Posts tagged make up
By Neville Bode, October 18, 2010 – 15:43 IST
With the enormous success of the South Indian blockbuster, Robot (Endhiran) has already made a benchmark in the evolution process of filmmaking in India. The Rajinikanth – Aishwarya starrer directed by S.Shankar, got rave reviews for its uniqueness in action and visual effects. With a budget of over a hundred and fifty crores, 25 % of the funds were allotted in executing the commendable work done in VFX that helped in the narration of the film.
The film revolves around Dr. Vaseegaran played by Rajinikanth who invents a High-end robot named Chitti, a mirror of his own image. The scientific body, AIRD, declines the approval of the robot stating that it does not have emotions and the ability to make rational judgment. An unexpected flash of lightning induces emotions in the robot, and Chitti is geared up for its integration into the human world. Chitti then falls in love with Dr. Vaseegaran’ fiancée Sana played by Aishwarya Rai and goes against his creator.
The film has already spread its wings across the globe with raking in massive box-office collections. V. Srinivas Mohan, the VFX supervisor of this film and CEO of the VFX studio – Indian Artists, utilized the innovative skin grafting technology that got laudable appreciation from critics for Sivaji. Shankar got him on board for his latest endeavor Endhiran. He has also worked with the director in Aparichit and Boys hence it was certain that the director would need the VFX extraordinaire in executing the science-fiction film. Along with him Frankie Chung of Kinomotive studios and Eddy Wong of Menfond Electronics & Arts, both from Hong Kong, also worked as additional VFX supervisors for their respective sequences.
Robot boasts of a mammoth 2000 visual effects shots in 40 scenes. The bulk of the VFX work was undertaken in Srinivas’ Indian Artists Computer Graphics Pvt. Ltd., Kinomotive Studios, Menfond Electronics & Arts, Pixion, Vensat, Firefly Creative Studios Hyderabad, EFX Prasad Studios, Oyster and Ocher studios also assisted in executing some of the VFX and post production work for the film.
Apart from the studios that were on board in this project, talented freelancers from London, Iran, Germany, France and Hong Kong were required for their expertise.
In this exclusive two part case study, BollywoodHungama gets to the bottom of the making and visual effects process that made this monumental film and Rajinikanth shine like steel.
Shankar the director called up Srinivas in the winter of 2007 and narrated the entire story to him for over four hours. Amazed and excited about the project since nothing of this nature was undertaken by any filmmaker in India before. The conceptualization and ideation was done entirely by the director. Following the preparations of the script, Srinivas explained to the director that pre-production and planning was needed to execute his ideas before production of the film began.
When Srinivas, the VFX supervisor, understood the script, a test was carried out to get a glimpse of the scene with visual effects. The director and Srinivas chose the train sequence for the test. With the shot divisions regarding the different camera angles in place during pre-production, an animator Sanath P.C. from Hyderabad was roped in to enhance the pre-visualization process.
Maya, an academy award winning software was used to create a digital set based on the script. Layouts of the train and characters were made using the software, although the team didn’t finalize any locations during the test, they used actual physical proportions of a real train. Once the director approved of the layouts, basic actions of the scene were carried out.
Srinivas along with the director and the director of photography blocked the camera angles for the scene using the software. Each shot had 2 to 3 versions of camera angles made to get a better view of the sequence. With the digital shots in place, temporary clips better known as ‘playblasts’ were extracted from the software to view the shots they made in real time. With these clips in hand, Anthony – the editor, was required to line up these clips according to the scene. This gave the team some room in improvising the shots that were made. Utilizing this method, the team planned out 40 crucial visual effects scenes of the film.
After the test
Shankar did the shot division of the script which he handed over to the supervisor for pre-visualization. With the pre-visualization sorted out, Srinivas who headed the visual effects team did the entire VFX breakdown of the film. With this the team had more clarity in terms of execution and knowledge of the different layers that consisted of live action, CGI and animatronics. Based on the breakdown, Srinivas started hunting for appropriate artists and talent they needed for the film.
Director of Photography
The D.O.P, R.Rathnavelu was instrumental in the pre-production stage; he helped Srinivas and the director in blocking the different camera angles that were required. This clarified what was needed in all the different layers involved in the shots. With his tremendous knowledge in visual effects, Rathnavelu pointed out the constraints in executing the shots in terms of lighting and other technicalities.
The opening shot of the film
The opening shot of the film where-in the robot gets assembled and the credits of the film are rolling weren’t decided in the script initially. Instead of the animation sequence seen in the film, the makers had initially thought of using live action for the introduction sequence. This didn’t go well for an opening shot. With this in mind, Srinivas consulted the director and suggested using an animation of the robot getting assembled in the scene.
He points out that this was a last minute decision which worked in their favor. Pre-visualization and implementation of the animation was done in a week. Pixion in Chennai did the opening credits and animation for the opening scene.
