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Article
Soundharya opens up on Sultan the Warrior
(Saturday, 6th June 2009)

Soundharya Rajinikanth, the director of Sultan, the Warrior in an exclusive chit-chat with Times of India clears away all the doubts about the project and also speaks in detail about the plot and punch dialogue in the film.

Thanks to Times of India for giving us a wonderful morning.

A six-pack Rajini in Sultan
Soundarya Rajinikanth talks to CT about the experience of animating her father in her upcoming film

Get set to whistle non-stop. Superstar Rajinikanth is all set to sport a sixpack. So what if it is in the animated film, Sultan the Warrior? The resemblance to Rajini is remarkable.

“We have been able to achieve a celluloid look because we motion captured him,” says Soundarya Rajinikanth, co-producer of Sultan the warrior.

Soundarya checks the gray scale, then goes back to the original motion capture images. Forty eight cameras read only the glowing markers on a tight body suit that he wears. But Rajini does not merely go through the motions. His face, eyes, eyebrows, all come alive. “He is a director’s delight, and that is why we have been able to achieve a finish not attempted in India so far,” she adds.

Some of Hollywood’s best technicians have helped achieve the look. The facial animation (you have only around 200 muscles to replicate) has been done by Image Matrix, the company that did that fabulous work on Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. “We have outsourced nearly 30 per cent of our work and it all needs to gel together,” adds Soundarya.

The USD 5 million project has been in the making for a few years now. “Maybe I was a little too optimistic that the full length animation film (one hour and 45 minutes running time, as of now) could be finished in two years time,” she says and adds “Internationally, it is known that an animation film with VFX takes much longer.”

With a background in multimedia, how did she turn to direction and where did she get the story idea from? “Oh, it’s appa’s ‘knot’ actually,” she says. “We normally discuss stories and when he mentioned this one, I wanted to make an animated film at once. He said, ‘Come back to me with a screenplay and we will see’. I did and he gave the thumbs up,” says Soundarya.

Nearly 70 per cent of the film is done, says Ravikumar Anandaraj, chief technical officer and executive producer of the film.

It is a film set in the Chola period. With Rahul Dev having been motion captured as the villain who is also a classical dancer and a martial arts expert, will this be a kind of Sultan-meets-Bruce Wayne film? “No, he is not Superman, he cannot fly, but Sultan will connect with the warrior in every one of us. It is a commercial film with love, betrayal, revenge, action and humour,” she explains.

What about the trademark Rajni punch dialogues?

“Adikkira kaathula parakkura elai illada Sultan, malai, asaikka mudiyadhu (Sultan is not a leaf to blow away in the wind, but a mountain. He is unshakable), ” Soundarya reels off one of the dialogues written by her.

“Shooting him was an awesome experience, we never had to go beyond one take, though when I said, ‘Retake’ he always obliged.”

Soundarya is also planning a glossy coffeetable book on the making of Sultan the Warrior. The mock up scenes will also be screened in theatres.

The film will be released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi simultaneously. The Japanese and English versions will be released “according to theatrical release norms of that country,” she adds. “India is a happening place today, which was not the case three years ago, when I participated at Mipcom at Cannes (where international content is showcased). Now, international distributors are keen to discuss our films complete with song, dance and the climax fight,” says Soundarya.

Any confusion over the release date? “All I want is to gift a good, classy product to my dad, and such a gift can be given at Diwali,” she says.

A Diwali release? She laughs and responds with a question, “Or maybe an early new year gift?”

“What matters is that he is the first southeast Asian star to be animated, and it will be a classy work, something India will be proud of.

Our animation work has never crossed the oceans. It’s time it did,” says Soundarya.So how are things with Warner Bros, with whom her company had tied up for joint ventures? She opens a mail from Richard Fox of Warner Bros and reads it. “‘It’s going good and we have many projects in the pipeline. Warner Bros has been and will continue to work with you. Together, our companies have a number of south Indian language projects in various stages of production. We will announce these projects at the appropriate time. But, any rumour that suggests otherwise is simply not true’, said Richard Fox executive vice-president International, Warner Bros,” she says.

