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Infusing Life to 'Life of Pi'

Infusing Life to Life of Pi
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If the roaring and growling of Richard Parker (rings a bell? He was the tiger companion of Pi in 'Life of Pi') made you jump off the seat while...

If the roaring and growling of Richard Parker (rings a bell? He was the tiger companion of Pi in 'Life of Pi') made you jump off the seat while watching the movie; it might be of interest to know that the spectacular animation was done by Hyderabad-based animator Shuchi Singhal, and her team from 'Rhythm and Hues'

Purnima Sriram

life of pi

There was an era when a woman's world revolved around her kitchen. However, with passing times, the scenario changed with women moving out of her house to work. And as we progress into 21st century, women are creating history in the male dominant world. Now, there is no field where a woman has not marked her presence. Don't be surprised if you find them being a pilot, an electric train driver, a CEO, a business woman, a journalist and also an animator. Earlier, there were only a few fields where women were allowed to work and flourish, but now, women have left men behind and created records. There is one such woman who has created history in the field of animation which is said to be a male dominated field.

Even as male chauvinists stand wondering the way women are flying planes and going to space, the women folk continue to make inroads in most unlikely areas. Shuchi Singhal, a lead animator in 'Rhythm and Hues', an animation company in Hyderabad was recently felicitated by Claire Calosci, International Director General of the NGO Aide-et-Action for her work in the Oscar winning movie 'Life of Pi'.

After completing her schooling from India International School, Jaipur, Shuchi studied Bachelor's of Fine Arts (BFA) from College of Arts, New Delhi. "I was always interested in arts and creative activities. I studied animation course simultaneously with my graduation from Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics, Delhi," she adds.

Having done her graduation in Delhi, she moved to Hyderabad to work for 'Rhythm and Hues' in 2008. "Initially, I worked as a trainee and gradually I strived to become the lead animator. I am one now," she shares with a sense of achievement in her voice.

suchitha singualHer first project as the lead animator (animating one of the protagonists, a tiger, and other few characters in 'Life of Pi') made into the Oscars. When asked about her journey while the making of the project, she said, she had the best experience ever. "It was challenging as it was complicated to make the tiger look real. Being the lead animator, the responsible was mine. I had four to five people working under me and I had to lead them. I made sure, my team works under a conducive, pressure free environment. We worked hard as a team and the hard work paid off," she says.

"My team and I gave life to the tiger. We were responsible for animating it. Almost 15 to 20 sequences were done by us. Mostly, the boat scenes. Apart from the tiger, we animated few fishes too. The opening sequence and credit sequence with the zoo animals were also worked upon under my leadership. Winning the Oscar was a great feeling. It was a bowled over feeling when we received international appreciation. I wanted to prove that quality animations can be done in India too, and I proved it," she shares with happiness.

Apart from being the lead animator, she is also a volunteer for an NGO, Aide-et-Action, where she works on projects for the empowerment of women. "I made projects on providing quality education to girls and also their development. I want to see more women coming up in various sectors which are male dominant," she says.

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