Under the rains with Studio Paus

Under the rains with Studio Paus
Meet Deepti Megh and Saket Ghaisas, passionate animators and co-founders of the Goa-based Visual Storytelling Studio, Paus. In this feature we follow Deepti and Saket’s journeys from the nifty film club in the animation preview room to heading their studio Paus in Goa.
“It’s such a limitless playground,” Deepti shares with excitement about animating and creating collages the analogue way. Shows like Phineas and Ferb led her to NID's animation course, where she explored various styles and storytelling methods. With a love for visuals and storytelling, animation soon became here niche.
I’ve wanted to tell stories for as long as I can remember, and I am doing it in small ways all the time- whether it is journaling or through conversations.
Bonding over their love for the weird and B Horror movies, Deepti and Saket started a little film club with their friend Taarini where they’d screen strange films.
While Saket harbored a fondness for the occult and the bizarre, and Deepti expressed her feelings through drawings, they often discussed about starting a joined practice centered around storytelling.
“Our first collaboration was a very strange collage we’d made taking a break from course work at NID. We worked together on our fourth year film, and were surprised by how easy it was!” they say.
We really have fun working with each other. We also create a safe space to make mistakes, help each other out when one of us is struggling, give feedback and encourage each other to grow.
After college they worked together at Quicksand Animation - a design research organization- on several storytelling projects that reaffirmed how well they worked as a team. They add,” This is also where our understanding of how research bleeds into storytelling strengthened.”
During their time at Quicksand, they were involved in side quests like the music video "Heartbreak Kid," which nurtured their fondness for the Goan landscape and B Horror films. They also worked on a project for Tinder around the same time Deepti was discovering her queer identity, which proved to be deeply affirming for her.
When we began talking about where we wanted to go, we knew doing it together (with more collaborators and team mates hopefully joining us further down this journey) would be more fun than venturing into this field alone.
They say,” We wanted to create a studio practice which would allow us to get impact focused client projects, create fun commercial animation, experiment with music videos, and also, hopefully in the long run, fund our own personal storytelling projects.”
The duo felt right at home when they moved to Goa- away from the city closer to the river. They say,” Life here is slow, which might not work for everyone, but it works for us. There’s not a lot going on, and we are both people who like being home.”
The name Paus was born from our love for the Goan monsoon. (Paus means rain in Marathi, and the word in Konkani, ‘Paavas’ is very similar).
They add,”We wanted something that reflected the feeling of home we get in Goa, and also something that didn’t feel too alien to the land we were building this in.”
This young studio specializes in research-informed storytelling- a skill that the pair picked up during their time at Quicksand.
Concept and storyboard developed by Deepti Sharma for Mann Mela at Quicksand Animation. Credits: Aiswarya Rammohan
While at Quicksand, Avinash provided them with an opportunity to contribute to Mann Mela, a mental health project in partnership with Sangath. They translated lived mental health experiences into graphic narratives, initiating the process with in-depth primary research, including interviews.
As a process, this helps us make intentional and informed design decisions, which is something we take forward with us as we step into an independent practice.
‘The Mrinalini Mukherjee Archive’ film, in collaboration with Annette, was one of their first films as Paus. As part of the animation process, they acquainted themselves with Mrinalini’s practice and her archive- fueled by their own love for archiving.
The animation in the documentary film ‘The Mrinalini Mukherjee Archive’ by Paus mimics the repetition in Mrinalini Mukherjee’s work: of both knotting, and repeatedly taking photographs of the work
Research also bleeds into smaller details. For example, when working on non fiction projects, visual research and an understanding of the larger context where the narrative exists helps bring more depth and richness to the narrative
“As visual storytellers, it also becomes our responsibility to make sure we are treating such stories with sensitivity and empathy.” They say as this research finds its way into the minute details in their storytelling.
Along with research-oriented projects, Paus also have some wacky music videos under their sleeves. They say,” Music videos are one of our favorite things to work on, because of the endless room for exploration and fun.”
While working with The Lightyears for ‘Heartbreak Kid’, they gravitated towards the concept (that they called) Monsters attacking a Goan village and are stopped by a floating fetus. Storyboarding and running the animatic along with some concept sketches by the band they brought the video to life.

Heart Break Kid is a song from the EP Mellow by The Lightyears Explode. The music video celebrates Paus’s love for 80’s B movies and pastoral Goan landscapes. Find the project here.

