Famously known as ‘story teller’, the prolific animation film maker and founder of ‘STUDIO EEKSAURUS’ – an acclaimed animation studio – Suresh Eriyat, paints a beautiful picture of his journey through time, starting right from his childhood days till date. By SOPHIA CHRISTIE PRABAKAR
Raised in Tripunithura, a small town outside Kochi in Kerala, Suresh Eriyat discovered his artistic talents during his school-going days. He initially wasn’t inclined towards animation for a career since it wasn’t as promising and rewarding as the IT industry at that time. However, fate intervened and drew him back to the field of animation and he got trained at the National Institute of Design.
It was the year 1998, and animation was just emerging in the country. The beginning of Suresh’s career was marked when he joined hands with the ‘Famous Studios’ in Mumbai to start an animation division, which aimed to create content based on Indian mythology and history. After intense learning, training and work experience, and combating major ups and downs, the talented animator set out to start, his own animation outfit called ‘Studio Eeksaurus’ along with his wife, the love of his life, who worked in the same field as him.
As a team of youngsters Eeksaurus caters to a variety of media platforms covering the digital, cinema, Web, TV, and mobile mediums and shows immense interest in taking up interesting projects. Their very first, most acclaimed work was ‘Google Tanjore’, which was Google’s early breakthrough in India. He also ensures Eeksaurus’ to be of a quality that’s worth being inspired from, thereby, motivating people to create interesting outputs.
There are various techniques in animation – there’s claymation, skeletal or rigged animation, etc. When asked about the kind he prefers the most, he says that he finds hand-drawn frames to be the most desirable amongst various other forms and techniques that are present. He says, “drawing using hands reflect a person’s soul in that piece of work and when you pour your heart into your work, the results are always great”.
When asked why animation is not quite preferred to regular movies, he says “Animation even today is considered to be for kids. It is replaced with the term ‘cartoon’ which puts a kiddish spin on it and hinders its growth and market. Animation is more of a communication and time is an aspect that proves to be a challenge in this field. It calls for more talented people on board, which spikes up the cost of work”.
It is a known fact that every work attracts criticism, which forms a major part of one’s success and failure. When
asked about his critic, interestingly enough, he says that his daughter Ananya is his biggest critic ever. Coming to his inspirations, he utters Hayao Miyazaki’s name, who’s been consistently making great projects. He also said that he’s been trying to make more of his kind of movies in India.
Having done over 350 ad films and won over 100 national and international awards, Suresh’s works have been recognised internationally. According to him, the biggest award ever received was in the year 2015 for the child labour movie ‘Fateline’. He has also won several special prizes. His recent animation, ‘Fisherwoman and TukTuk’, has won 15 international awards among 30 nominations within six-seven months of the movie’s release. “Japan being the head office of animation, has been accepting our films and recognising it on a global platform which is a major part of success, and a small step towards greater achievements”, he says.
Suresh’s strength, he says, is his ability to produce creative designs in a short span of time irrespective of the intensity of pressure he’s put under and his weakness as his habit of getting too attached to his projects, which in turn sometimes, takes the focus off the objective. When asked about the current day scenario of animation, he says it’s gaining momentum and sounded affirmative, giving hope to several aspiring animators in the country.