Meet Overseas Supervisor Vishal Ratnalikar #Interview

Meet Vishal, our awesome Overseas Supervisor! A Mumbai native, he's currently working in Indonesia! We caught up with him to discuss his role and find out what he loves about animation.


How did you get into animation?

I grew up watching cartoons like Tom & Jerry, the Marvel series and playing games on the computer. Growing up watching these shows I was always curious to know how they were done.

Recognising my passion, my father took me to an animation school in the city I grew up in and after a long session with the counsellor when we came out, I realized that it was what I wanted to do. That was my first step towards animation. 

Where you are currently based?

I am currently based at Infinite Frameworks studios. It's located on a very beautiful island of Indonesia called Batam. It’s just 30 minutes away from Singapore by ferry.

What's involved in being an Overseas Supervisor?

This is a tough one. The overseas supervisor is a communication bridge between two studios. They have to have a mixture of creative and management qualities. The overseas supervisor is responsible for quality checks for almost all the departments that are involved in the production before anything goes to the directors. There are a lot of other things they need to take care of like anticipating the bottlenecks and flagging them, making sure that the overseas studio is maintaining the number of resources agreed, providing weekly reports to producers etc.

What is your typical day like?

There is no fixed daily routine, it always changes according to priorities. Usually, I start my day with checking my emails, which gives me an idea of where I need to focus first. Being responsible for quality checking, I spend most of my time reviewing work and giving notes. I have to be a part of launch calls with directors and ensure that the team understands the expectation. I am also part of the production meetings (which can be the most challenging part of the day) where we discuss the issues and try to come up with solutions, meeting all key people from the various departments to ensure that things are going well. The list is long so I think I should stop here! :)

What was your experience of moving abroad?

This is the first time I've worked as a supervisor outside my own country and I must say it's been an amazing experience. This is the beauty of this position, you are always travelling and who doesn’t want to travel and see places?

There will be differences in climate, culture, food, language, etc. but it doesn’t take much time to adjust if you look at it as an exploring and learning opportunity.

What is it like working abroad?

Working overseas not only boosted my career, but also exposed me to the different working cultures in the industry. It has broadened my horizons and has offered a unique understanding of the skillsets required in a global market.

Spending time abroad has hugely increased my cultural awareness and now I have the ability to adapt to diverse workplaces.

Do the ways of working vary from country to country?

Yes…creating a successful environment with people from different cultures and working together requires an effort to build a common understanding, trust and commitment. It’s often simpler when you are working with talent at home but it can be a bit challenging in a different country. There isn't always as much in common with your work processes when you first step into an overseas studio, so you have to be adaptive and and mould yourself in certain ways to fit in.

What are your biggest influences/inspirations?

My inspirations change a lot. Anything that is good and has me ask the question “how did they do it?” inspires me. Also, there are a lot of people I worked with who have had a great hand in making me what I am today, these names are not celebrities but very close friends and my guides. And most importantly, my beautiful daughter Saanvi, she inspires me the most! :)

What’s your favourite tool to use and why?

I personally don’t have any favourite tool as such. I am fine working with anything that is up to date and bug free.

Any advice for anyone thinking of doing Overseas Supervising?

I won't talk about how good you have to be in the creative, technical and management aspects of the production because that's mostly known. The only advice I would like to give is, be a person who can easily gel with others. In this position, you have to deal with different people from different cultures and if you make them your friends your work life will be very easy! 

What do you like most about working in animation?

Everything. There is nothing that I don’t like about animation. The best part is if you are really passionate about animation it will never be boring. Think about this “we give life to characters”, just the thought of giving life to something is so pleasing.

What’s been the most challenging thing about working in animation?

This is really a very fast growing field and every day there are developments going on in both the technical and creative sides, so keeping up with this pace is sometimes tough. Also, as everyone knows handling creative minds can be challenging :)

Outside of animation what are you most passionate about?

I'm passionate about table tennis and I have represented my college on professional level tournaments. I like photography a lot and I am trying really hard to get better at it. Please check out a few of my snaps:

I'm a decent enough guitar player too.



Looking to get into the animation industry? Check out our Jobs page for a list of our current vacancies!

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Digital Media Coordinator and designated photographer.

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