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A Drawing of 2070 | An Interview with Rituparno Maity

Interviewed by Rich Monetti

Cult Critic- What kind of projects did you do in the corporate world?

Rituparno Maity- I have been working in the corporate world for the last eighteen years. I started at “Net Guru Systems” (Animation department) as a “Character designer”. I have worked on e-learning projects in Mumbai for two years as an illustrator. Later, I worked as a storyboard artist, illustrator, background designer, concept artist, drawing artist, prop designer and eventually 2d animator from various companies and animation studios. I worked at “RD Bansal studio” for a full length animation 3D movie and “Eye Creation Studio” for cartoon network’s “HTDT” projects as an animator. 

Cult Critic-What was the impetus to branch out from your corporate experience to make 2D animation films for the world to see?

Rituparno Maity- Actually I learnt animation in the corporate sector. I completed my BVA and MVA from Government College of Art and craft (under C.U.-2000). At that time I had knowledge of character drawing, composition, perspective, color and tonal sense but no idea about animation. I just learnt animation from different books and tutorials and applied it to my work during office projects and I got good results and great feedback from various employers all over the world. I completed a few good projects alone like “King Quad Bike”, “Delta Line”, “Covid campaign”, “Fun Miles”, “Drill soft projects”, Music video “9mm” successfully. These are the energy boosters to create something for a new world. I think this is the time to create something independently.

Cult Critic-What personal experience or experiences led you to make 2070?

Rituparno Maity- Today’s world depends on the technology that man has invented and advanced over thousands of years. The rate at which technology has advanced has made life almost unidentical from what life was like even a century ago. But I observed many more changes in our everyday life in the last 5-10 years. The children keep distance from the playground, people keep distance from social gatherings, many people are not interested in married life, sometimes they depend on surrogacy, increase of divorce, addiction with gadgets etc.Technology has benefited a lot of people. Man exploited nature and invented new technology for his own comfort and safety. But a section of people enjoyed the comfort with a conservative criticize. So these experiences helped me to create a movie about our future world.

Cult Critic-In this film, we really see the convenience and facilitation that technology can provide. What kind of life skills do we lose as human beings when things are so easy?

Rituparno Maity- We will come to a virtual life. Life will become so fast and we will lose our patience, liberality, tolerance, magnanimity, learning efficiency etc. We will lose society gatherings, family gatherings, party, celebration etc. We always depend on technology and science.

Cult Critic-How then is this couple (and the rest of us) less prepared to succeed in a relationship?

Rituparno Maity- After almost 50 years the relationship became easier for this couple. They were involved with many more relationships in their teen age. The only burden is when they think about a serious relationship to stay together for long and convey it to their next generation. They are not less prepared but may wait for a ritual malpractice for a few days.

Cult Critic-Technology speeds up what we are able to accomplish but does it make more difficult?

Rituparno Maity- Technology speeds up in our everyday life. We are also being habituated with the updated technology and science. We get a lot of conveniences and facilities but there is also some inconveniences. Man goes far for each other. They depend on virtual interaction instead of social gathering, parties, celebration etc. Children are addicted to mobile, video games and many other gadgets which harm their life and lose their patience, tolerance, sympathy even composure.

Cult Critic-Older people are probably quick to point out these problems. But how much do you think young people relate and also lament all the convenience and facilitation?

Rituparno Maity- Older people have passed through two generations. They have enjoyed life with and without virtual life. From experience they can choose well for their safety and morality. But at that time the new generation had no idea, no experience and no choice about a life without advanced technology. So they easily took up the new technology and became habituated with that new world and that is their normal life.

Cult Critic-How much background research did you do in terms of both talking to people and online investigation? What did you learn, and how did it impact your original vision?

Rituparno Maity- I spoke with some individuals before starting this storyboard. I am from Govt. Art College and I spoke to the new generation students. In our college life we have involvement with nature to create sketches, drawing or painting. Outdoor study was very important to us. But nowadays the students depend on the internet, new gadgets, photographs, videos etc. The involvement and relation with nature decrease to the new generation. Also Elon Musk’s new inventions and gadgets surprise me and the global market with his innovative AI products and services. Elon Musk’s innovative company Tesla has completed a Tesla giga factory in China where the production of electric vehicles will start officially from 2021. His invention also helped me to create a new world and impact on my original vision.

Cult Critic-How do you decide which animation and art forms to use as you progress to the finished product?

