Studio 101

Studio 101

“Every day is a milestone”

Chanaka Perera – CEO Studio 101
Starting their unstoppable journey in 2008, Studio 101 has come a long way of providing digital solutions to local and foreign clients. Recently, they came up with the trailer of “Gajaman”, the first digital animated 3D movie in Sri Lanka that is planned to be released in December 2018.

Chanaka Perera, the CEO of Studio 101 had his school education from St. Peter’s College, Colombo. He completed Bachelor’s degree in Filmmaking and Multimedia at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. During the time he was studying in Australia, he was especially interested in Visual Effects. From the age he was doing Ordinary Level Examination, he has had the dream of revolutionizing Sri Lankan movie making industry by taking the lead in making the first digital movie in Sri Lanka.

Being very passionate about filmmaking,
he had to decide whether to come to Sri Lanka or to stay abroad to pursue his dreams. He chose to come to Sri Lanka and do something outstan- ding for the country, which led him and his friends to initiate Studio 101.

Q :

Share with us about the background and the initiation of Studio 101?

A :

My schoolmates John Fonseka, Chamika Jinadasa and myself started Studio 101 in our school days. This is an overall video production and development house which uses Virtual Reality, Augmented
Augmented Reality related technologies.

Studio 101 is a company that started off with a core vision of providing digital solutions to people, highlighting the slogan of Studio 101; “Digital Content Provider under One Roof”. Our clientele consists of multinational companies and local clients. Some of the biggest clients of ours, include Unilever Sri Lanka, United Nations etc. Studio 101 do video productions and game productions. At present we pay more attention to video production and animation. TV commercials production also comes under this category. We haven’t done any independent game productions yet, but we have developed some games for client requests. In fact, we hope to do independent game productions in the future.

Q :

What were your motives to start this journey with an exotic flavor?

A :

Group of my friends was very successful in contributing to the visual effects of the Game of Thrones TV series, winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. That induced the urge in me to create a successful production for the Sri Lankan audience.
to create a successful production for the Sri Lankan audience.There are many motives and reasons behind this successful journey of Studio 101, but what I consider as the most precise and important thing that lead an organization to success is manpower. There are many influencing characters behind the scene. There is a saying in Hollywood, “If there are a good cast and the best crew, can spend the time leisurely”. This is the most motivational and inspirational saying I have heard in the film industry. It helped me to tackle the obstacles and paved the way to success.

Q :

“Gajaman” is the first digital animated 3D movie in Sri Lanka. We witnessed the release of the trailer at Google I/O 2018 extended by Mobitel. Have you received the expected acceptance from the Sri Lankan audience for the trailer?
movie in Sri Lanka. We witnessed the release of the trailer at Google I/O 2018 extended by Mobitel. Have you received the expected acceptance from the Sri Lankan audience for the trailer?

A :

“Gajaman” movie trailer which we released for the first time on that day, became the most popular movie trailer of Sri Lankan movie industry so far. It had over 2 million views through social media. When
days. I used to ask my mother to buy me the paper just to read the cartoon. I think “Gajaman” character reflects the behavior of a typical person in Sri Lankan society, who works for a politician expecting benefits. At some point in our lives, we get to realize that we all are “Gajamans”, who have been cheated and used by politicians, taking advantage of us to achieve their own targets.

Q :

Why did you think of selecting “Gajaman” as the theme for your movie?

A :

“Gajaman” was one of my favorite cartoon characters from childhood. As an individual, I always admired Camillus’s “Gajaman” and that was the only Sinhala cartoon that was published in those days.
When we consider the cumulative statistic figures, we found out that “Gajaman” has reached over 400,000 views on YouTube. Further, before the release of the movie, we are expecting to release a second trailer as well. If all go as planned, the movie will also be released by December 2018.

Q :

Motion Capture Technology is a new technology for Sri Lanka. for
Lanka. Can you brief us on what this Motion Capture Technology really is?

A :

At the beginning, Motion capture technology was a very
new thing for me too. While I was studying further, I realized that it is not a new technology for the Hollywood movie industry anymore. At present, almost all the movies in Hollywood use motion capture technology in many scenes. As an example, creations like Avatar, Deadpool, Tin-Tin, and Jurassic World have made use of this technology extensively.

In a nutshell, what this technology really is feeding actions and behaviors of an actor to a cartoon character. Earlier in the film industry when we did not use this type of technology, we had to program characters for each scene one by one.

To give you an idea, I will explain the technology I have used in “Gajaman”. There were twenty camera systems. Three actors could work inside a room, wearing a black uniform. On that dress, we have located luminous balls in the places we want to capture the motion. When the luminous balls move, motion can be captured using this technology. Then those captured data can be edited using the appropriate software.

Q :

How did you manage to bring this technology to Sri Lanka?

A :

We had to cross many channels in receiving permission in the process of bringing this kind of intensive technology into the country and it happened to cost us a lot too, but Prof. Athula Atigala, a chemistry
cost of such as cameras, lighting items is very high. This can be a challenge for any startup company since they can’t afford the costs.

