Prime Focus delivers 431 VFX shots and DI for the movie “Cocktail”
Prime Focus recently delivered 431 VFX shots and DI for Illuminati Films' latest venture "Cocktail" which released on July 13th 2012. This is Prime Focus' fourth collaboration with Illuminati Films and the second this year after 'Agent Vinod'.
The entire VFX work on the film was completed within a period of 50 days. Leading the VFX was Govardhan Viagraham, VFX Supervisor who worked under the guidance of Merzin Tavaria, Chief Creative Director of Prime Focus .The DI was headed by Rohan Desai, DI Head and Chief Colorist.
'Cocktail' is a love triangle revolving around a wild flirt Gautam, Meera, a Delhi girl with desi values and Veronica; a free spirited girl who loves to live the highlife. Though different from each other, they are close friends who live under one roof, until friendship becomes confusing and love becomes complicated.
The movie is directed by Homi Adajania and produced by Illuminati Films starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty in lead roles.
Talking about the movie, Merzin Tavaria, Co-founder and Chief Creative Director at Prime Focus said "Cocktail is our fourth collaboration with Illuminati Films and the second this year after 'Agent Vinod'. However, the treatment for these movies is completely different. Because 'Cocktail' is a romantic comedy, all our efforts were focused on creating visuals that complement the storyline of the film whilst simultaneously enriching the comic sense. The idea was to use visual effects to bring out the beauty of the shots and to make them look real. We are extremely happy to have matched the visual effects that the Producer Dinesh Vijan, Director Homi Adajania and DoP Anil Mehta really had in mind, and delivered within the given timeframe."
"Of all the various VFX sequences in 'Cocktail', one of the most interesting and challenging sequences was creating a London backdrop. DoP Anil Mehta shot the sequences against green screen as if it were the actual location in terms of lighting and camera movement, so the visual effects had to match seamlessly with this approach. The challenge was to create a backdrop of London that worked well for each of the shots. With a variety of plates to work with, the team created a vast cityscape with buildings and streets filled with traffic and people. In the end, the team had to match-move the live camera to achieve a highly realistic background movement that took care of various technical aspects such as depth of field and parallax."added Merzin.
Elaborating on the VFX shots for the movie Prime Focus VFX Supervisor Govardhan Vigraham said, "While shooting the movie, the DoP had a particular vision which was very evident in the shots; the lighting, framing, camera movement, so we had to ensure that we delivered the 'look' that he had set for the movie. Anil spent considerable time with us in setting the various parameters, like the exact composition of the London backdrop and the tones for day, evening, and night."
"A good example of this type of shot is the green screen window composite, created for the scene in which Meera is looking out of the window at the slow moving traffic in London, whilst the camera slowly tracks back to reveal the entire room. In order to make the simple shot look stunning, the team added a range of realistic elements such as reflections and scratches on the glass, transparent curtains and an accurate resemblance of street lighting. Additionally, to give a natural look to the shot, it was important to find the right 'levels' in mixing all these elements, resulting in a shot that not only looked natural but also visually captivating."
"The movie also involved many VFX-heavy sequences; one of which was Veronica's accident sequence. In this particular sequence, a heavily intoxicated Veronica is standing in the middle of the road and is hit by a speeding car. With the impact, she is flung in the air before crashing to the ground, as the car goes past her. Considering the safety hazards inherent in shooting this scene, the director wanted to use VFX, so Prime Focus were engaged during pre-production to ensure the success of the shot. To achieve this accident sequence, the sequence was shot in two different layers. One layer was of the speeding car and the other was Veronica hanging on cables. At the compositing stage, Veronica's layer was tweaked to create the sudden lift on impact, before being flung in the air."
"Besides the shots mentioned above, there were several PIP shots required, numerous television inserts were individually designed and tracked for each television screen and there were a number of motion graphics shots, clean-up and compositing work."
"Personally it has been a great experience working on 'Cocktail'. In my opinion, one of the best parts about working on the movie was the association with their creative team and DoP Anil Mehta, who guided us at all stages. Overall, it has been a rewarding experience for the entire team as we eagerly await our chance to work again with Illuminati Films and director Homi Adajania." shared Govardhan.
Speaking about the particular look of the movie, Rohan Desai – DI Head and Chief Colorist at Prime Focus said, "While grading the London sequences of the movie, I experimented with a new look for the skin tones of the characters. Instead of going ahead with a heavy look for the characters, I preferred using a pastel look for the skin tones which is not typically used in Indian movies. I am glad that director Homi Adajania and DoP Anil Mehta liked the look and have used it in the entire movie."
"Other than this, there is one particular vacation sequence which was shot in Cape Town, for which a very warm and exotic look was given. Additionally, a very trippy look was given on the look of the club sequences to further enhance the storyline to make it look glamorous and stylish".
Rohan concluded saying, "While grading 'Cocktail', I aimed to create a look that an individual loves to see in an international movie and does not expect in a typical Indian movie. As the movie is set in an urban scenario with a storyline that keeps the audience glued to know 'what happens next', I had to match the grading to keep up with the aesthetic appeal of the film. I liaised closely with the director and DOP and with their guidance, creative and artistic sensibilities; I was able to achieve the required look for the movie. With 'Cocktail', we have surely raised the bar of using DI as an important tool in the storytelling process."
Other than DI and VFX for the movie 'Cocktail', Prime Focus has also delivered the sound and title sequence for the movie. Additionally, Prime Focus EQR division in Mumbai has supplied the camera equipments for shooting the movie.
About Prime Focus:
Prime Focus is a global Visual Entertainment Services group that provides creative and technical services to the film, broadcast, commercials, internet, and media industries. The group offers a genuine end-to-end solution from pre-production to final delivery - including stereo 3D visual effects, stereo 3D conversion, and video and audio post-production, digital intermediate, equipment hire, multi-platform content operations solutions and digital distribution.
Prime Focus employs almost 3,500 people with state-of-the-art facilities throughout the key markets of North America, the UK and India. Using its 'World sourcing' business model, Prime Focus provides a network that combines global cost advantages, resources and talent pool with strong relationships and a deep understanding of the local markets.