“We strive for quality rather than a trophy” – NY VFXWAALA’s Naveen Paul

At two years, it’s a relative newbie in the world of Indian VFX. But Mumbai-based NY VFXWAALA (#thevfxpeople) has already made a significant impact in the world of Indian cinema. And is even being noticed as a VFX house which delivers some the best work in Asia. It was promoted by two VFX professionals Naveen Paul and Prasad Sutar – along with film star  Ajay Devgn as  a division of Ajay Devgn Films – with the vision to be the gold standard in VFX. And it has lived up to that promise, consistently moving its quality signposts and standards forward.  Its work has also won it recognition in terms of awards and citation. Not only in India, but internationally as well. Conversation between AnimationXpress, Naveen Paul and Prasad Sutar who were in a jubilant mood on the occasion of its second anniversary on 15 May 2017. Excerpts: How has NY VFXWAALAs journey been in its second year of operation? NY VFXWAALA was born two years ago on 15 May, and was founded by Ajay Devgn and co-founded by Naveen Paul and Prasad Sutar, whose participation in the VFX arena dates back about 20 years. We were a youthful new studio and had few very big projects to work on, and with the onus of expectations from the directors already set high, we only had one thing in mind: work on every project with commitment, devotion and the vision to create the impossible. We are glad that we could seamlessly achieve director’s vision. We are thankful to everybody for having immense faith on our capabilities. During our first year of operations, we worked on Bajirao Mastani, supervised by Prasad Sutar, and put together an awesome display of special effects. NY VFXWAALA went on to win Star Screen, Zee Cine, IIFA and the prestigious Asian Film award for best visual effects. Then, this year, we worked on Shivaay, under the direction of Ajay Devgn himself and supervised by Naveen Paul. The expectations from us were already set high and the visual effects in Shivaay were second to none. Shivaay bagged Star Screen, 24fps, Zee Cine Awards and then finally the dream for all, the 64th National Film Award! What more can one ask, than being honoured for your work by the President of the country, Pranab Mukherjee? The vfx people think as one and their belief in the visions of the company and dedication towards the goal help us create what we do! This has aided us to display one of the finest creations of special effects. What’s the current strength of the team? #thevfxpeople are about a 100 strong achievers. The studio has bagged many awards in the first two years. How does the team feel about it? We have never thought of running a race. NY VFXWAALA runs with a vision to ‘compose what others can only fantasise.’ And this what we have always done here. We just want to emphasise is that we strive for quality rather than a trophy. Though we do celebrate after winning every award! What were the various challenges the studio faced while delivering projects? As a team we have always strived to deliver what the director has visualised and at the same time have the onus of living up to the expectations desired from us. Amidst of all these, maintaining a healthy work environment and a good work life balance has always been the need of the day, and has always been our foremost priority. ‘Padmavati’ is another big project NY VFXWAALA is working on. What’s its status?  As a studio, this is our second collaboration with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. After having delivered stunning visuals in our previous projects, the expectation level with us has grown enormously.  Currently we have completed the pre-production and we are in middle of completing the shoot and have started the post-production of this magnum opus which is to release in November this year. Along with that, which are the projects the studio is currently working on? We are currently working on two Tamil films starring superstars Suriya and Vijay. As far as Bollywood is concerned, we are working on Jagga Jasoos, Secret Superstar, Atithi in London, Golmaal 4 and Padmavathi. How important is it to have experienced professionals like you both at the core of the team? Both of us carry about 20 years of experience in the VFX arena and put together, have worked on 200-plus projects so far. We have gained immense expertise in the field and at the same time, we as mentors pass on the knowledge to our mates so the legacy of creating fantasy on screen continues! What is your five year plan for the studio? The VFX industry as a whole is about to witness tremendous growth in the forth coming years. We are happy to be a part of this transition and sated that we are contributing towards its growth. NY VFXWAALA as team always has the intent to reach colossal benchmarks and is confident that #thevfxpeople will partake to take Indian VFX  to new heights. We also plan to encourage fresh talent and energy into the field which will be beneficial to the industry.  Recently, you worked on Baahubali 2. How was the experience on working on one of the finest works of Indian cinema? We are thankful to SS Rajamouli Sir and Arka Media for trusting and allowing us to be able to contribute to this masterpiece. We are happy to have delivered the project up to the director’s satisfaction.