Exclusive Interview with NYC Animation Director, Deval Mistry

"Tell us about your very diverse background in the did you get your start? "

It's true that I have a very diverse background across several mediums of art, and I believe I have intentionally developed  my profile to suit the modern digital media landscape.

My passion journey in arts starts with my love for animation (cartoons).

I was mesmerized by the power of creating a motion art that evokes an emotional response. Thus my formative years during academia and professionally revolves in and around animation.

I always had hand-on skills for sketching and illustration, and with a strong foundation in perspective and live art study, I seized an opportunity to do the storyboard arts on a feature film in India.

During the pre-production phase of Kevi Rite Jaish (the feature film)

I realized the importance of storytelling along with the artwork and quickly learned the workings of the movie-making world. By the time the film started it's production schedule, I was promoted to the assistant director role on the production. 

Later, I continued embarking on challenging collaborations with design and media agencies to design advertisement campaigns, produce/direct short films and create art installations.

I credit my never-ending curiosity for all the diverse works that I have managed to accomplish.

Who has been the most influential people you have worked with on your projects?

The collaborative nature of my work, often leads to amazing opportunities for working with highly accomplished veterans of the media world. One such opportunity was creating visual projections for The Boynton Beach Club - The Musical.  Susan Seidelman, is a well accomplished film maker, director and writer. She first came to notice with Smithereens (1982), the earliest American independent feature to be screened in the competition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Her next feature "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985) co-starred Madonna in her first film. "She-Devil" (1989) starred Meryl Streep in her first starring comedic film role and Roseanne Barr in her first feature-film role. Seidelman's subsequent films mix comedy with drama, blending genres and pop-cultural references with a focus on women protagonists, particularly as outsiders.

She also works in television and directed the pilot episode of Sex and the City. In 2019, she entered the world of theater based on her book "The Boynton Beach Club".

Upgrading the story with modern times, we had to use projection technology to display elements on the stage to work in sync with the live performance and music number.

Another such amazing personality with whom I have add the honor of collaborating with is Jubilee Mosley. Jubilee, a singer/songwriter/author/speaker hailing from New York City, has tapped into her gift and ability to inspire, encourage and heal others through her testimony & music, through the power of God.

Singing since the age of 3 and songwriting since age 19, Jubilee has taken a leap of faith and put her own beliefs into action by deciding to share her songs and melodies she has kept a secret for so long with the world. She entered the studio in November 2016 and Jubilee released her EP album “Joy Uprising” in July 2017.

Collaborating with Jubilee was my major initial work in New York City. I did the videography and editing of the EP release event. The footage was repurposed for social media promotion and marketing!

What are the 3 top keys to making a great film project work?

A) I believe that the story that one wants to convey is the primary need for a great project to work. By story I mean the intent of making a moving art. It could be a message,  a feeling , a moral or simply entertainment as long as the intention of the project is clear.. it can be achieved.

While digital media domain has opened doors for everyone to express their opinions, it also places emphasis that the storyteller delivers exceptional & extraordinary work.

The freedom of expression that this current time period offers is not "to do what one wants" but to do "what is right."

B) The second top key is including a talented and skilled crew / team as it's very crucial in making or breaking the project.

The best idea with a non- skilled team could end up not living to it's potential and a average idea could become extraordinary when produced with a skilled motivated team. It’s equally necessary that the crew, despite their high experience and skills, respects it's authoritative structure and maintains to put the project before themselves.

C) Lastly, persistence  on the end of the storyteller is an extremely important factor when it comes to any project that depends on teamwork.

As a director or a leader of a team, he/she has to make many important decisions on every passing moment. Such situations often cause mental pressure on the decision maker, and without being persistent achieves the final goal at the desired result.

What does the future look like for you in 2020 with your work?

For this year, I have decided to focus on implementing my skills as a motion design direction towards the booming field of streaming media. The instantaneous nature of streaming and social media challenges a time sensitive turn around time, which I believe can be achieved with a strong research and analysis when defining one's brand.

I aim to empower creators and entrepreneurs with detailed presets that define their brand's messaging and communication strategy. Using these structures, they would be able to create content "on-the-go"without concerning themselves about the consistency of the design language.

Secondly I also plan to finish a passion project which addresses the dual nature of human life. This project demands the integration of live action and hand-drawn visual effects that work in synergy to create the evoking narrative...

-Deval Mistry