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"Technicians in India are at par with foreign talent"

It created a milestone in Indian cinema for its path-breaking VFX work on Shah Rukh Khan-starrer RA.One. Two years later, this post-production studio is on the verge of unleashing Krrish 3, its next biggest VFX project. Keitan Yadav, CEO - VFX, Red Chillies Entertainment tells us just how far this cutting-edge technology has come in India in the last two years.

RA.One was obviously a VFX milestone for your company. How did the industry perceive the VFX done by Red Chillies Entertainment’s after the film’s release?

The industry has definitely sat up and taken notice of our work on the film and the response has been nothing but heartwarming. Now, we have our next superhero film in the kitty, Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish 3. We are grateful that they placed their faith in us rather than hand the project over to a foreign studio for the VFX work. RA.One was a record for us as well as the Hindi film industry.

What is the company working on now?

We have Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express and Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish 3. Since Krrish 3 is due in Diwali this year and Chennai Express is also approaching its release, we are working on it in full capacity to deliver our best to both films.

In terms of VFX, how different is Krrish 3 from RA.One?

When RA.One released in 2011, technology was not as evolved as it is today. So it was a lot more challenging to deliver on deadlines. At that time, we were testing many technologies for the first time in terms of VFX and CGI. Two years down the line, there has been much technological advancement and we have that radical exposure with us. So we have used many more techniques and new software for Krrish 3, which should set a new benchmark in VFX.

What is the difference in the scale of VFX used in a superhero film like Krrish 3 compared to an action comedy like Chennai Express?

The beauty of a creative industry is that you don’t have to do the same job twice. Once you create a masterpiece, you don’t create a replica of it. You move on to creating something better and more evolved. The same holds true of the VFX industry. So just as the two projects are different in their own ways, the VFX work used in them is equally different.

Krrish 3 is a VFX-centric film as it is about a superhero. Thus, VFX has to be an integral part of it. It is a flagship VFX project. Most of the film has been shot on croma and green screens.

On the other hand, Chennai Express too has VFX shots but the VFX needs to be subtly integrated into the skin of the story. In fact, the audience should not be able to spot the VFX in the film. If they do, we will have failed. And although there are fewer VFX shots in Chennai Express, the efforts involved are almost the same.

The scale of VFX used in a film also depends on its budget, time and the number of people working on it. These are the two main differences between the two movies.

Since the company is owned by Shah Rukh Khan, does the VFX work focus squarely on his films?

We are a boutique studio and every project, from Main Hoon Na which was our first project, to RA.One, has involved the same level of passion and commitment from us. We have worked almost 24X7 on all the projects we have got and given them our best.

With every film, we have discovered a new challenge and come up with a new solution. Every film also requires a different level of VFX, as I mentioned earlier. Right now, we are focusing on Krrish 3. Since it’s a big VFX project, it will require very complex and hi-tech VFX. All I can say is that it is a dream project for any VFX person. But to answer your question… of the 24 films we have worked on since the inception of the company, 16 were non-SRK films; they were outside banners.

How do you select the projects Red Chillies Entertainment will work on?

We have an independent business model. As a service provider, we are open to doing any film that has a good story and budget. Usually, the producer approaches us. Or sometimes, if we like a story, we approach the producer. But the main criteria are time and the budget the filmmaker is willing to shell out.

After so many years, how do you perceive the VFX industry and how has it evolved?

When we launched in 2004, there were no decent post-production studios, let alone VFX studios. There were not many delivering decent VFX in the country. Now the infrastructure landscape has completely changed. Technicians in India are at par with foreign talent. The game has gone global. The talent pool, the quality of work, the ability to meet deadlines, everything is more evolved.

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