Animatronics is mostly used in filmmaking and other avenues of entertainment. It is basically electronic puppetry that simulates real life in front of a camera. This technology is used in a large number of films in the west. Srinivas insisted in using this unique innovation for Robot based on the visual effects break down that was made for the film.
He approached Legacy Effects formerly known as Stan Winston Studios in LA, to assist in the making of the film. The American studio worked in movies like Terminator: Salvation, Avatar, Alice In Wonderland etc. Srinivas points out that they utilized electronic puppetry in place of the actor for its realism. The scene where Rajinikanth places the eye on the robot was all executed by Legacy Effects. They also assisted in special make up that was required for Rajinikanth.
(Stay tuned for part two of Rajinikanth Amalgamation into Chitti)
Deepal Shaw on going deglam in a movie and her fetish for languages
Elina Priyadarshini (BOMBAY TIMES; October 9, 2010)
In her upcoming Marathi film, Deepal will go deglam. “In this film I am playing the main protagonist, who’s a software engineer and hails from a small village in Kolhapur,” says she and adds, “I have hardly done any make-up in the film. Though my mother tongue is Bhojpuri, I was born and brought up Mumbai.”
This ‘no makeup look’ is relegated to her current film only because the actress still loves to “sizzle on screen.” In yet another film Bangkok Blues, where she’s playing the lead opposite Irrfan Khan, Deepal will again be essaying a glamorous role. She says, “My character of Akansha Mishra in Bangkok Blues is totally different. She’s a very smart and modern girl.”
It’s nice to see her experimenting with genres, but ask her if her new simple avatar will affect her glam image, and she says, “You should have the power to attract people with your performance. Whether it’s a glam role or a simple one, it hardly matters. If you do good roles, audience will like you and watch you.”
Though two of her upcoming films have her playing the main lead, we have always seen her doing character roles till now. Ask her if she has now resolved to play only the lead roles and she says, “I don’t want to focus on lead roles alone, but I will take baby steps and do good films. Lead roles will come gradually.”
Apart from acting, the actress has a fetish for learning new languages. “I like learning new languages and I am very keen to learn Spanish,” says she. Deepal also loves playing hockey to unwind and admits that she is a sporty girl. “I am very fond of watching cricket, but my hectic schedule doesn’t allow me to watch many matches, though my dad keeps updating me,” she says.
Neetu Singh talks about her comeback in the movies, getting slim to inspire her husband to follow suit, and how she’s still best friends with Zeenat, Shabana, Rekha and Hema
• You did a blink-n-miss appearance in Love Aaj Kal. What makes you come back with a full-fledged role in Do Doni Chaar after 30 years?
Kuch decide nahin kiya tha. In fact, I had decided I won’t do it. I have been refusing films for years. The entire credit goes to the director of Do Dooni Chaar, Habib. My husband (Rishi) was very keen that I should hear him out. Habib simply bowled me over with his narration.
• Were you nervous for the first shot?
I won’t lie. I was nervous on the first day. I even spoke to Ranbir about it. This role is so unlike my personality. I love dressing up and here I was playing a middle-class housewife. I was asked to cut my nails, put oil in my hair and have a choti.
Ranbir explained to me that I should go with the director’s conviction and I’ll be fine. All these years I have been telling Ranbir what to do, and here he was advising me. It was such an experience. When Ranbir finally saw the film, he sent me a text message saying that ‘Mom, you are so cute in the film’. But you know what (pauses)
Do Dooni Chaar is not a comeback per se for me. I am not going to start signing up movies left, right and centre. I didn’t decide to take a break. I was working from the age of five till I was 21 years old. I don’t like a very hectic lifestyle. I am a very laidback person.
If in the future there is a film, then it mostly has to be with my family only. I must relate to it. Like I did in Do Dooni Chaar, where I play a middle-class housewife who runs her house within a certain budget.
• How can you relate to that? You married into a very rich khaandan, and had everything at your beck and call.
Yeah. But deep down, I am still a very middle-class housewife. Thanks to my roots. I think twice before I buy something. I bargain. I don’t indulge in wastage, maybe hence I am often fighting with my servants. Riddhima is just like me. She is not a spendthrift. Those values have gone into her and I am very proud of that.
• How have you maintained yourself so well?
I wanted my husband to lose weight. And I started reading and telling him what to eat and what not to eat. But he is so bindaas and happy-go-lucky. I imbibed so much from those readings that I started adopting all the measures. I think I can write a book on ‘How to get slim’. Today, I go to the gym everyday and even do kickboxing. I feel so fit, and that’s so important.
• How much has shooting for a film changed from your times?
Lots. You have vanity vans. I come from the times when we did our own make-up on the roads and changed clothes in somebody’s house. Of course, after requesting the house owner! And then most of the time, there was no dubbing or sync sound. And today, there is so much of preparatory work going on.You have bound scripts, hamare time pe lines were written on tables kept on streets.
• Are you in touch with your contemporaries?
Very much. All the time. I meet with Zeenat, Shabana, Rekha and Hema, we talk for hours. There were no bad vibes in those days. Rekha used to help me do my make-up.