Friday, December 26, 2014

Tag Line for Puppetica

After a long search for what Puppetica Media should stand for, we found an apt line given by Jagadguru, the saint of Kanchi - which extolls the virtues of friendship and harmony. Puppetica Media will stand for "Shreya Booyaath Sakala Janaanaam - Let all experience bliss". Feeling blessed.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

More good news in the last weeks of 2014

One of the most exciting years in my life personally and for those 100s who are supporting one of the unique projects - a crowdsourced Sanskrit animated feature film. What started as a dream in early 2014 has been developed into a script and storyboard. With support from the best minds and institutions around the world. I could not have asked for more.

It has been a week of joy and work as more teams experessed their support for the movie. What is keeping us busy? A feature in Kannada press, the original language in which the folksong became popular. And an interview with the Independent Film Makers group in Chennai. More friends pledging support for the movie. And more support from my mentors. We now have someone to advise on legal issues. And a dynamic portion of the website is getting coded this week. Work on animatics for Act 3 is moving at a good pace. Each passing day brings more good news and faith. Collectively, one shot at a time, we will make this happen.

I may squeeze in a trip to Kerala to meet the studios there. The first month of 2015 is going to be hectic as well. I am visiting London and there is a likely trip to Bhubaneswar as well. February may see another workshop on Punyakoti in Chennai and Bangalore. We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How much will it cost to make PUNYAKOTI?

Many ask me how much it will cost to make Punyakoti. The estimates keep varying as we are receiving support in cash and kind. Some of the talent we have received are the best in the market and they are coming absolutely free.

A funding mechanism that I am thinking is simple. If a 1000 India loving families give INR 1000 or about USD 40  - perhaps what they would spend on a dinner or a cinema or a joyride - every month for the next one year, the dream can easily be accomplished. We can pay off the studios, artists, online storage, artists etc. without any hassle.

All they need to do is to start a standing instruction with a bank. I already have about 10 people who have promised to do that. I just need another 990 to make Punyakoti happen, if you know someone who can do this, please share this post. In return, we can arrange for 10 premium tickets for the contributors and their friends once the movie is released.

We are also working to enable a PayPal button and online form to fulfill this. Given the limited bandwidth of the team, this is taking longer than usual. Will update everyone when this is done. Let me know f you have an alternate idea, after all we are all in it together. Until then, you can use the bank account details given below.

Account Name: Puppetica Media
Company Address: E-10, Industrial Estate, Guindy, Chennai 600032, India
Account Number: 00000067285964950
Bank: State Bank of Travancore
Branch: Ashok Nagar, Chennai – 70988
Bank Address: Gth B & C, 12th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai 600083, India
IFSC Code: SBTR0000988
MICR No.: 600009029

The making of Freak Of The Week

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics joins hands with Team Punyakoti

This is truly becoming a project of the nation. When we conceived the project, and I was asked to lead the initiatiave, I was apprehensive about all of these would come together. But by god's grace, things are falling in place, one by one.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The making of 'Chaar Shahibzaade'


Tucked away inside the residential 'Mains and Crosses' of Indiranagar is Varnam, a social enterprise that works with the women in Channapatna to give a contemporary interpretation to the traditional craft. Using high quality materials, this boutique shop is for the true connoisseurs of handmade craft.

Had a interesting chat with Karthik Vaidyanathan who found Varnam at the store in Indiranagar. If the website is bewitching, you should go to the store. Fell in love with the work. Both my kids went berserk.

Highly recommended. Karthik and I agreed to collaborate on the merchandising aspects of the movie. Karthik also does excellent product photography as well. All this along with his day job. Isn't that awesome? Truly someone who has allowed his passion to use him. Salute Karthik.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lots of work, so little time...the November Diary and December Plan

  1. November was a beehive of activities - visit to IDC, media mentions and interviews, initiating the music production and getting one 3 minute sequence off the ground.
  2. Work on the online store and payment gateway begins. Have reached out to a friend of mine to take over the store aspects of Punyakoti.
  3. Work on breaking down the movie into smaller segments (inside a scene) is making good progress. This allows for better grouping and planning production. This will be a big talking point on 30 November. This came as a fallout during my meeting with the faculty at IDC 2 weeks back.
  4. 30th November, a group of animators are meeting at the Press Club to see how we can take portions of the work on layout and animatics to the next stage. Hoping to complete animatics for 5 scenes in December. We have about 20 weeks to get there by April 2015.
  5. December, I will be in KIIT, Bhubaneswar and am planning to share the project with the students and faculty there. My dream is to request KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences) to be part of the Punyakoti project. Wish me luck.
  6. December will also see the characters design completed and work on the movie style comic book begin in right earnest.
  7. Work on merchandising will start in December.

