Debutant director Soundarya talks of directing her father in ‘Kochadaiiyaan’

“Appa felt awkward when I directed the romantic sequences with Deepika (Padukone) in the movie,” said debutant director Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin of ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth’s much-awaited ‘Kochadaiiyaan,’ at a press conference in the city on Friday.

“Every time I said ‘cut’, he would feel awkward I was directing him,” she said, in response to a question on the experience of directing the legendary star in the film.

‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is being billed as the country’s first full-length photo-realistic 3D performance capture feature film.

The magnum opus, apart from having Rajinikanth in multiple roles and paired with Deepika Padukone, will also have actors Sarath Kumar, Shobana and Nasser in important roles.

Legendary comedian Nagesh has also been resurrected as a synthespian for the role, by getting someone to imitate his body language and super-imposing the performance capture on a likeness of the actor who passed away in 2009.

‘A bigger challenge’

To a question on how the task of performance capture for ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ was different from that in movies that have already used the technology — namely Avatar and Tintin — Soundarya said the task she had at hand was a lot tougher.

“With Avatar and Tintin, the makers were creating imaginary characters. The seven-feet Naavi or the cartoonish characters of Tintin did not have any real-life references and were completely imaginary,” she said.

“However, the task we had at hand was a lot tougher. Appa’s fans know his appearance inside out; they know his body language distinctly and know every scar he has. So, re-creating an exact likeness of his real-life being was a huge challenge. Likewise, for everybody else… be it Shobana or Deepika. They will look exactly the same in their 3D animated version as they are in real life,” said Soundarya.

The film’s audio is slated for release on March 9, and the official release date will be announced very soon, she said.

“Such movies have a long production cycle. In Hollywood, such projects take seven to eight years to materialise. We have done this as fast as we could,” she said.

Augmented reality app

Karbonn Mobiles, which has partnered with Kochadaiiyaan, has come up with special-edition smartphones to coincide with the film’s release.

These phones, apart from sporting exclusive content from the film, will also feature an ‘augmented reality’ app that will feature small animations from the film, allow its users to play simple ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ games or even take photographs with the animated Rajinikanth character from the movie.

Sudhir Hasija, chairman, Karbonn Mobiles, said the augmented reality app the company has developed will be one of the most innovative ways in which a film has been promoted.

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