February 20-2015
The VFX break down of Vishal Bhardwaj’s masterpiece ‘Haider’

The year 2014 saw many great films hitting the big screen from the Hindi film industry, but none of them managed to strike a chord with the audience like Vishal Bhardwaj’s version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as Haider.

The film that released on 2 October was received with much fanfare and critical acclaim. It has also helped Shahid Kapoor win the Best Actor award at all major award functions this year. One of the most critical elements of all of Bhardwaj’s films is the sound and music, and Haider was no different along with some magical tracks penned by the great Gulzar.

In the recent past, Bhardwaj has also experimented with the treatment given to his movies and one man who has immensely helped him in adding some ‘visual spice’ to his films Govardhan Vigraham aka ‘Govi’ as he’s lovingly called by all filmmakers.

Govi really understands how a film will translate from the lens to the canvas, and he brought this expertise to the forefront with Haider as well. In an earlier exclusive interaction with AnimationXpress.com, he had revealed what was the thought process for executing some visually enigmatic sequences for this blockbuster feature.

The VFX studio that worked on this feature along with Govi was Digikore Studios. This studio has been well appreciated by one and all for the seamless visual effects work that it has delivered for this film.

According to requirements for the film, the most difficult sequences to execute were: The crackdown scene – where Haider’s father’s mansion is shown blowing up; Haider’s introductory shot; the Baramulla bridge sequence; Haider’s famous speech at Lal Chowk; the Bismil song and the climax scene.

In an earlier interaction; Digikore Studios president and CEO Abhishek More had said: “It was a wonderful experience being the first Bollywood venture for us and with a name which is a class apart. It is always a dream to work with directors like Vishal Bhardwaj, who are inspirations for the entire industry. Haider was a huge project for a recently started studio with a limited team size. Despite this, the strong production pipeline and our strong technical strengths made it possible. I’m sure many of the studios would have desired to work on this project, but it was all possible in Digikore because of Govardhan who was the VFX designer on the film from VB Pictures. Rajeev Kumar – who is heading the production and operations for Mumbai was always on toes to deliver as per the commitments. And apart from the initial agreed scope of work he was also able to accommodate few more additional shots which was very challenging because the timelines were very stringent.”

Haider is the story of a young man who returns home to Kashmir on receiving news of his father’s disappearance. But, not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for harbouring militants, but also that his mother (Tabu) is supposedly in a relationship with his very own uncle (Kay Kay Menon). Soon Haider learns that his uncle is responsible for the gruesome murder of his father, and what follows is his journey to avenge his father’s death.