Rituparno Maity- I watched a few futuristic movies and I observed that the designs are new and run in a new way with different shapes. The design of the building structures became simple, bold with geometrical shapes. So I just reflected those shapes and designs in an art form on my compositions.

Cult Critic-The music sounds appropriately digital and futuristic. So what was the process of getting the music department to get the sound you wanted?

Rituparno Maity- Avijit Kundu was the music composer for this movie. We know that this is an important role in my story. At first we studied various types of futuristic music. We ran different types of music with my animatic and Jaydeep Das created a rough background music. We created a suggestion music for the composer. Avijit is extremely experienced and an expert in adding timbres, tones, rhythms and melody to hint at the elements of animated works. Avijit did an excellent job and nailed it in his first attempt. 

Cult Critic-How does animation allow you to examine this issue in a manner in which traditional film can’t?

Rituparno Maity- There are few restrictions on traditional films. How can you show a different futuristic city, a flying train, a flying two wheeler in a traditional movie? How can you morph a character to different shapes or another character? How do you show a virtual world without the help of animation? Animation is essential and easy to create a fantasy world.

Cult Critic-There’s a lot of geometry in the presentation. What are you trying to show in that regard?

Rituparno Maity- We are at a stage where architecture can serve as more than just a building. Architecture itself is a piece of art. Designers have been working at the intersection of ideas & trends inspired by culture. We observe the futuristic world becoming bold with geometric designs. The designs are too simple as per their requirements. So I accomplish my drawings with geometry shapes and simple shapes.

Cult Critic-A lot of purple and blue with dashes of green, yellow and red, how do the colors help tell the story?

Rituparno Maity- I made a color palette in pre-production to tell the story and completely change the mood of the scene entirely. This is a futuristic movie and everything comes from my imagination. I used Blue for a peaceful, cleanliness, stability, inspiration, wisdom and truthful nature it reflects, Purple that creates a sense of fantasy, futuristic, infinity world. These color dashes green, yellow, red and the other colors can guide the viewer’s eyes to what’s important in the scene. The colors used can reflect the psychological and physiological changes of the characters, express the theme of the animation and my feelings.

Cult Critic-How come we only see these two people?

Rituparno Maity- We are watching only two people and a maximum of ten people travelling in a big train. Many of the people engaged in work from home for a huge development of technology. So no need to rush for an office job all day. The robot and technology will do the rest of the jobs.

Cult Critic-At the moment, how close are we to this world?

Rituparno Maity- We are close but not too close to this world.  It took time the way I portray Kolkata. In the first scene we see Victoria Memorial and Second Hooghly Bridge but the surrounding buildings and structures are built in a planned way and totally changed into a smart city. The two wheeler suddenly came from the air and vanished with a small click. A girl creates a robot in a second that works almost like a human being. I think these took around 40 to 50years.

Cult Critic-What impact do you hope the film has on people who see it?

Rituparno Maity- Technology and science has infiltrated our everyday life. People will see that the conveniences and facilities have come to our society. Life became more easy and technology and science developing day to day, we see a different world.

Cult Critic-How much thought and passion went into creating the intensity of emotion in the Love Ghost Video (9MM)?

Rituparno Maity- “9mm” was a music video which goes inside the mind of a high school shooter. We know that this is an epidemic in U.S. high school students.Yes, this was really a tough job to portray the frustration, loneliness, isolation of the students in animation. We change our storyboard many times and use black and white to establish the dark world and disappointment of the students. We put ourselves in the mind of a shooter, to try and understand their mental state and other factors that contribute to their rage.

Cult Critic-What was it like to get inside the head of a potential school shooter to create this video?

Rituparno Maity-Finn Bell was the writer of this video who was a high school student. He and his generation, all struggle with loneliness, isolation, and not knowing how to connect with the rest of the world. Mental health is a struggle for most of them. Their access to guns is too easy. He wrote this video in the place of anger, frustration and disappointment. They have no answer but need to change and begin a conversation towards healing.

Cult Critic-What’s it like to be recognized with awards after such a short time making films and which one gives the most pride?

Rituparno Maity-Yes, this is a mesmerizing and enchanting moment to select as a winner from any festival. My movie was selected for four winning entries at various festivals.  “Jean Luc Goddard Award” was the best achievement so far. This is really special for me because this is my debut in the industry.

 

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