Special Feature: V Srinivas Mohan – Putting Indian Film Industry On the VFX Map
April 11, 2014 Leave a comment
Special Feature in Releaseday.com
“He has taken visual effects to new heights. He deserves an Oscar” – Robot (Enthiran) director Shankar on V Srinivas Mohan.
V Srinivas Mohan – an electrician, computer programmer, animator at different phases of his career and currently, one of India’s most renowned VFX experts. Srinivas Mohan started out from humble beginnings and is still, like any of his interviews or his own blog suggest, very humble. However, the body of work he is involved in and more importantly, the quality, is colossal. For the greatly acclaimed movie, Enthiran, Mohan tried to deliver visual effects of international standards, offering an end effect which in Hollywood would cost 4 times the budget allocated. No wonder, he is one of Shankar’s favourites.
Srinivas who has initially been involved in a large number of movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada for digital compositing made waves with the movie Magic Magic for which he was the visual effects supervisor. A VFX supervisor, for those who don’t understand, is responsible for handling the VFX project and the personnel, managing both the technical and artistic aspects of the project. As someone who is responsible for determining the most cost-effective and technically efficient visual effects techniques for a concept, Mohan scouts countries for freelancers who can offer him the best possible results. From timings, negotiations and camera set-ups, there is a lot on the VFX supervisor’s plate. Mohan has rightly asserted, with ample reason that the VFX crew is made up of artists, not technicians, as they are usually referred to.
For Magic Magic, Mohan won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects. However, the juggernaut was only starting and far from reaching the dizzying heights it was destined to. Srinivas Mohan worked with Shankar on several movies like Boys, Anniyan and Sivaji. The skin grafting technique used by Mohan in Sivaji creating a digital skin, proved to be one of the keys to his success that year, earning him a second National Award. However, he blew everyone away a few years later with Enthiran, a sci-fi wonder, the ilk of which wasn’t previously seen in India, earning him a third National Award. He was also the VFX supervisor for Maatraan, a story revolving around conjoined twins, a challenging VFX project in its own right.
If, 2500 VFX shots in Endhiran, was colossal, one runs out of terms while discussing Mohan’s current project, Baahubali, a period drama that is slated to have as many as 4500 VFX shots, easily Mohan’s biggest VFX budget till date. VFX producers and supervisors are responsible for a lot in movies hinged on VFX, from handling the client’s budget to getting the best work done, while collaborating with art directors and other crew on the movie sets. That doesn’t stop Mohan from being vocal about encouraging local talent pool of animators and doing his own bit for the Indian animation industry. The VFX guru will also be overseeing the work of the company Rising Sun Pictures, for Shankar’s next, the Vikram starrer Ai.
Mohan who can impress you with his knowledge about Animatronix, pre-visualization concepts, current software, CG, motion graphics and other VFX elements, is also the founder of Indian Artists Computer Graphics, one of the leading Indian VFX firms, based out of Chennai, that raises bars with each project, while working on budgets as low as 1/10th of the contemporary Hollywood costs. Still young considering how much he has achieved, the accomplished VFX giant has certainly traversed an arduous journey, coming a long way from doing wedding titles to heading Indian movie industry’s biggest VFX projects.
April 10th is his birthday and Releaseday Team would like to wish him a very happy birthday and even greater success and path-breaking glory in the coming years.