Cinema

Super posters for the Superstar

Kabali first look poster.  

The first-look posters of Kabali gave goose bumps to Rajinikanth fans. His fans went berserk looking at their t halaivar in a grey suit, sporting a white beard and sitting stylishly on a sofa, with the Petronas Twin Towers in the background. Vinci Raj, who designed the poster, is a die-hard fan of the Superstar. “When Ranjith came with the request to design the poster, I was thrilled,” he says. “I grew up watching Superstar’s films and to get a chance to work in his film was a dream come true.” Vinci Raj’s first poster design was for Ranjith’s debut film, Attakathi. His friend Moses, who was working as Ranjith’s assistant, helped him get the break. Vinci Raj went on to design posters for Soodhu Kavvum, Mundasupatti, Thegidi and Indru Netru Naalai (all produced by C V Kumar).

Vinci Raj did his Bachelor’s in Computer Application and went on to do his MBA. While doing his Master’s, he realised that he wanted to be in a creative field (from childhood, he excelled in drawing). He did a second Master’s in Digital Communication and started building his career in the advertising industry. “I won the Cannes Lions 2010 award for the Talk Them Dead campaign for the Karnataka Traffic Police (about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving) and the Spike Asia 2014 award for my short film The Good Road, about the importance of wearing a helmet. But I consider working for Kabali my lifetime opportunity,” he says. “A life-changing one too.”

Around five months ago, while on a road trip near Bangalore with his three friends, Vinci Raj met with an accident. He grappled with memory loss for a couple of weeks.

“It was a traumatic time,” he says. “But when the Kabali offer came, I took it as a challenge and gradually recollected everything, right from using Photoshop and other software. Ranjith gave me sufficient time and I am also thankful to the producer of the film for giving me the creative freedom that I wanted.”

The immense success of the Kabali poster is the result of efficient team work — by the photographer, the costume designer, the art director, and many others.

“I was amazed by the perfection and professionalism of Rajinikanth,” he says.“It was because of his dedication that we were able to complete the shoot in just two days. When I explained to him what I expected from him, he just listened and said, in his own style, ‘OK OK OK…’ He gave me exactly what I had in mind. More, in fact. One can learn a lot just by observing him. I was in awe as his fan.” It was from Ranjith that Vinci Raj came to know that Rajinikanth was very happy with his work.

“The poster designer’s name was never mentioned before Kabali,” says Vinci Raj. “Those days, it was only the stars (MGR and Sivaji) who were prominent in the posters, and later, the directors’ names (K Balachander, Sridhar, Mani Ratnam) were printed in big fonts. In the 90s, the cinematographers were projected. Today, even poster designers are gaining prominence. I am extremely happy with this trend.”

Vinci Raj reads the complete script of the film for which he designs the posters. After understanding the script, he develops the central idea thematically. “Music and posters bring audiences into the theatre,” he says. “Posters have to present the story of the film and evoke curiosity.”

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:50:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/designer-vinci-raj-on-kabali-posters/article7719714.ece

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