Greg Acuna, a Goa-based American Director, Writer and Producer tells Cordelia B Francis that a film city and an animation zone could be the non-polluting industries Goa will benefit from. To prove a point, Greg has recently completed his animation TV series ‘Earthlings’ to be released internationally.
Greg Acuna is writer, director and producer from Los Angeles. He was project manager for Paramount Pictures and Arthur Andersen and as Director Pala Flicks the ideas man is certain that Goa has great potential as a film festival destination. However, he opines, "What is needed is greater visibility and more publicity."
Greg, along with his family, had shifted base from Los Angeles to Goa six years ago albeit for different reasons — to write a literary fiction for adults and to create an animation series, ‘Earthlings – One Planet, One People’ due for its promotional release in the coming months. Greg is optimistic of a simultaneous US and India release.
The live animation TV series is a 21st century version of Sesame Street "meant to empower children to think for themselves. It is a multicultural, funny animation series which will use many visual techniques to enhance the learning experience."
‘Earthlings’ will begin with the ar-rival of four animated aliens on a beach who will encounter four different children. Together, aliens and earthlings will explore their world playing games of co-operation, singing, dancing, doing yoga, meditation and all the while having wonderful adventures."
Shekhar Kapur and Greg Acuna
Animation as an IT industry in Goa
Greg is big on animation. He comments, "The world is at an amazing point of change and the Internet will encourage this process. As another generationgrows up with the Internet they will be making friends all over the world. This was first facilitated by instant messaging, then by broadband connectivity and now social networking will make it easier and quicker with cameras! It will not be so easy for governments to take undemocratic decisions to wage wars or to impose economic sanctions on countries."
Greg describes himself as a big supporter of Goa. Animatedly, he adds, "A film city could be the backlash against SEZs."
Greg feels Goa has the right ingredients to attract computer animation companies and to develop a film city. He says, "Goa has an international creative crowd. It is beautiful and peacefuland is one hour away from Mumbai.” He adds, "A film city and animation zone are non-polluting industries that will integrate better with Goa’s environment. What is needed are better facilities like outdoor sets, availability of equipment from 35 mm to high defi¬nition films. You need a central loga; tion with dependable electricity and hi-speed Internet connectivity."
And, how will Goans cope with the influx of outsiders? Playing safe, but making his point Greg draws the example of the US when he answers: "America is the way it is because of. those who came in from the outside, Diversity means incredible minds are coming together."