'You have to constantly be on your toes'

'Baahubali' saga

'You have to constantly be on your toes'

While his friends played cricket and finished their homework after school hours, as a student of class eight, Supreeth S attended animation classes. Little did he know then that he would one day work as the pre-visualisation supervisor for the epic ‘Baahubali’.

Supreeth has also worked as a senior VFX artist for about 25 films till date including ‘Magadheera’, ‘Enthiran’ (Robot), ‘Anaganaga O Dheerudu’ and ‘Eega’.

In a chat with Anushree Agarwal, he talks about his experience of working with S S Rajamouli, the challenging sequences in the film and more.

How did you get interested in gaming and animation?
During school days, I used to play a lot of computer games. I wanted to make a career in gaming and since animation is related to gaming, I attended an animation course in class eight. Post SSLC, I got hands-on training from laproscopic surgeon Dr M Ramesh at AV Hospitals. Then I pursued an advanced course and got to work on some leading films in South India. That’s how the journey began.

Tell us a bit about your work.
It is about understanding how to integrate computer graphics into real-life footage, to make it look as life-like as possible. For instance, for ‘Baahubali’, we had a six-month intensive pre-production workshop wherein the characters, their description and the entire environment was planned with 50 artists from all over India. Things like Prabhas’ armour, helmet and even Mahishmathi city were conceptualised.

Out of all the films you’ve worked on, which one has been the most interesting?
Definitely ‘Baahubali’. The reason being the extensive amount of research put into it. We had to find out each and every detail and then try to integrate it in a way that the audience would appreciate. The collaboration with various artists from all over India, the teamwork and the effort all made it special.

A few of the most challenging sequences in the film...
One was the bison sequence with Rana Daggubati. We had to visit the Mysore Zoo, where there is a bison species called the ‘Indian gaur’, and observe how it looks, moves and reacts. Then integrate it into building the action sequence. The war sequence had a certain complexity due to the sheer volume of work involved. That scale has never been attempted in Indian cinema before.

Your experience of working with S S Rajamouli...
He has a very good clarity of what he wants from each department, which is very important for a director. He is a good listener who hears each person’s suggestion, then thinks what is best for the film and integrates it. He knows how to get the work done.

Your favourite animation movie.
‘WALL-E’ from Pixar Animation Studios. The kind of emotions they have created in this movie using two lifeless robots is spectacular.

An animation scene you’d like to create...
One of the dragon scenes from ‘Game of Thrones’.

A message for aspiring VFX artists.
There is a lot of misinformation regarding this industry —  you join it and you earn a lot. Unless you are truly passionate about this  kind of art and for creating something new, it’s very difficult to survive in the industry.  Each project is unique wherein you get to learn a lot. You have to constantly be on your toes.

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