India’s Biggest Film Franchise: Baahubali 2 Hot On Hollywood Heels

April 13, 2017 12:13
India’s Biggest Film Franchise: Baahubali 2 Hot On Hollywood Heels

The makers of SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus, Baahubali 2, are expecting the movie’s top-notch visual effects, may wean the Indian audiences, adopted from Hollywood blockbusters.

The movie Baahubali2, will be shown alluring the audiences with their, magical kingdoms, rampaging armies and towering palaces of a homegrown fantasy epic.

Many animators, work in the India’s Southern city of Hyderabad, boosted by caffeine, and huddled over computer screens in a darkened studio, to give the finishing touches on India’s biggest and most ambitious movie.

Makuta VFX, Co-Founder, Pete Draper, said, “If art could have been easy, everybody could have done it.” Makuta VFX is bringing the live action scenes together with computer-generated imagery (CGI). This imagery is used to depict ancient kingdoms and bloody wars, in a typical Indian battle of good versus evil.

“Each single shot of the film has its own challenges, and working hours right now are crazy, as we are packing up daily around 4 a.m.,” said Draper.

Draper thoroughly, ensured that the location shots and the movements of the actors, synchronized with CGI enhanced, rendering on screen.

Baahubali2, is the most highly awaited Indian film of the decade, according to agencies, and when the film started its opening in cinemas in 2015, the dubbed versions of the first part of the movie, resonated with audiences nationwide. The film gained huge acclaim in India’s southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The film maker, Rajamouli, aims to release the movie on April 28.

Rajamouli, in his early childhood, was inspired by Hollywood epics such as “Ben Hur” and “The Ten Commandments”. So, he always wanted to create a tent pole franchise that delivered a memorable movie experience. The younger generation was looking to Hollywood franchises such as 'The Fast and the Furious', and the superheroes of the Marvel and DC Comics universe for the big-screen thrills, but however, the Indian cinema was unable to provide.

The ace director, Rajamouli, in a interview in Hyderabad said, “The Hollywood industry has heavy budgets, huge star cast and studios, backing us.” “But, if we make 10% of it, an Indian context, with our stories, actors and actresses, we can easily compete.”

A team of nearly 80 animators, have been given the task of fleshing out the heft and detail, of the half-built palace, an arena, the torso of a statue and a stone temple.

Work on the CGI heavy movie, was distributed among 35 studios across continents, in order to keep the production costs on a budget of USD 67 million.

One of the producers, Prasad Devineni, said, “We did not have any studio backing us. Raising capital was a challenge.” If everything goes well, a record-breaking run for 'Baahubali 2' would be a wake-up call for Bollywood. The Indian box-office, fell to USD 1.5 billion, in 2016, down from USD 101 billion. Although Bollywood, is reliable on a tried-and-tested formula of romances and masala thrillers, the industry has failed to develop its own big-ticket franchises, and instead increased its market share on “Baahubali,” with top producer Karan Johar marketing the movie in Hindi this month.

“Baahubali”, is sure to lure back Indian audiences, with a spin off TV series, an animated offering for Amazon video streaming and a comic book.

India Managing Director at global box-office tracker comScore, said “the movie, Baahubali, has shown us the way on how to market, build euphoria around it.”

The makers always foreseen the film as a franchise, with many narrations branching off its story line, to cling the maximum number of viewers later. Rajamouli said, “Our audiences might be watching English films, or Hollywood films, and getting used to them, but the blood does not change, the DNA does not change.”

By Supraja

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