Category Archives: Highlights

Music: “Tashi” – Original Score

I’m very excited to bring you the original score I composed and produced for Vivek Singh Sangwan’s short film “Tashi.”

If you can listen to only one track, make it “A Letter to Buddha (End Titles).”

“Tashi” tells the story of a Tibetan boy who seeks out Buddha to ask him a difficult question.

Of all the film/video game scores I’ve done over the last few months (which I will share in due course), this is the project I’m most proud of because Vivek and I worked together very honestly, and with openness to each others’ different approaches. We ran through many different versions of the music until we found the kind of tone he was looking for. The music had to have a presence without stepping over the naturalism of the film. We also decided early on that we would give Tashi a primary theme, which you will find recurring throughout the score, evolving. You can even hear a very rudimentary version of it in “First Demo.”

I’ll share the film here as soon as it’s publicly available.

Please share the score if you think it’s worth it!

UPDATE: People, a trailer!

Okaasama Otousama – A Picture Book

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Okaasama Otousama.

So this is exciting news! I illustrated a children’s book as part of my internship with Tulika Publishers, and it’s now for sale! My first published book.

The book, written by author Sandhya Rao, is “a joyful tribute to multilingualism that says Mother and Father in 18 different languages – from Japanese to Kikuyu, Spanish to Finnish, Tulu to Tagalog.”

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Amma Appa (Tamil).
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A spread from the book. Nana Baba (Kikuyu) and Baba Aai (Marathi).
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Detail.

A lot of research went into accurately depicting all kinds of details, from patterns and motifs on clothing to environments and facial features.

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Thanthey Thaayi (Kannada).
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The print.
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A spread from the book.
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Mami Papi (Spanish) and Matri Patri (Sicilian).

My goal was to sensitively portray the similarities and differences among families from all over the world, with a keen awareness of the fact that my images could possibly be a child’s introduction to this multitude of ethnicities and cultures. It was important to me that I depict this variety of cultures in a fun way that acknowledged their various differences without stereotyping or exaggerating anything, intentionally or unintentionally.

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Aana Aata (Azeri Latin).
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Matka Tata (Polish).

I’m happy to report that the print of the books being sold on stands is just beautiful. I’ve never seen my work in print reflect my original illustrations this well.

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Some of the final pages.

You can buy a copy of the book at this link!

And if you’re interesting in looking at rough sketches, works-in-progress and rejected artwork, go to this page.

Maximum Metropolis – An Experimental Film

A much too formal description of the film:

“Maximum Metropolis” is an experimental film that aims to encapsulate a variety of responses one could have to urban Bangalore.

The audio design of the film is a coalescence of sound recordings and original musical compositions. Some of the sounds were created utilizing and manipulating the sounds of objects that one finds in the quintessential Indian urban space—plastic bottles, staplers, pill bottles, to name a few. Also in the mix are ambient sounds of such spaces; schools, supermarkets, urban and suburban neighborhoods.

The composition is comprised of three movements:

The first, “Cat in Concrete” is a microcosm of that sensation one sometimes experiences when overwhelmed by the cacophony in an urban space. The movement conjures up a domestic cat, lost in the terrifying concrete jungle that is the city of Bangalore.

“Sweaty Uniforms” transposes the listener to the quieter public urban spaces, to the schools, to the parks, and eventually settles into the sunset of the day.

Preceded by a brief conversation with an elderly man, “Family Bonfires” celebrates the more pleasant, more private moments of an urban lifestyle; the moments born out of human interactions. Chats, arguments, laughter, contact and song. Human voices are the key instrument here, but they have been reversed, for what is being said is less important here than how it is being said.

Illustrations: Roger Ebert’s “The Thinking Molecules of Titan” (36 pieces)

Before he died, Roger began writing “The Molecules of Titan”, a story about space exploration set in part at his beloved University of Illinois. He never got a chance to finish it. In the spirit of Roger’s belief in crowd participation, RogerEbert.com is holding a contest to help complete the story.

I was offered the job of illustrating the stories, 33 in number.

One of my goals with these was to have as wide a range of styles as possible, since the stories were all so diverse. Also, I didn’t want it to get boring, both for viewers and for myself.

And so here are all of the finished illustrations, plus two that I had illustrated for Roger’s original story and an additional unused one. Links to the RogerEbert.com pages with the endings and my accompanying illustrations are in the descriptions of each of the images. Also in each description is a little note on the illustration.

For loads of extra images, including early sketches, unused illustrations, variants, etc., click here.

 

Film: “Steven Spielberg – Animated Tribute” (2012)

 

An animated tribute to my hero, filmmaker Steven Spielberg. You’ve probably seen the films featured in this movie already, but if you haven’t, you really should.

Rotoscoped frame by frame on Adobe Flash CS5, composited and edited on Sony Vegas Pro 12. Backgrounds created on Adobe Photoshop CS5. Music by John Williams

This short film was featured in one of my pieces for the Far-Flungers section of RogerEbert.com, along with an article in which I explain my admiration for Spielberg and the reasons why I consider him my hero. Amazingly, Spielberg happened to see my short film there and hand-wrote me a letter in response. He ended his letter with these words: “I’ll be looking out at the horizon to see where next you will emerge– and impress.”

For more on this film and the letter, click here.

Book: “Follow That Crow!” (2012)

Prakash’s toy monkey, Moki, is taken from him by a crow. How far can Prakash go to rescue his only friend in the world?

A storybook I made for a project at college, the Storybook Lab. Our aim is to re-evaluate stereotypical notions of creating content for children who go to government and budget-private schools, and to design a collection of well-crafted storybooks that make the experience of reading enjoyable and meaningful.

The illustrations are pencil drawings which were scanned and then digitally colored.

For concept art, character designs, style experiments, et al, click here.

“It’s beautiful! Lovely story, and it looks great. Congratulations.”
          – Nina Paley, maker of “Sita Sings the Blues”

“This book is inspired. You are going places.”
          – Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize winning writer

Film: “A Conversation” (2012) (5 mins.)

A coming-of-age tale of boy sees girl.

Starring college mates, shot by a good friend of mine Najeeb Khalid, and directed and edited by me, the film was completed in under a week on a zero budget. Maitreya Mer plays a teenage boy who, while waiting for a bus, has “a conversation” with a girl on the other side of the road (Sandhya Visvanathan).

It’s a first for me in many ways: First script, first team effort, first non-fancy-visual-effects movie, first high definition film (shot with a Canon 60D).

Film: “Pieces” (2012)

 

An experimental film, presented in reversed slow-mo, “Pieces” is the first of my films to feature an entirely original soundtrack (I composed the music piece, titled “Mia’s Lullaby”, on FL Studio). Fun fact: The car featured in the film now rests in about ten pieces.

“So very good! A subtle, powerful narrative.”

-Roger Ebert on “Pieces”

Book: “GLASSES” (2011)

“Heartbreaking… and heartwarming. Subtle and powerful while seeming so simple. The prose and art work is flawless and so moving.”

– Roger Ebert on “Glasses”

My newest work is this graphic novel (or children’s book, rather) which tells a deeply personal story; a young boy explores his late father’s room for the first time in his life and has an important revelation.

Read “Glasses” in its entirety below. Make sure you check it out on full-screen.