“Hari Varma has been our creative leader for the last decade and a half. His incredibly wide repertoire ranges from studio and team setting up, budgeting and scheduling, holistic creative supervision, mediation and relationship building, quality benchmark setting and crisis management, pipeline facilitation, manpower identification & selection and all the technical expertise in both animation and live-action production.
The creative guidance and mentoring he has imparted to Toonz over the years has been extraordinary. He brings in the most balanced amalgamation of creativity, strategy and management skills to the organisation; the rarest of the combinations to find.”
Hari is one of those rare individuals with an artistic soul who also understands the delicate balance between art and commerce. While I tooled away in California, as director on THE HERO OF COLOR CITY, nearly 9500 miles away, Hari was doing a terrific job balancing both the business and human sides of the project. I simply had to trust Hari and his production team to push this project through and they never, for a minute, failed me, making that adventure in long-distance directing one of the high points of my long and varied career.
I’d happily work with Hari again, and hope that, one day, I will.
I know it may be last day at Toonz after 14 eventful years in a team that has brought up Toonz with a solid foundation to continue to develop as per its strategy, but I know that Toonz will remain a part of you for ever.
It has been a Long and challenging journey and at the beginning the faith and commitment made by the team enabled Toonz to overcome challenges. In your next Avatar no doubt there is more to give to your love for entertainment media especially focused on Children.
Creating all the Art Direction and Production Design on Bunyan and Babe was great. Needless to say we both thought Bunyan and Babe looked great. We had such a great time working with you on Color City and working with the crew. To this day I remember when the first models were sent to us of the crayon characters; it was a WOW! It was the same for the sets. It was such great work from your team.
Creating the base art for Gummy was also fun. Getting into Gummy World was a challenge but in the end we got there.
I am sure Toonz will miss your amazing creativity and experience, especially after so many years, but your new Avatar is going to be a huge challenge – and is very exciting – so not sure you will miss them as much?!
I have been fortunate to work with Hari time and again for various commercials and each time his contribution right from the storyboard till the final execution has enhanced the concepts we put forth and brought out some really memorable work. He is responsible for helping develop the legendary Amul girl who has always been two dimensional into three dimensional computer graphics and the films we created with that asset have been quite sensational both on TV and Cinema and specially in stereo vision. His experience and creativity is invaluable and the high standards he sets for himself are the reason why I will continue to collaborate with him always.
I loved these opening words from my dear friend and colleague, Hari Varma. But I would venture to differ on one point – I would add the words ‘and all that a good business man should aspire to be’.
The combination of creative and business is something Hari clearly understands, and has demonstrated over the many years we have known each other. He is that rare being – a creative soul with an understanding and appreciation of the business side of things. The platform for success comes from creativity and Hari has that in abundance – an artist for the ages.
I genuinely feel one hardly comes across people with whom you can conversation on any subject under the sun. I can literally count such people in my circle on one hand and you have always been one of those. Every time I came to your town, I lookedforward to having those conversations in the evenings and listening to your experiences.
I would always love to listen to your stories as there are very few interesting story tellers in this world.
Hari Varma has a calm, courageous and balanced approach to managing a creative team. While working as a director on a difficult animation project that Hari Varma was overseeing, I admired his consistent level-headed approach and friendly and helpful response to even the most challenging of problems. It was a pleasure working with Hari Varma and I would recommend him for any similar endeavour.
On the creative side, you have largely been my guide and I am very appreciative of the time you spent to being me up to speed from the initial meeting in your office to every other one we have had since.
More than anything else, and I don’t say this lightly, Toonz’s future success will depend on its intrinsic creativity and you have been a very instrumental part in building this. It is something that takes a lot of time and nurturing and proper leadership. You have brought this child Toonz into the world and given it the right core values to prosper.
Having been a traveler always, nothing can stop you from moving on. And I am sure a person of your caliber needs a much larger canvas than just one confined place to observe, absorb and contribute. Toonz is lucky to have you and I am sure your contribution there will reflect and resonate for years in our little animation circle.
Personally, I look forward to meeting and interacting with you much more often than before and of course learning new things from you.
It was always a pleasure working with you because you are one of those very few who actually strives to work towards excellence and not just create a product.
I also fondly remember the interactions that we had over the years which ranged from politics to arts and was never limited to just work. You diverse interests in these subject always made our meetings even more heartening.
You were integral to our first foray into partnering on developing a local animation slate, and I have fond memories of our early interactions. You leave behind a great legacy at Toonz and I have every hope the team can build on it.