A look inside an animator


Hi, My name is Dhruv Joshi. I am a 3D animator. I want to share a story with you. Story of a boy who was obsessed with cartoon movies. Story of a boy who believed that Tom and Jerry do exist in real world. A boy who considered Mickey Mouse as his best friend. But as he grew up he realized that it’s just a fantasy world. He couldn’t deal with the fact that all his childhood heroes are nonexistent. His world turned upside down when he faced this reality. But he kept his cool. He didn’t let anyone notice that there is a war going inside him. With time he got used to the chaos inside him.

He started growing up as time passed. He started noticing the world as it is. He noticed that people are crazy about money. He noticed that there are too much sadness and depression in this world. There are people who hate their jobs. There are people who hate their lives. In a world filled with broken hearts and damaged souls, he was asked to pick a profession. A profession that will help him survive in this cruel world. He honestly didn’t know what to choose. He asked around for advice and everybody he knew told him to listen to his heart. So he sat down on a bench in a park. He closed his eyes and listened carefully to his heartbeats. The beats were giving him a signal of some kind. Maybe it’s a Morse code. Maybe it’s binary. So he listened to it more carefully. His heart was telling him to follow his dream to live in the world he loved as a child. Animation was calling him out. He knew that it’s his happy place and any job at his happy place will keep him alive and happy.

So immediately he opened his eyes and ran towards his house. ‘Dad!!’ he shouted from miles away. His dad came out worried about his son. He saw his son running towards him. So he stopped him and asked him what happened? The boy told him that he wants to be an animator. His dad couldn’t be happier. There was this smile on boy’s face which was defining how much he loved this profession. After that the boy left to change his life forever.

He studied and studied for years. He learned all the principles of animation, various aspects of animation and pipeline of animation film making. But when he sat down to do his very first animation shot. That day was magical. At the start. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to do it. He felt the need to close his eyes and listen to his heart. So he let his mind rest for a moment and listened to his heart.

His heart started speaking. “Hey there, I know this talking to heart thing is really scary. There is this cruel world out there where you can’t let me act on my own. Because I am a fool. I will bring you lots of pain. But this 20 inch screen with a character in it is my world. Let me escape for a moment. I promise to bring you joy, happiness and success. This is my world, our world. Just set me free and enjoy the magic.”

The boy didn’t have a choice. He took his heart of the leash and left it on the canvas. Together they drew all night. They drew and drew until they didn’t create a scene that will entertain their audience. They kept drawing until they didn’t create a moment that filled their audience hearts with immense joy. A scene that will redefine everything. It can become a legacy. A legacy like the scene of Tarzan, Where Tarzan and Jane’s hand meet for the first time. A scene where Andy gives all his toys to Bonny in Toy story 3. A scene where Rafiki lifts Simba up in the air. All those scenes, were not just scenes. They are a legacy. They are part of our memories. And we as animators have the ability to create scenes like these. We have the ability to make a special place in our audience’s memories.

People out there watch the whole movie and then they review it. We animators gets one scene of it and we make it our whole world. We live with it, we sleep with it and we eat with it. Whenever we are in our scene. We are happy. We are free. We are the king of our world. Yeah maybe we won’t earn as much as our other friends do. Maybe we won’t get to go on a world tour. Maybe people don’t take us seriously. But whenever I see an innocent kid laughing at a scene of an animation film. My heart fills out with happiness. I am happy that the child inside me is able to give so many memories to all these children. Maybe we are the secret key of happiness in this messed up world. People tell me that making cartoons won’t pay my bills. But maybe this messed up world needs cartoons. And it needs people to make those cartoons come alive. So let’s take our heart off the leash, wake up the child inside us and paint this world with smiles and giggles.

Thank you.