‘Rajini’s Style intact in Kochadaiiyaan’

Superstar Rajini might not be seen in flesh and blood in Kochadaiiyaan, but the movie will still retain all his style. It will still be very much him, says Phil Stilgoe, the founder of Centroid Motion Pictures – the company which worked on Kochadaiiyaan.

Stilgoe was in the city recently to mark the collaboration of Centroid Motion Pictures with Chennai-based company PixelKraft to launch its Indian arm Centroid India. "When Kochadaiiyaan came to the UK, I was on the floor, watching Rajini and other big actors perform live. Everything, including his eye movements will come through in the film," he adds.

The trailer of the movie has Rajini doing never-seen-before stunts, sailing on a dolphin and doing dizzy circles. How much of it is him? "While he is the key to everything that is going on, he doesn't have to do much. That is the beauty of the Motion Capture (MOCAP) technology. The performer doesn't necessarily have to jump off buildings or spin around," says Phil.

While in conventional movie methods, you have a body double doing the stunts for the actors, using motion capture technology, one can create a digital double to do the same. And it is not restricted to just the stars in the movie. The whole world that is seen on screen is created inside a computer. The natural locations are scanned and converted into a virtual world. "It is a whole new production studio. To work with this, it requires talent that we don't have in India yet," says Siddharth Kumar, director and creative head of PixelKraft.

Examples of Hollywood hits that used this technology are The Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit and 300. Then there are documentaries like Waltz with Bashir and 1927 science fiction Metropolis. Earlier, the technology was used for crowd simulation and computer games, says Phil.

Any Indian movies? "Nope. When it comes to animation, we are 40 years behind. We haven't taken off at all. Think of French and British adult animation movies. We haven't made any such yet. We don't know how to make it. We are scared about the technology," says Siddharth.

According to him, India is suffering from visual illiteracy. "We work with stereotypes. We know what to expect from animation and deem it to be for kids. As a market, we have not had the variety that the West has had. Disney is animation, so is The Hobbit. But Indians lump it all into one," he says.

As a result of the collaboration between PixelKraft and Centroid, Tamil audience is likely to get more animated movies which use the technology as seen in Kochadaiiyaan. "We want to show people that the technology is very accessible. We want to dispel the myth that this stuff is expensive," says Siddharth. They are planning to come up with Tamil science fiction in the near future and also help bring up more MOCAP specialists in the city.


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