Bollywood has always been about big. Big money, bigger productions, the biggest stars. In an industry obsessed with bluster, with overpriced stars and their PR machines on manic overdrive, we tend to forget that the machinery of magic that we know of as the film industry is equally run by the ‘little people’ - ushers who double up as ticket vendors at single theatres, reporters who practically invented the Page 3 format without even realizing it, gym instructors who sculpt superstars battling mid-life crises, rickshaw drivers who invented dhinchaak, the sound that has come to define Bollywood music. Also Starring is our tribute to the foot soldiers of pop culture who stitch together the dazzling quilt we call Bollywood.

The dream catcher

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Devil in details

Tavaria believes that you have to focus a lot on detailing at this stage as this stage of the craft makes or breaks a scene. “Earlier the discussion would take place with four pencils and a mobile phone. Now the whole set is made in CG.” He also says that most people don't notice the intricate detailing that goes Merzin Tavariainto every scene. “We work on a shot for months and you will see it in few seconds! For instance, the opening shot in 'Guzaarish' which has Hrithik Roshan sitting on a wheelchair and trying to flick a fly off of his nose. A lot of research was done to understand the behavioral patterns of a fly, to make it look real. The challenge was to match the animation of the fly to Hrithik's eye movement. The detailing went to the extent of casting the shadow of the fly when it sits on Hrithik's nose.These are things the audience will never notice but if I don't put all this, the emptiness will start showing immediately.”

Home connect

In the business of connecting with the audience, there would be elements which would need to be watered-down. "Hollywood has been toying with the genre of science fiction for decades, right from the 'Star Wars' era, so they have evolved. So when we did ‘Total Recall’,  we had robots flying around and a whole cityscape in CG."  But here, this genre is just being established, so films need to connect with what the audiences can relate to. Tavaria explains, “If I am too futuristic in any design concept, the common man will not relate to it.”

From color correcting scenes to VFX driven sequences, the journey has been a long one. "When I first started out, nobody even offered a chair or tea on the sets. Now, we are an integral part of a film even before it goes on the floor," concludes Tavaria.


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