First what?

There was a healthy debate about the FIRST in the First Sanskrit Animated Movie last week. Yes, it is the first, no dobut and it will generate some interest because of that. But what is more important about Punyakoti is the attempt to crowdsource content from various studios and animators. The platform for showing the movie's progress and planning on the website ( is also a novel experiment. The fact that we want to publish the written musical scores is a novelty. The fact that we are doing all of it is not to get some cheap publicity or curiosity is also a first! Then why are we doing it - to genuinely kickstart a trend of collaboration using the connected social nature of the Internet. It is more challenging and full of hurdles, but it is also a journey of discovery and fulfillment. Punyakoti should go beyond just another Sanskrit movie experiment. It should touch a chord in the audience and help kids connect with the language, heritage and pride in our culture. Time will tell.

Media Coverage - Thanks

The last couple of weeks saw a flurry of media coverage for Punyakoti. The article in the Hindu generated the most engagement with responses around the world. Online magazines covered us as well. Thankful to all my friends in media for the postive mentions. And all our contributors. Now we are confident of taking the film to through pre-production by April 2015. Please continue to share with friends.

More than 45 people from different parts of india have signed up to support the pre-production of Punyakoti in various capacities in the last one week. I am humbled.

Phone calls from the media and well wishers are pouring in since there was an article in the Hindu. A student offered to give 1111 Rupees for the project. It is instances like this that touch me. Gandhi's words, "Find purpose, the means will follow" keeps echoing in my ears.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Punyakoti at IDC, IIT - B

At the IDC Auditorium on 11th November - explaining the design behind the movie project. Very humbled by the receptiveness among the students. We have to make project successful to enable further experiments in the domain. What if this model can trigger experiments in creating content for farmers or schoolkids. I am already excited at the possibilities.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reading 'The Director's Mind' by Ujjal Chakraborty

Am reading this brilliant book by Ujjal. Have finished 7 chapters. Inspiring and detailed. Based on the work of masters like Ray. Pather Panchali seems to be the textbook for Ujjal. Covers several aspects like characterisation, dialogues, editing, music, location, shot selection, costumes etc.

Ray has been an inspiration for long for me, especially his Gopi Gayen Bhaga Bayen - Remember watching the movie on a Sunday on a national telecast. The movie left an indelible impression on me. There have been modern attempt and even an animated version recently. The original B&W version by the master is still fresh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Funds and Support Trickle In

Have started getting the first mails on helping to produce the movie from people whom I have not seen in my life. Am so touched by the gestures. That I am left with a huge sense of responsibility and gratitude. Work is progressing on the first glimpses of the movie. And the launch of the website in November. Prashant, one of the first investor.

Displaying cover2.png

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Work on Trailer begins

After a lot of back and forth, Girish and I started work on the trailer of the movie. From what I see on the storyboard, I am positive that we will be able to give a taste of the movie soon. All shots are well through through. This is my third trailer script.

The FIRST The BEST Campaign receives a 1000 views in a day

Thanks all for making this a successful post. Need your ideas and support now.

Campaign to solicit support from the animators community

Our First Campaign to raise money for the project

This video is my inspiration.

Punyakoti, the picture book....

The final touches for the website published by Partridge Publishing. Soon the book and movie project has to be tied together. Thanks to the constant guidance from the self publishing arm of Penguin that is helping me get my head around the marketing of a book. Learning the ropes slowly. So many of my friends are waiting for the Indian edition so that it becomes affordable. The illustrations from Gujjar and the colouring / layout by Binesh are a treat to watch.

The website at last...

Managed the first version of the website for the movie project Punyakoti. Thanks to Girish for conceiving the design in a unique style that brings out the ethnic flavour very well. There are still lots of corrections to make. But all the same the journey has begun.

It is almost 9 months since we started putting together the pieces together. First was the facebook page in January. Next was some dummy pages in the website.

Work on the resources page is crucial as there will be a mini application inside that will allow the teams to collaborate. Looking forward to some help from my dear friends for this.