With Shaandaar not receiving much of a positive response, surely there is one reason why the movie should be applauded. And that’s nothing but the 9 minute 3D CGI animation that adds beauty and a well supervised creative touch to the movie.
Directed by Vikas Bahl Shaandaar, a Dharma and Phantom Productions, includes animation sequence at two intervals of the movie which was completely created by Philm CGI Studios. A Pune based studio, Philm CGI, had a group of 25-30 artists who worked for 3 months right from pre visualisation to producing the final product.
Animation supervisor of Shandaar and founder of Philm CGI, Arpan Gaglani proudly claimed that all the animation was first hand drawn, followed by a storyboard, made on the basis of the sketches drawn and the entire visualisation was put down on a layout, with the final animation made on Autodesk’s Maya. “Artists worked day and night to get the realistic feel to the animation. We didn’t want to make a cliché animation where it just makes people happy; we wanted to bring animation into reality,” he beams.
The first portion of animation right at the start of the movie which unfolds a flashback introducing Alia’s character in terms of a tiny bubbly girl was minutely envisioned. The whole sequence introduces the story thus keeping the audience hooked to what lies ahead. Arpan expounds, “We created the animated characters exactly according to the behaviourial patterns of the characters in the movie. As Alia is a happy go lucky girl in the movie so the animated character too has a fun element. We adapted Pankaj Kapur’s French beard and character build up in the animated character as well.” All this was done so that the animation connects to the movie and the audience doesn’t feel out of place. In the second animation portion post interval, the story of Pankaj Kapur’s (Vipin) love life is narrated to give a gist of what will happen later in the actual movie. “We have worked on the staging and lighting to deliver a serious work of animation. Both the director and I didn’t want the animation to look clumsy or half-done. We wanted to enhance the movie creatively.”
Having worked on the animated feature Delhi Safari (2012) which bagged the National Award for the Best Animated Film in that year, Arpan worked on a number of commercials and films too. But, still he prefers and wishes to make a full length animated feature film. He says, “Commercials are a medium of R&D for our studio. We can explore and enhance our abilities. However, I wish that more directors incorporate such animation in their films for animation can add the magic element to the normal plot.” Philm CGI has created VFX for NH10, commercials like Pizza Hut, Relispray and is also working for the famous IP of Belgium-the animated series Bobby and Bill. Assisting on the creative supervision of VFX for Shaandaar, Arpan says, “I have always combined animation with visual effects techniques. Like a 100 minute animation can be done in 10 minutes if visual effects techniques are used. In this way, even the cost is reduced.”
“The art of storytelling in India should improve”, admits Arpan. He believes that India is capable of producing good quality animation but the crux lies in the story. “We have talented artists in India who can create wonders in animation but the creativity of storytelling and the purpose of animation to convey what it intends to should be clear. The only reason why India has not been able to make anything like The Lion King or The Beauty and the Beast is because they fall short in storytelling. But we can and we will.”
Philm CGI believes in portraying the story creatively through animation and in a movie like Shaandaar which has a plot of celebration, animation is an added charm. So, even if you don’t like the story of Shaandaar, the animation may enthrall your eyes and you may even claim – ‘I wish the whole movie was animated…’