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Indian in hollywood

entertainment Updated: Jul 31, 2010 14:41 IST
Nikhil Taneja
Nikhil Taneja
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Movie mogul George Lucas’ animated TV Series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars that launched recently in India on the channel WB, has an Indian connect.

One of the animators working on the TV series is Ranchi’s Akanksha Sahu. A computer engineer from BITS Mesra, she moved to the US to pursue a degree in computer animation.

Star Wars AnimationsAfter working for three years at Electronic Arts (EA), she joined Lucasfilm Animation three years ago, and has been working on The Clone Wars since. "At EA, I worked on games like The Godfather and Lord of the Rings before I joined The Clone Wars series," Sahu says.

Dream job
“But my true passion was film and television. The Star Wars episodes were amongst the movies that inspired me to get into animation, so I applied for the open position for Animation Tools programmer at Lucasfilm Animation. Luckily, I got my dream job!”

Having grown up in an environment with extremely limited access to television, Sahu’s definitely come a long way. And she feels that her Indian background has been an advantage in her profession.

“I was always interested in art but it was not considered a serious profession in my family,” Sahu recalls. “In college I was introduced to computer graphics and decided to take up a career in animation.

“Having both a creative and technical background I feel I can contribute to the industry by bridging the gap between artistes and programmers.”

Challenging show
Speaking on the Clone Wars series, which chronicles the adventures of Anakin Skywalker and other Star Wars characters against the dark side through mini movies, the animator says the show’s been a “challenge”.

“The series keeps getting bigger, bolder and more intense. From the expanded story lines and fierce battles to the elaborate animation, everything is getting larger. But we have a great technical and creative team who bring the show to life.”

Working with Lucas
Ask her how it’s working with legendary director Lucas, and she replies, “It’s a privilege to work in the same studio as him. He is usually around to provide creative input. I have to admit I was star-struck when I first saw ‘The’ George Lucas walking casually in the corridor outside our office!”