Suresh Eriyat, Founder, Studio Eeksaurus Productions Pvt Ltd talks about the importance of following ones dreams and how following his dream helped him found Eeksaurus
Follow your dreams, no matter what complications you come across or frustrations you have to wade through. Set your focus, practice and enjoy what you do, there would be nothing that would force you to take another route.
The year was 1990, around the time of Onam. After my 11th grade exams, my father had taken me to participate in a local painting competition. Generally if your entry is good, a motley crowd gathers to take a peek. That happened in my case too. As I was ready to leave, a stranger approached me and said, “I think you should go to NID.” In response, I asked, “What is NID?” “I think you’ll fit in and do very well there,” he said and disappeared into the crowd. Little did that anonymous individual know that his kind advice would change my life forever!
I got through to the prestigious NID in 1991. Animation film design as my specialization was a clear ‘No’ for me, but like many things that you don’t expect to happen, animation was recommended to me by my jury to pursue as a career. They really knew better. After NID, I came to Mumbai looking for jobs. I had never wanted to join or become part of an outsourced service providing company for the West to realize their ambitious projects deploying cheap labour in India, as that was not my learning or passion. I was taught to use design for communication and to tell stories using animation.
I started working with Famous Studios, and our maiden venture into content creation was a failure, as there was no market for animated shows on Indian TV back in 1998. At Famous, I had a great relationship with the top management and together we created Famous House of Animation (FHA).
At FHA, a number of landmark commercials including the Amaron Battery ads, ICICI ‘Chintamani’ ads, Simpu series, MTV Poga series, Bindu re Bindu music video (first animated music video from India) were created, as I slowly carved a niche for myself by introducing new styles and techniques of story-telling for ads. Our designdriven films suddenly became popular because of my conscious push to make a difference. And then there was no looking back.
When I started Eeksaurus in 2009, my team at FHA followed me in daring support of the new studio. Fortunately, projects poured in. Every project had been challenging and no stone remained unturned when it came to providing innovative solutions. The most compelling project I recall was our maiden one for Usha Sewing Machines. Our artists tried their hands on the sewing machine first to see what the machines could do, how they behaved on different raw materials, before defining the textile products that would feature in the film and the animated moments that one sees.
Year 2015 saw us bagging the highly coveted ‘Annecy Cristal’ award - considered the Oscar for animation - the first for India, for our animated film ‘Fateline’ for Rotary that focuses on the bondage of child labour broken by the strength of collaboration. Currently, our animated short film, ‘Fisherwoman and Tuk-Tuk’ is travelling around the world, making it to the selections of prestigious film festivals and winning awards. This 15-minute animated short won the National award last year under the ‘Best animation film’ category.
Through our effective narrative and designcentric approach, we have brought in innovation in our films that have enabled brands to break free from the clutter, while simultaneously developing our own original content that positions Indian animation globally in a whole new light. The Eeksaurus dream already seems like a reality. Still a long way to go, but it feels good to know we are on the right track.