If you have watched the trailer of ‘Kochadaiiyaan’, you might recall an action sequence where superstar Rajinikanth fights off hyenas inside a prison.
The background for the particular scene, and several others, is the result of hard work put in by a team of 120 artists and architects led by artist C.R. Velu.
“We spent about a month-and-a-half travelling around the country, studying palaces and taking high-resolution photographs of walls, pillars, statues, furniture and other things used in the times of yore,” said C.R. Velu.
This is his second film as art director. Velu has earlier worked as assistant art director in 33 films, including ‘Vasool Raja MBBS’ and ‘Dhool’. His first film as art director was ‘Thoranai’ and the third one is ‘Aaha Kalyanam’.
“It was fantastic to be selected to work on ‘Kochadaiiyaan’. I also had the opportunity to speak with Rajini sir. He was very interested in our work,” he said.
The artists drew at least 20 kinds of bows and arrows for the film’s hero.
“In the case of live-action movies, if a song sequence is needed, we need to simply make a drawing and give them a copy to make the sets. But in this film, the artists had to create everything, apart from the actors, so we had to make plenty of drawings.”
Velu has a room full of drawing sheets with sketches made for Kochadaiiyaan. Everything, from the chariots and war scenes to mountains, harbours and forests, has been created by the artists.
Ask Velu if he is satisfied with his work, he says he is waiting for the film to be released.
“We don’t know which scenes were used and which ones were edited out. Like my four-year-old daughter who likes animation films, I too am waiting to watch it,” he said.
Kochadaiiyaan, a performance-capture animation, photo-realistic film, is slated for release on April 11.