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I animate, therefore I am a teacher. I teach, therefore I illustrate. I illustrate, therefore I draw on my environment. In drawing on my environment, I am animated!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Interview with Kompin Kemgumnird 25/2/14 [Part1] the beginnings of an animator

As part of my on-going research into the Thai-ness or Thai jai  of the Thailand Animation Industry I interviewed Kompin Kemgumnird director of Khan Kluay (2006) and Echo Planet (2012)on 25th February 2014. We met in The Walk, Rachapreuk Road. Kompin is a supremely friendly, positive person. His enthusiasm is energising and it's hard not to get caught up in his zest for life. I wanted to get a feel for where the animators in Thailand are coming from. Kompin and I are similar ages, (late 40's) and I am curious as to how the animation industry here in Thailand has developed. So initially I asked about his childhood and University life.

"Where did you grow up" 

He grew up in Surin Province, North east of Thailand, Isaan , in the city of Surin until 13 years old and moved to the 7th Grade here in Bangkok and lived here ever since. But he still he returns to visit his mum. They have a lot of elephant [in Surin], the elephant tribe, (Kui or Suay) the people who raise elephant, live out of the city in Baan Taklang. Every year in November they come for the big ceremony. The elephants came to town for the big show, elephant fair  [the annual Surin elephant round up]"they would always walk past my house …it was very impressive to see the big animals... elephants are really quiet, but they poop all the time"
 He was impressed by the show where they have the elephant soccer matches. 
"They divide the elephant by 10 each side. The ball is really big, elephant sized. The smaller one [elephant] has more enthusiasm playing. The bigger one’s are slower, but when the small one get’s the ball and tries to make a goal big one, the guard [goalie] he came forward and the small one he just gave up and ran away – it was really funny."
 As a child he grew up with Black and White TV  at home from Khon Kaen broadcasting only one channel, Channel 7 and was really impressed by Japanese Tv shows: 

·      Kamen Rider (仮面ライダー Kamen Raidā?, Masked Rider) is a tokusatsu television series and weekly science fiction manga created by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. 1971
·      Tiger Mask (タイガーマスク Taigā Masuku?) is a Japanese manga series written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji. 1969-1971
·      Great Mazinger (グレートマジンガー Gurēto Majingā?) is a manga comic book and anime television series by manga artist Go Nagai and a direct continuation of the successful Mazinger Z series. 1974
And like many kids he liked to draw a lot. He pretty much liked to draw or mimick the characters from the movies or tv shows.

When did you first decide you wanted to be an animator?

He didn’t really draw anything else besides the character his spare time, 
"at school they ask you to draw something like a house, a tree, a leaf or fruit or animals but in my spare time I always draw characters, trying to get the character right. Sometimes from the tv or sometimes from the theatre [cinema] we had like Disney movies came to our town and I remember I tried to get the scenery of Robin Hood 1973 Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman – Maid Marion she was a fox, she looked pretty as a fox ."

"I’m into film and animation but I didn’t get any idea how to produce it but when I was young I collected a film strip and tried to make a projector himself. Using the candle, or flashlight and a lens to try to project it to the wall. Sometimes we did like moving shadow [puppets] when  he was young but the chance to kind of like opportunity to become an animator occurred to me when I was at university. Because we had a movie class." 

Where and what courses did you study in Thailand? 

Almost 25 -30 years ago he went to Silapakorn University after high school to study – Visual Communication – we learned all kinds of advertising, drawing , films and video , some perspective drawing, but they did not have an animation class at that time. They didn't even have computers, or any kind of editing equipment. But they did have a film study class.

           to be continued.....

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