An Animator Nobel Aung shares the journey of finding himself in the fantasy dreamworld of Myanmar’s animation panorama.
A butterfly wings into no direction, a boy chasing it desperately as if in a surrealistic world—the Big Bag’s hit of Thadi Ya Tal (Grounded) will give you a familiar scene about the award winning music film by Pencell Studio at the Ringerike International Youth Film Festival 2018 in Norway.
Nobel Aung, the art director of Pencell Studio co-founded the workplace with his brother Nyan Kyal Say in 2017. As a son of renowned cartoonist Aw Pi Kyal, cartoons are no strangers to him.
“My father taught me how to animate videos since I was young and I improve through self-studies then,” says Nobel. On a personal note, Nobel is friendly and blessed with a great sense of humour as the personalities of most of his cartoon characters.
He recounts his life before Pencell Studio, “I worked as a programmer after studying information technology. I was pretty lost at first and I had to slow down, take some time to find myself.”
Then he quickly realized himself as a cartoonist and he was already running Joosk Studio with four of his friends in 2014. A year later, they started a comic series that tells about a group of college students and their incidents in a comedic way–Gwen University which got joyful reactions among young netizens but sadly due to the numerous reasons, he move out from Joosk Studio in 2016. At that time, he didn’t want to do any commercial stuff.
Roughly another year after the foundation of Pencell Studio, the team dropped their masterpiece Thadi Ya Tal music video, which catapulted the two brothers to stardom.
“We work as a team on every project. My brother deserves most credit scores since he was the director and he gave all of his compassions and imaginations for the piece. In the other hand, I hafted the animation process with three other members,” he committed.
As a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki, a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Nobel admits he is extensively inspired by Japanese art style. “We need our own creativity which is not just an art, also a storytelling screenplay.”
As animated films are expensive and for one second of action, an animator has to produce at least 24 pictures at the same time. “On the accounts of producing full-length animated films, you may see the credit scenes after an animated film with thousands of animators. Projects like these take three years and we can’t afford a thousand animators for three years!” he declares. Some issue like copyright infringements and lack of sponsorship also count as major obstacles for the development of animated films, he adds.
The studio now run with 30 members, steering high-profile projects include promo animations for the Asean University Games 2018 hosted by Myanmar for the first time, and JCGV Cinemas’ messenger bot and a new music video.
“You have to know that doing everything solo isn’t a good idea, especially when it comes to animation. If you want to finish a project fast, you can do it yourself. But if you want to do more than one project, work with a team,” Nobel agreed.
Check the music video below.