The man behind Tollywood’s special effects

VFX Supervisor R Kamalakannan calls Rajamouli the king of emotional dramas

By Author   |   Published: 20th Apr 2017   11:01 pm Updated: 21st Apr 2017   12:28 am
special Effects VFX Kamalakannan
VFX Supervisor R Kamalakannan. Photo: By Arrangement

VFX Supervisor R Kamalakannan started his career as a stringer in Doordarshan, Chennai before starting his rendezvous with the special effects. “I learnt sub-titling, did many commercials before meeting Rajamouli in 2004 for Sye at Prasad VFX studio. This is my seventh film with Rajamouli with Magadheera winning the National Award for Best Special Effects. Rajamouli oversees all the aspects of film making and is enthusiastic. He does a lot of ground work and has sound technical knowledge on VFX. Hence, he is a tough task master and it’s a great difficultly to satisfy him.”

Kanna adds that almost all the VFX studios in the country and more than 1000 artistes worked on the special effects of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. “I took up the project in October 2016 and by that time around 25% of the film was shot. In the first edit, the film had 2555 shots. Then we brought it down to 2226 shots. It’s a daunting task to complete the job in just five months. Adding to that, Rajamouli and producer Shobu are demanding so we had to work little harder to meet the deadlines.”

The second part boasts of massive VFX and Kannan maintains that it’s a challenge to bring variation in getting the desired output. “The first part had only Mahishmati kingdom but the second one has Kunthala desam – the kingdom of Devasena. I got ample support from the studios including Makuta. 

Responding to the leakage, Kannan explains, “Our main server is in Germany and we used to save the inputs and edits there. We had project management software and it distributes the work. We gave the access to all the studios and they collect the assets from there and submit them back. As on today, we are working on some corrections for five shots.”

Kannan gives the credit to his director for pre-visualising several innovative and eccentric concepts. “A huge portion of my work comes from the conviction of the director. I involve in the workshops and we discus about a lot of things before we begin the actual work.”

On budget, he adds, “One of my camp supervisors worked for the last part of Transformers. He told me that they take a month for one shot. So, it depends on the iterations. For Baahubali 2, studios from London and Serbia handled maximum iterations. The more the iterations (corrections), the higher the budget.”

So does Kannan know ‘Why Kattappa Killed Baahubali?’His answer is no! “That portion was shot last in the presence of the principle crew. I didn’t watch the complete film. Personally, I like the interval bang as it’s interspersed with emotions and special effects. Rajamouli is the king to unfold emotional dramas and I’m sure that the audience will be thrilled to experience the opulence of Baahubali 2!”