The music video ‘Juicy’ was a much faster sprint. With a clear vision to celebrate ‘breakfast’ they created thumbnails and dived straight into animation.
Sahirah Oshidar invited Paus to animate a section of her song, ‘Juicy’, so that her collaborator Nemy could also be featured on the music video. The video was also featured on the Rolling Stones as the Best Music Video of 2022!
During the pandemic, they teamed up with their former film club member Taarini to create 'Queer Swipe Stories.'. They condensed the longer narrative into a 60-second format and iterated on the design.
Project by Deepti and Saket for Museum of Queer Swipe Stories a curated archival project by Tinder and Gaysi Family.
One of their interesting projects includes ‘Grove’ for Absolut India. They were approached by Avinash (Antariksh Sanchar, Elsewhere in India) who was curating 2023’s Absolut Creative Commune and was looking for their perspective of Indo Futurism.
Deepti was invited to be a part of the curation for the 2023 edition of Absolut Creative Commune x Elsewhere in India, and asked to create a film that would capture her idea of Indofuturism.
Saket say,” When asked to imagine a future which celebrates the idea of 'better together' for an open world, Deepti’s first response was imagining a future which honors our relationship with the earth, instead of being at odds with it. Deepti also wanted to honour her own queer identity, and imagine a future that is inclusive, and safe for queer people. She also drew the visuals from my queer identity, and my love for the Western Ghats, which feels like home more than anywhere else on this world.”
Imagine a future where people rediscover sacred groves, often the last relics outside protected forest areas, valued not only for their spiritual significance but also for their ecological importance. This vision of an ecofeminist queer future, fueled by nature, envisions a community garden where queer individuals reclaim public spaces, with trains gently floating above streams, each nurturing its own ecosystem.
Another one of their research-led projects include the Music Video titled ‘Amrita Lahiri’ that tells the story of a young Ramanujan (the Indian mathematician), who receives divine knowledge regarding a planetary pilgrimage that he must embark on as well as about the vimanas he must build to travel in.
When Avinash introduced Ramanujan's character, Saket saw him as an incredibly curious child, a vision that guided their project's design and animation. Ramanujan's innocence allowed for whimsical storytelling, especially within the freedom of the music video format. Drawing inspiration from old Tamil houses, Saket infused Ramanujan's world with humor and imagination.
The repetitive and hypnotic nature of the music set the tone for Ramanujan's journey, where he received guidance from a goddess through dreams, leading him on a quest to explore the nine planets.
The circular motion and constant action in Ramanujan's dreams offered fertile ground for storytelling, allowing Saket to weave the larger narrative of the dance show into the fantastical dream sequences. Most of the inspiration for the dream machine came from Saket's own interest in modular synthesizers. The vimanas in the music video were crafted with strong South Indian influences, controlled by musical instrument components.
Taken from an album by Murthovic, Antariksha Sanchar: Transmissions in Space is a music video that tells the story of a young Ramanujan (the Indian mathematician), who receives divine knowledge regarding a planetary pilgrimage he must embark on as well as about the vimanas he must build to travel in.
Their most recent comic ‘The Trials of the Tableland’ with Agami in collaboration with Aditi Kim Karolil is a project that they [personally cherish. They say,” We really hope to tell stories with an impact focus with the work we do, and conservation and environmental justice is something very close to our hearts.”

Agami reached out to Paus with an incredibly powerful story, which they developed into a visual narrative collaborating with Aditi Kim Karolil and Sachin Malhan in developing it.Read the full narrative here.

After doing their secondary research to understand the context, they designed the focus of the narrative. Working alongside Dr Aparna Watve and Hema Ramani they fixed the narrative gaps and storyboarded the entire comic. Within a tight deadline, they inked the comic to capture the beauty of the Table land, bringing this visual narrative to fruition.
Talking about budgets and timelines, they say, “We firmly believe you can have only two out of the three things: Fast, Cheap, High Quality.
We try to design as smartly as possible within the constraints we are operating in. As a studio, we hope to do a balance of higher paying more commercial projects, which would then allow us to work on impact focused projects which might not pay as much. We try to negotiate timelines for those projects which allows us to make sure we can do other work in parallel to stay afloat”.
Being a young studio, they focus largely on sustenance but also maintain a project intake guideline. They say,” [We] ask ourselves before every project, what is this project adding to us and what can we add to it as Paus?”
Animation is such a collaborative medium, and you really cannot work alone.
Deepti, a fangirl at heart, often messages creators she admires, building a small network of friends and collaborators. Their social circle grows from friendships, with some connections stemming from outreach emails. They also aspire to collaborate more, welcoming new voices as they expand their projects.
We hope we can create a studio practice sustainable enough to bring on more people on board, collaborate with creators we admire and do work we believe in. We are deeply interested in areas like mental health, environment and conservation, gender and sexuality, and hope we get to work on projects as Paus that touch upon these.
With a dream to work with musicians for commercial and animated films that tell impactful stories they add, “We also hope to just do small in house animations for fun. We can’t wait to buy a printer and try more analogue techniques.”
Over the last five years, they’ve found friends and community, which have further cemented Goa as their home. They say,” The Western Ghats are our favorite ecosystem. Our love for Goa has translated into the work we do, and the communities we are a part of.”
Building a schedule that also includes calisthenics classes, weekly gatherings with friends, occasional interruptions from their cats, and sloooowly chipping away at a small personal film that celebrates the rains they are navigating their path in the industry.
As they set sail on this new journey, we wish them all the best and await all the new projects brewing at Paus.
Their hot take on Generative AI
We don’t know (and hope) that Generative AI does not have childhood trauma, queer awakenings and internal anxiety about the general human experience to draw from and craft into narratives. We do acknowledge that better ethical standards and legal protection for original work needs to be in place, but looking at the general history of automation, that seems (sadly) unrealistic to hope for.
But there is hope to find some sort of artistic renaissance where artists can look at a more liberated view of expression which can stand out from the homogenous AI driven art.
You can reach out to them and stay updated with their work on the channels below:
Studio Paus