to carry forward our vision of spreading awareness and introduce the TASK members and supporters to newer avenues of animation.
TASK aims at creating an animation culture in this part of the country and 2009 definitely will see the first few steps being taken in that direction. We are looking at widespread participation from all animation lovers of Kolkata and we are planning to enrich this society with inputs from other art forums like art, dance, music and acting.
TASK is still a toddler and its dreams are young. Like a child, TASK is not afraid of dreaming and will not give up till all its wishes are fulfilled. TASK will definitely grow in the coming years, not in age but in dreams, strength, vision and hopefully, size.

Q. What message do you have for the CGTANTRA community and for all of us who believe in TASK?
CGTantra has been one of the pillars on which the foundation of TASK was laid. Your support has helped us get this far. We encourage every animation lover to come forward and take advantage of this knowledge-sharing platform and be a part of this beautiful journey to discover and fall in love with the multifarious facets of this field of animation that is part of our very existence.

Content Team
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