'We try to attempt the impossible'

Visual wizardry

'We try to attempt the impossible'

When Pete Draper came to India for the first time on work, he recalls having wanted to run away from the country. He says he hated almost everything about India. But a few months into his work, there was a slight change and Pete began to realise that the chaos and the exaggerated ways were a part of the Indian ethos.

Today, many years later, Pete has married an Indian and has carved a niche for himself in the world of animation. He says that he is now more Indian than he could have ever imagined.

The case was different with Badger, his colleague, who came to India with an open mind. Badger says his openness stood him in good stead and brought him thus far. Badger is also dating an Indian whom he hopes to marry soon.

Pete and Badger work at Makuta, an Indian visual effects and animation company. While Pete is the VFX Head of Operations, Badger works alongside him. The visual wizardry that one got to see in films like ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’, ‘Makkhi’ and ‘Magadheera’ is credited to the work done by these 2 men and their team of animation experts. 

Pete and Badger, who were in the city recently for the 11th edition of ABAI Fest and Karnataka Animation, VFX, Gaming and Comics (KAVGC) Summit, spent a lot of time with youngsters who were either already pursuing a career in the animation industry or looking at exploring one.

About how they work on the visual effects for a project, Pete explains, “We get involved in the technical side of filmmaking. We sit with the director to understand what he wants from us and immediately get down to working on bringing to screen the elements in the director’s imagination through VFX effects,” explains Pete.

The two share that every new project throws up a host of new challenges and serves as a great learning experience. “Our job is to conceptualise through animation what’s not possible on camera. It is tough to create something that’s close to the director’s vision but we try and get as close to it as possible. We try to attempt the impossible,” explains Badger. 

 Are they ever happy with their product? “Never”, they reply in unison. “We are never happy and there’s always room to make changes and improve and improvise on a scene or a character,” they assert. They add, “Sometimes, some scenes would appear a little intriguing but we have managed to work around the most complicated storylines or plots. This is what VFX offers you – the chance for unlimited creativity.”

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