Tara Purnima Douglas
Animator

Tara Douglas was born in Almora amongst the U.P. Himalaya of India in 1969. With her father an author and film-maker, she traveled extensively throughout her childhood, and yet still keeps close links with the country and mountains of her birth ~ where her mother has lived in the remote Tapat Kund monastery (above Baageshwar enroute Pindari Glacier) for almost 18 years now, studying Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy.

Tara herself studied art in school and then completed a three year BA Hons course in Animation at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, Surrey, England.

She directed her first short animated film "Sweet Inspiration" in 1990 and "Tara Samsara" in 1994, with her Himalayan pedigree coming in handy for a stint at assisting on production of animated legends for children with the company West Highland Animation, in a remote part of Scotland.

Between periodic visits back to the UK and other parts of the world, she's now lived almost continuously in India since college, where -amongst other things- she attended and filmed the Khumba Mela festival in 1995, and made a three minute animated pilot for a series of stories about Jim Corbett ~ the famous hunter of man-eating tigers in the place of her birth. For the past three years, she's been working in Delhi ~ at BiTV making animated opening sequences for programmes, and at Riverbank Studio, doing graphics and animation for children.

During this time she has become quite "expert" at living in India and plans to continue with the production of short animated films in the country. She is essentially a 3D animator, with skills and foci ranging from the traditional time-consuming techniques of Stop Motion Animation, in which characters and sets are made in miniature down to the smallest details, using all different kinds of materials and plenty of inventiveness (they are then animated frame by frame under the camera), to the latest 3D computer softwares, such as Maya v2.5. Amongst preferred softwares, she also uses Photoshop and After Effects.

Recently, Tara's begun supplying specialist metal armatures with ball and socket joints of her own design (left), to be used in animation models, and will also be making finished characters, from wax-prototype through casting in foam latex, with the armature inside.

She's also closely involved with the new International Animation Broadcasting Center (i-abc.org) project which has arisen from collaboration between West Highland Animations (Scotland, UK), East West Communications (Netherlands), and Angles Audio Visual Studio (India). The initiative looks towards developing tribal and traditional art into animated films and multimedia for children.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS:~

  • (above left/right) one of the sets and one of the stop-motion characters from Maneaters, a short animated film Tara shot "on location" ~ i.e. in a disused Tibetan carpet factory in the remote Himalayas. In the film, black and white live-action footage was intercut with Stop Motion and cel animation. Filming was executed with a Bolex reflex-camera in primitive conditions on an severely limited budget, using locally obtained materials.
  • (top-right and below) Set amd prop views from Tara Samsara, a film I made at college. It took six months to make the sets - all props handmade in miniature. The film follows the journey through life, told via a voyage through four rooms. The first, a bedroom, represents childhood, with wallpaper of paper aeroplanes that fly, and as the camera travels through the room, the floor disappears, and we are flying over the Himalayas, towards fluffy white clouds. The door slams shut, and reopens, to reveal the second room, representing adulthood: it is full of worldly possessions. The third room -representing old age- has some of the same furniture,.. covered in cobwebs and shadowy memories. The fourth room is the undecorated future, and beyond that is the unknown,.. the infinite universe, and all time. The camera cannot travel further, its journey weighed down by the baggage of life.




Tara Purnima Douglas
23 Jeffrey's Road
Stockwell
London SW4 6QU (UK)
E-mail