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Doordarshan to Disney: Norman Joseph’s incredible journey

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Los Angeles, Nov 22 : Norman Joseph worked as a child artiste on Doordarshan for seven years, and is now lending his creative genius to Disney animated films like “Zootopia”, “Moana”, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Frozen 2”.

“When I was in India, I never thought I would work for Disney animation. It is an amazing piece of my life…working for a company with such a rich history, and which is creating amazing movies that go around the world. It is awesome,” Joseph told IANS at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank.

“Growing up was very different for me. I worked as a child artiste on a show on Doordarshan for seven years, and didn’t think that I will go into computer graphics or will do computer engineering. I created a game. I liked it and that stuck with me. Then I thought, let’s try something different. I never knew when I started doing computer graphics that I will end up working at Disney,” said Joseph, who was born and raised in Mumbai.

He received his Bachelor of Engineering from Mumbai University and his Master of Science in Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University. At Walt Disney Animation Studios, he works as a technical director and is responsible for providing support to artist teams, including writing tools, facilitating the computer generated animation process and acting as a liaison to the software developers.

Why didn’t he pursue his career in acting? “It’s basically how much you put into it. Right? I didn’t put more time into being an artist. I put more time into computer graphics and enjoyed that,” he said.

He began his career with Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2013 on the Oscar-winning film “Big Hero 6”. In the recent time, he worked as general technical director on “Frozen 2”, sequel of 2013 hit film. It is slated to release in India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on November 22.

Joseph feels “Disney Animation has the responsibility to create content that makes the world better.”

“We make content that goes on to touches people’s hearts, and create content that will give a message that will make the world a better place. We have the entire audience, and we can do something like this. It can change people’s thinking.”

How will the animation industry change? “I feel that the technology will keep on changing the animation industry. We used to draw on paper before. Now, we are doing on a computer. It really depends on where the technology goes. That’s very important.”

The world of the west is openly discussing ways to increase diversity at workplace. And Joseph notes that he works in a very diverse place.

“My department is very diverse. We have people from all over the world. I think it’s almost near 50/50 split within male and female in my department. What does diversity mean? It basically means that you are getting different perspectives, and that makes your movie-making process better.”

At the moment, he is working on another animated movie, but can’t reveal any details about it.

(Sugandha Rawal was in Los Angeles at the invitation of Disney India. She can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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