Q :

What were the technological difficulties faced during the making of this movie?

A :

What I have noticed is, that any modern technology is not distant to Sri Lanka, but the governments are not helping the film industry to develop their productions with the new arrivals of technology. The cost of equipment
When we consider the cumulative statistic figures, we found out that “Gajaman” has reached over 400,000 views on YouTube. Further, before the release of the movie, we are expecting to release a second trailer as well. If all go as planned, the movie will also be released by December 2018.

Q :

How did you initiate the idea of making the “Gajaman” cartoon into a movie?

A :

As we came up with the idea of making a movie out of “Gajaman”, we had to first take permission from Camillus Perera, the cartoonist of “Gajaman”. There have been many people who wanted to make a movie
movie of “Gajaman”, but what Mr. Perera expected had not been fulfilled by those who requested the character earlier. So, we were much ecstatic and overwhelmed with the sense of responsibility at the same time by the approval he gave us in using his creation for our movie. Further, throughout the process of creating the movie, he has guided us when needed to make this effort a success. There was no reluctance from him in using the character as we needed. However, the first sketch of the story was given by Mr. Camillus himself. Later there were many changes in the scenes and the plot in which he supported us completely.
First two Sri Lankan actors who came into our mind, when it comes to dubbing were Chuti Malli and Podi Malli. Chuti malli is the nickname of the renowned Sri Lankan, Mr. Suneth Chithrananda and podi malli is the popular nickname of Mr. Gaminda Priyaviraj. They are the pillars behind the dubbing of “Sura Pappa”, the Sinhala dubbed version of Asterix cartoon by Sirasa TV and many other dubbed
dubbed work. Therefore, they were always in our minds from our childhood as two unforgettable voices. It was naturally our first choice and we are much grateful that they agreed to work with us in making our lifelong dream a reality. They have even directed some of the famous cartoon series in the past two decades. Therefore, their experience in dubbing was much important for us.

We decided to use Chuti Malli as the dubbing artist for the character of Amdan and Podi Malli for the character of “Gajaman”.

With the character of the politician, “Magodis Thuma”, we came up with the idea of using Mr. Sunil Perera as the dubbing artist.

The main role of “Gajaman” was played by Mr. Dasun Pathirana, the uprising Sri Lankan young actor. Throughout the movie, with his performance, he proved us that we have made the best choice by selecting him. He gave us a remarkable influence in making this movie a success. His talent and the acting experiences were much useful for us.

Q :

This is a brand new experience for the actors and the dubbing artists. So, how did they adapt to the situation?

A :

Since it is not a normal movie, the appearance is not important as in a stage drama or a typical movie. An animation movie is a very different thing. All the actors must be good at miming and acting. Fortunately
Fortunately, I was with the best crew of actors who dedicated their time and effort in getting adapted to this new experience. They gave me the support I mostly required during that time.

Q :

How did you do the editing and finishing of the movie?

A :

This was a seven-year-long project which took almost 4 years after the shooting was completed, only to complete the editing of the movie. Further, the total investment we made on this movie exceeds around
around 1 million US Dollars. Since this is a huge project we had to be extra careful in finishing the movie in the expected quality standards. Editing and dubbing the movie, therefore, had to be done carefully.
First the captured data must be taken to an animation software. The motion which was captured by actor movements is sent to the software. Through that application, the noise can be cleaned from the captured data. Afterward, the 3D software can be taken, and the lighting can be
can be done. This was a complex project due to the lack of trained and experienced staff and the few crew members had to do a very careful and thorough job.

Q :

With the launch of “Gajaman” what will be the Future of Studio 101?

A :

We expect that there will be five movies in the upcoming five consecutive years. As we believe, this will be a historic moment in the Sri Lankan movie industry with which we will be able to create a landmark
landmark in the movie creation. With the work we have done for this movie and the dedication shown by our team, we believe we have the capacity to further move forward in the animation movie field.

For the showings of the movie, we are going to inspect film halls around the country. We need to know about the state of them before choosing the proper film circuit to show the “Gajaman” movie.

There is a target to create a game based on “Gajaman” character and the “Gajaman” movie using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality that will give users the experience of the realistic scenes of the movie.

Further, we are expecting to make a big investment with a huge company in Sri Lanka. If that becomes successful, one of the upcoming movies will be an English Movie. Our hope is to take the Sri Lankan film industry to the world movie audience. Therefore, releasing an English movie will be the first step of this procedure. Further, Studio 101 expects to develop and release a PlayStation game in the future. This is also one of our dreams for the future.

As an inspiration for the young people who have startups or expect to do something big on their own, what I have always insisted on is “Every day is a milestone”. This is kind of a motto I have used this far in my carrier. Make good use of your time every day to reach the dream goals of yours and for that, every day of your work will be important, every day will be a milestone.

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