Q&A with B R Films’ Ravi Chopra

null“In order to make the animation genre popular amongst Indian movie going masses, the Industry should ensure that within a few years time, an Indian animated feature releases every month”

A few months ago, one of the most reputed names in Indian Cinema and Television,
B R Films announced its foray into animation with the 3D animated feature Krishna.

The Animated feature is being directed and produced by Ravi Chopra, the ace director whose last film Baghbaan starring the Big B Amitabh Bachchan was a mega grosser and incredibly popular with family audiences.

Animation Xpress.com Editor Anand Gurnani met up with B R Films’ Ravi Chopra for a quick Q&A on the Indian Entertainment Major’s plans for Krishna and Animation.

Please share some information about the 3D animation feature that you have announced?
Krishna is a 3D animated feature, budgeted around Rs 10 Crores that we are making at B R Films. The story written by Ram Govind, revolves around Natkhat Nandlal (Krishna’s childhood days). The Hindi version features four songs and will be about 110 minutes while the English version will be 90 minutes.

Pre production including storyboarding and character design is currently underway.

Where will you produce the animation for Krishna?
We are putting up an animation unit at B R Films which will house 60 artists. The main character animation will be done and supervised by experienced Indian & International freelance animators from Canada and the UK who have worked on major animated features in Hollywood. They will be in India at our facility for the entire production period.

Would 60 artists be enough to produce the animation for Krishna?
We will also farm out some of the production work to Indian Studio(s) who would meet our quality needs.

What about voices?
The child’s voice will have to be new, but we are getting known voices for the rest of the characters.

B R Films doing an animated film….
We have been thinking of animation for a long while but had not yet entered because the market wasn’t ready. Now the way things are we definitely feel that the audience is receptive to animation. Indian audiences have come of age and they understand and appreciate different styles of story telling today.

Why Krishna?
We have always wanted to do films for Kids. The story of Krishna’s childhood is a very interesting part of mythology pertaining to kids. While his childhood is full of pranks and innocent mischief, there are also a lot of instances which are profound and relevant to our lives even today. Quite a few of these instances are not yet known and understood by people. The effort is to bring these things closer to people.

Also Krishna is known and revered globally. Having his life as the film’s subject will actually lend a lot of weight to animation as a medium. Because it is the subject that will draw a lot of audiences to watch the film and expose them to the genre of animation.

Was 3D your first choice? Did you consider options like 2D and Motion Capture too?
2D animation takes a lot of time but 3D is a relatively faster process. 3D looks more tangible then 2D and that’s what makes it more exciting. The film is going to be completely key frame animated. We also did consider motion capture, but since we couldn’t think of any actor that could portray Kansa we decided to let the mocap option pass. If Amrish Puri were alive we would have definitely done mocap. For Krishna, we are going to have a very cute and endearing child, completely key frame animated.

Animation in India: Comments
Animation in India has come a long way since the days when the only animation that came out of the country was the PSAs from Films Division. I believe that animation as a medium is here to stay and in the coming years the presence of animation in mainstream Indian entertainment will witness major growth.

Parting shot?
The more animated films like these release in the country, the more the genre will become popular. In order to make the animation genre popular amongst Indian movie going masses, the Industry should ensure that within a few years time, an Indian animated feature releases every month. Kids love animation and B R Films is going to create Indian content in this medium.