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Mr. Illusion

Success so special... Madhusudanan

Success so special... Madhusudanan  

REMEMBER THE 38 minutes of stunning graphics in Aalavandhan? The person who created the miniatures, computer generated sequences and violent scenes involving the psycho-character using 2D animation is Madhusudanan. He made an entry into Hollywood with his visual effects in a small sequence that followed the title in the "Lord of the Rings — Return of the King". The visual effects producer won the National Award for Aalavandhan. He is also part of the visual effects team of `Lord of the Rings - Return of the King' that swept the Oscars this year.

What's illusion?

Ask the artiste what illusion is all about, and he says, "A visual effect. You take 15 people and multiply them into thousands and present the illusion that it is for real."

How did it feel to work in a Hollywood film? "Great. It's recognition for every Indian. A 12-member Indian team executed the job for three months in Hyderabad," says Madhusudanan, the only Indian to qualify for the membership of the Visual Effects Society (VES), Los Angeles. The membership authorises one to work as a visual effects producer in any Hollywood movie.

Hollywood-Kollywood link

Being part of the development committee of VES, Madhu is already in the process of bringing an international delegation to India to explore possibilities of setting up an international forum. "A forum that covers everything, from film-making to post-production. It's time we thought of combinations such as Kamal Hassan and Steven Spielberg, Bruce Willis and Mani Ratnam, and globalise the entertainment industry. The Hollywood guys are willing and someone has to make a start here.

The visit of the international delegation will kickstart the process," he adds. The international delegation will have names like Peter Jackson, director of the `Lord of the Rings' Trilogy, Tim McGovern, visual effects supervisor of `Total Recall,' Goerge Mecret, who did the visual effects for `Cliffhanger,' `Anaconda' and `Starship Troopers,' Michael Pacer, producer of `Speed-II' and Jon Labrie. Mention Aalavandhaan and Madhu's face lights up. "It was a dream come true working with Kamal. He is a great technician and visualises the future." Madhu's break in the movies came in 1995 with the Vijayakanth-starrer `Alexander.' Movies such as `Devadhai,' `Oruvan,' `Desiya Geetham,' `Anbudan' and `Tenali' and Mani Ratnam's `Alai Payuthe' followed. But, it was `Aalvandhaan' that brought him into the limelight. Talk about the creative freedom allowed to a visual effects producer in Kollywood and he's not amused. "Here, people are not willing to experiment because of time and budget constraints. The `Lord of the Rings' trilogy was shot over seven years with a budget of $28 billion. Here, we make movies in three months. It's not necessary that every action scene has to be laden with graphics. Use it only when there is a risk for the artiste like in `Alai Payuthe' (the shot where Shalini gets sandwiched between two cars). We worked on it for two months and on screen, it lasted just 5.5 seconds," he adds.

His strengths

Ask him what his strength is, and he states: "It's the passion to achieve something in life. I started my career selling computers in Coimbatore and it was `Terminator-II' that triggered me to explore multimedia and visual effects."

His dream? "To win an Oscar. Also to work with director Shankar and actor Aamir Khan. They believe in experimenting." Right now, Madhu has bagged Shekar Kapur's bilingual `Paani' (in English and Hindi) and is likely to be roped in for the next Harry Potter project through Cine Site, a U.K. company.

K. JESHI

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