All we know about SS Rajamouli’s VFX-heavy project ‘RRR’ so far

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Having emerged over the years as the crowning glory of India’s storytelling landscape, Maverick Director SS Rajamouli has churned out several blockbusters in his career, including Student No 1, Simhadri, Yamadonga, Maghadheera, Maryada Ramana and Eega / Naan Ee, but in the apotheosis of his craft, it was Baahubali that really made him a force to reckon with.

By varying degrees, VFX has played an indispensable role in movies that have become noted visual spectacles. Now more than ever, modern filmmakers are conceding that their imagination can’t translate well on celluloid sans the wizardry of visual effects. RRR is a case in point as; Rajamouli set out to make a less VFX-heavy movie in a bid to depart from tradition. Yet, as the production began and imagination ripened, he came to an understanding that VFX is indeed the fuel he needs to keep his cinematic engine running.

VFX stalwart Srinivas Mohan, “There are big companies that are tying up with us only because we are doing something new”

India’s top VFX projects including that of Bahubali have been headed by Srinivas Mohan who has reliably made a mark in the industry with his ingenious work in cinema. The most awaited Tollywood projects RRR is set to be headed by Srinivas who will reprise his role as the VFX head for this action-entertainer.

Image Tower

In a conversation with AnimationXpress, he enthusiastically talked about the importance of pre-visualisation, gammage, lidar scanning, lightstage technology that he picked up from SIGGRAPH festival et al. His drive for technology seemed inspiring but in all that he revealed, he also added that for RRR, “there are big big companies that are tying up with us only because we are doing something new.”

Speculations are rife that this is going to be a biggie and Rajamouli has roped in the best of the best to deploy the technology, craft the action, buttress his story and enlarge the overall canvas of his imagination. Incidentally, the IndiaJoy festival we met him at also marked the biggest announcements by government in favour of VFX and Animation; of which Hyderabad’s “Image Tower” was the highlight among many other AVGC-friendly announcements.

RRR; a fictitious story about two legendary revolutionaries and their journey away from home before they started fighting for their country in 1920’s.

India is not only home to one of the biggest film industries in the world but also the biggest talent-pool of VFX artists and evidently the world is training its eyes on it by setting up VFX outposts in the subcontinent. Srinivas’ previous VFX marvel was serviced heavily by Oscar-winning DNEG studio that was instrumental in weaving the comprehensive mobile-phone bird for the movie 2.0.

International VFX professionals continue to lend their talents in Indian domestic projects. Recently Framestore (another top International Oscar-winning VFX studio) opened an outpost in Mumbai and is reportedly roped in for the upcoming Tollywood movie RRR for post-production VFX work.

When the Framestore CEO Sir William Sargent spoke to us, he didn’t reveal much about plans to service domestic projects but stated that “when you look at the partnerships our clients are currently inking with Indian producers things could well change in the future.”

Not reducible to their geographies, stories are now striking a global connect with filmmakers who are setting out with an intent to amuse everyone. In the long list of actors, Rajamouli, aiming for inclusivity and reach, chose the top bollywood stars like Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn (who recently produced another VFX extravaganza for India; Tanhaji the Unsung Warrior) 

Interestingly, Devgn owns a promising VFX studio NY VFXWAALA that recently set up its branch in Hyderabad, given the fertile policies facilitated by the government which were announced at IndiaJoy festival. One can’t help but speculate that the studio might also be involved in the project in some or the other way given the quantum of work and the unparalleled skill of the award-winning technicians.

To be helmed by DVV Danayya under his banner DVV Entertainments, a budget of around 300 crore rupees has been rolled out for the project of which; a major part will be utilised for VFX. On the lead stars’ roles in the film, Ram Charan will be playing a cop and Jr NTR will be playing a gangster.

Here’s the list of VFX crew that are speculated to be involved in the project :-

Alan ‘Badger’ BrayshawVFX Production Lead: MAKUTA VFX
Pete Drapervisual effects supervisor: Makuta
Daniel Frenchvisual effects supervisor: Surpreeze
Yana Georgievavisual effects data wrangler: MPC
John Griffithprevis director: CNCPT
Tina Hedegaarddata wrangler: Surpreeze
Sunil Kamathvisual effects supervisor
Srinivas MohanVFX Head / visual effects supervisor
Silas Pulsminiature effects supervisor
Suhit Sahavisual effects producer

Recently Rajamouli decided to release the teaser of the movie which gave us an elementary view of the scale.

For a long time, film enthusiasts and aficionados had been wondering what RRR meant but it turns out that the visionary director was trying to secure the rights of the title Raghupati Raghav Rajaram. Having failed to acquire it, the RRR acronym was given a different spin altogether.

The three letter acronym RRR chosen for the title might be puzzling but one three letter acronym Rajamouli has internalised very well is VFX.

The RRR now stands for Rise Roar Revolt. In Telugu, it is Roudram Ranam Rudhiram and in Tamil it is Irattam Ranam Relattiram. All the discombobulating multi-lingual interpretations to the RRR acronym could potentially be an issue.

Nevertheless, quite an alliteration beast!

Rajamouli’s film titles have always been simple, mostly one-worded like Eega, Magadheera, Baahubali etc. For the first time, he has selected multiple titles in different languages for the same film.

In conclusion, we’d like to say that this three letter acronym RRR chosen for the title might be puzzling but one three letter acronym Rajamouli has internalised very well is VFX.