Toonz draws vets

Indian animation facility inks Dennis, Peva

Toonz Animation India has tapped former Walt Disney Studios feature animation veep Bill Dennis to serve as CEO of its new digital ink and paint animation studio. Cathy Peva, who was head of production at Fil-Cartoons, has been chosen as studio manager.

Toonz Animation India, owned and backed by the Chandaria family, will host “A Week With the Masters” Nov. 1-5 to focus on pre-production at its facility inside the 180-acre TechnoPark Campus in Trivandrum, where “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” animation director Rob Coleman and veteran Walt Disney layout and background artist Maurice Noble will speak.

The digital facility provides a full range of production services, including layout, background, compositing and editing, among other services. The company also offers pre-production work, including design, color modeling, key backgrounds and key layouts.

The company is not affiliated with Toonz Software.

By the end of the year, Toonz Animation will have 150 artists, of which 45 will be animators. The studio is recruiting artists from India, the Philippines, Singapore and the U.S.

Toonz Animation intends to compete with animation facilities in South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan by offering services up to 40% cheaper at a time when Western studios are looking for Asian partners that can deliver animation on tight schedules and tight budgets.

The facility also is expected to drive the animation industry in India, which has produced very little original production because studios are not equipped or experienced to handle the pre-production process.

Toonz already has secured its first project, a series of 20 commercials for Cartoon Network Asia and hopes to begin production on its first feature in its third year.

Besides Disney, Dennis also served four years as prexy of Philippines-based Fil-Cartoons, a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting, where Peva was head of production for 13 years.

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