Incessantly, our global climate is changing for the worse. Black smoke all around is marking the causative pollution, ensuing gradual global warming. News of the melting of ice in the northern hemisphere and the rising of sea level is popping up frequently. Bangladesh is at the very top of the list of countries that are to be affected by this.
The repetitiveness of this news is accepted with similar levels of apathy by the masses. But it has etched a deep cut in the animated world of Mohammed Shihabuddin. His concern is translated here through the lenses of an animator.
Tomorrow, his 3D animation creation captures the importance of climate change and was premiered on Dipto Television last November. This 25-minute long animation piece conveys the message of Mohammed Shihabuddin through the protagonist named ‘Ratul’. What is this important message that has evoked such a creation? Please go through the following story as it delves into the own words of Mohammed Shihabuddin shared with us on today’s episode of Bproperty Bites!
Working on New Ideas
In conversation with us, Mohammed Shihabuddin says. “From the beginning, when I was working with ‘Cycore Studio’, we wanted to do something that hadn’t been tried in the country. Be it visually or in terms of filmmaking, we wanted to do something unseen and unthought of! That is how ‘Tomorrow’ was ideated. Indeed, the overarching response from the audience was that the film was the first of its kind. Although animated short films have been made, this is the first one on climate change.”
Message and Medium
When asked about the choice of medium for his art piece, Mohammed Shihabuddin reasons that trying to imprint a message through a cinema or documentary doesn’t have a lasting impression on people. But, if presented through an animated medium, people across different ages and other barriers are attracted and the message sticks in their memories, leaving them with an afterthought.
The future will bear the brunt of today’s climate change. Thus, the animation was made with the intention to spread relevant information and awareness among people for the future.
The inspiration behind Tomorrow
Tomorrow was never created for commercial purpose but only educational”
Tomorrow had struck a deep chord inside the scriptwriter of the film. According to him, the film should have been made very seriously as this is intended for information in the country and widespread coverage internationally. The film received heartfelt recognition across the country and the globe. Demonstrating an international standard, the film not only has brought climate change to our eyes factually but has also created a statement of change, of dire necessity.
Animation filmmaking is always a continuous teamwork
Amidst the conversation, he suddenly goes on to mention the excellence of his team. We had no clue where we would reach by the end of this, but we knew if we worked alongside each other, the final product would be special. To explain the hardship they took on he gave a funny example of climbing The Himalayas never having seen The Bandarban. Such was the stature of the task!
Those who have seen the film know that The Himalayas have been conquered. He further emphasized the importance of working as a team and finding the balance between individual integrity and collaboration. He also mentioned how crucial the support and motivation of the Producer was. In his words, nothing beats working as a unit.
About the workshop and workspace
He smiles and says he loves to work in isolation, preferably in a corner, which is comfortable for him. Mohammed Shihabuddin functions best when he works his own way; unbothered. He likes to keep the space to his left open. Lastly, spaciousness is also essential for him.
Since there is a lot of computer work and a lot of drawings to be made, a big table is a must. Since I like space, the bigger the table, the better.
The definition of workspace is different for this director. He prefers an artist-friendly environment; upbeat and jovial with the least amount of rigidity.
He wants the workspace to be inclusive for all. In terms of colors, he has a liking for milder tones.
Tomorrow was made two years ago but we became doubtful towards the end”
“Towards the end, we were at a dilemma on how to present Dhaka. Everything we tried seemed a bit Sci-fi, but that is something we wanted to avoid. Simultaneously, we wanted to show Dhaka differently as well.” Talking about Dhaka, he was reminiscent of his days in the department of Fine Arts and how Dhaka has not changed and, hence, will be the same for the days to come.
The stories of Mohammed Shihabuddin, an animator of different tastes, are unending. If you have any questions about climate change, ‘Tomorrow’s Ratul’ has all the answers. Please go and watch the film for your answers! And, comment on whose story you want in the next episode.