THE PROCESS OF ANIMATION

• First, a body scan was done

• Mesh rebuilding

• Anatomy finalisation

• Model rebuilding

• Texturing

• Rigging (attaching a skeleton to the body)






 
17 Comment(s)Views: 237

deepu,chennai
Sunday, 26th July 2009 at 09:02:41

if u can,,,,,,anyone challenge our superstar and see.....wats happening????
raghav,
Saturday, 27th June 2009 at 12:19:08

tats rajinikanth.............

prasanna,chennai
Saturday, 13th June 2009 at 09:57:13

No one is born to beat our one and only demi god thalaivar
Muru,
Wednesday, 10th June 2009 at 21:11:46

I saw the movie first day in US . Our family went to theatre before 4 hrs of the show and there were huge crowds where none of the hollywood movies see this. When the movie started , the theatre management had to come and stop the movie for a while and they told us not to shout. The crowd was amazing and uncontrollable shout.it was excellent experinace to see thalaivar movie at first day
Sarav,London
Wednesday, 10th June 2009 at 10:11:27

I saw the FIRST DAY FIRST SHOW in LONDON.
And the THEATRE WAS ROCKING as we came out, there was a HUGE CROWD AWAITING TO SEE THE MOVIE filling the theatre premises, like never before.
Even none of the BOLLYWOOD biggies could drew such mass crowd for First Day First Show in theatres here...
I literally felt like watching the movie in CHENNAI
Long Live his FAME....
Cheers,
Sarav

haaris,india
Wednesday, 10th June 2009 at 09:52:02

no man in this world can beat him in his humbleness name fame he is the master of masters legend of legends god of gods
Andy,UK, Galsgow
Tuesday, 9th June 2009 at 09:13:53

I watched the film in glasgow, Scotland. 7 screens in this huge theatre complex played Shivaji simultaneously and all of them were houseful.
pavan,vizag
Tuesday, 9th June 2009 at 06:13:36

fantastic movie, i like to watch it for number of times. great actor and he is the only actor to have a number of fans throughout world.
prakash,chennai
Monday, 8th June 2009 at 15:43:52

Sivaji is one of the best entertainer with good message of thalaivar. You can watch many number of times without boring and thats the speciality(eppo varukindra padathae oru thadavai yae parkae mudiyulae athukkae rombo scene poduranunga so called jujubee actors..ennae kodumae).There are so many interesting scenes courtesy shankar and sujatha. Kudos to him and hope Robo will be thrice better than Sivaji.
EE RAA,chennai
Monday, 8th June 2009 at 06:16:59

Excellent Narration.....
thanks for sharing

EE RAA

rambo,India/Bangalore
Monday, 8th June 2009 at 01:45:05

THAT IS THE POWER OF SS

I PAID Rs. 800/- PER TICKET IN BLACK FOR THE FIRST DAY FIRST SHOW

karthi,india/chennai
Sunday, 7th June 2009 at 11:35:16

our god is none other than superstar rajinikanth.... thalaivaaa
SKB,ABU DHABI, U.A.E.
Sunday, 7th June 2009 at 10:26:30

yes, that is the magic of the SS, i.e. Sivaji(Rao Gaekwad)
rajesh,chennai,india
Sunday, 7th June 2009 at 07:36:16

summa adhirudhilla........
preethi,india
Sunday, 7th June 2009 at 03:24:55

DMK ADMK =Super star rajinikanth
DARWIN,india/vellore
Sunday, 7th June 2009 at 02:41:23

thalaivar padam na summava.....
SL Boy,Sri Lanka
Sunday, 7th June 2009 at 02:13:31

Super Star na Summawaaaa ???
here in Sri Lanka also that the tickets for Sivaji are being sold in black at Rs1000 to Rs1500.
What A legend he is.
Iam soo proud to be a RAJINI fan.

 
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