James Cameron’s epic movie Avatar collected over USD $ 2.78 billion worldwide. It was nominated for nine Oscars, of which it won three. Who didn’t want to see the lush world of Pandora, set in another galaxy, with its floating mountains, beast-like birds and the tall, blue Na’vi people? A whole world, a whole way of life, created on computers to awe millions of people around the world. That is the magic of visual effects.
At the 84th Academy Awards in 2012, the average global box office earnings of its visual effects Oscar nominees was USD $ 662 million. This is surprising to virtually no one. After all visual effects or the digital art of visual storytelling through VFX draw people across all languages, age groups and cultures into theatres. And to create movies of the quality we now expect, VFX studios use every trick in the book. From classic green screen compositing to motion capture technology and creation of full artificial intelligence systems. Filmmaking is all about storytelling and characterisation and VFX blend real-life footage with elements of CGI for a rich, believable tapestry; blurring the lines between reality and fiction.
The West has slowly developed the field over the past 40 years since the 1970’s. In India, however, VFX is still at a nascent stage as an industry. New horizons have opened up for Bollywood now with Science fiction, mythology, action-adventure, the possibilities are endless. Directors are now ready to take the risk with innovative scripts creating imaginative imagery possible only through computer generated visual effects. They now want the best for their movies, to make it as real as possible.
Embracing VFX as part of filmmaking is extremely imperative for all stakeholders in the movie business as it provides power and precise control to the director to create anything that can be imagined, it reduces costs and time for the producer and offers visual treat for the viewer.
At Pixion we have worked with some of the best directors of the industry to create cinematic magic. The fight sequences in Dabangg, Singham, Bodyguard and Agneepath are now legendary. For Singham we gave 800 VFX shots in a span of 40 days. Apart from the challenging time frame, the action sequences had to be integrated seamlessly. Multiple sequences were altered from day to night, floor replacements, sky replacements, set extensions and Computer Graphics (CG) elements creation. In Agneepath, we delivered 1600 VFX shots full of action again within a record time. We specially redesigned Sanjay Dutt’s eyebrows in every frame to accentuate the menacing personality of Kancha in the movie. The recent Rohit Shetty film Bol Bachchan had 600 brilliant VFX shots. The Jama Masjid of Delhi was entirely recreated in Computer Graphics Imagery (CGI) for one sequence, complete with pedestrians, while the actual shot was taken against a green screen.
Pixion today boasts of a confluence of highly trained skill sets in our team along with a robust infrastructure and pipeline to help us achieve the delivery standards we’ve set to achieve. We are constantly evolving and creating visual effects imagery for our clients to be able to deliver high quality complex VFX shots for both domestic and international market.
In the pipeline for Pixion are the much awaited Krrish 3, Talaash and Son of Sardaar among others. All films heavy on effects and require VFX to be an integral part of the film right from planning and pre-production to the actual VFX execution of the shots. The VFX industry and the use of technology on various platforms is further growing. According to the FICCI-KPMG Media and Entertainment report, animation and VFX together are expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 18.5 per cent to reach 5,590 crores by 2015.
The Avengers, Ice Age, Brave, The Amazing Spider-Man, Twilight saga... all are top grossers at the box office worldwide and none of these would have been possible without computer graphics and VFX. Even back home in India there has been extensive use of VFX in all top grosser from Singham, Agneepath, Bodyguard,RA.One to Ek tha Tiger.
Whether adding fantastical characters and scenery, removing human elements or simulating epic battles, VFX is now a staple element of modern movie making. And it is here to stay.