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Illusion Reality Studioz aims to revolutionise post-production space in India: Nitin Dadoo

He believes that going virtual will save both time and money spent on post-production.

MUMBAI: Contiloe Pictures has proved itself a pioneer in the industry since its inception two decades ago. And now, the fully integrated, premium broad-based entertainment content production company announced that its VFX division will be rebranded to Illusion Reality Studioz.

With the aim to become the one stop destination for all VFX needs, the in-house vertical will solely focus on VFX, animation, previz/techviz, on-set camera tracking, lidar scanning amongst others, and will continue the Contiloe ethos of merging storytelling and art with science. The vertical will be helmed by Illusion Reality Studioz( a Contiloe Pictures group company) animation & VFX business head, Contiloe Pictures CFO Nitin Dadoo.

“For the last three years, we were evaluating the significance and the extension plan.  Apart from in-house content we started taking external projects – from Hollywood, OTT or regional shows. During this time, we realised that the complexities and number of projects are increasing and it is the best time to start a new vertical which will cater into both VFX and animation,” explained Dadoo, adding that the rebrand was deferred from 2020 to 2021 due to the Covid2019 pandemic.

At present, the studio has a strength of more than 200 employees who are working from its Mumbai and Bhubaneshwar facilities. The team is bifurcated into two divisions – one solely focused on internal projects and the other handles external projects. The creative team is headed by Nicholas Camecho, along with creative directors Deepak SV and Indraneel Roy. Nicholas boasts of over 35 years experience in the VFX and animation space including his stints with studios like Disney and Warner Bros. He has also held the title of creative supervisor, director and producer across several CG development projects in London. Deepak is an old hand in visual effects and animation, and handles foreign and Indian clients. A national film awardee creative director with a demonstrated history of working in the entertainment industry, he has had successful stints working with Pixion, Maya Entertainment and Accel media. Roy’s expertise lies in motion pictures and visual effects. With 25 years of diverse experience, he has worked closely with the directors, producers, production houses, cinematographers and studios as Visual Effects Director / VFX Supervisor to materialize their varied visions. Nishikant is the CGI and VFX supervisor. Head of production Bharat Mistry has been associated with Contiloe Pictures for well over a decade now.

In the aftermath of the virus outbreak and resumption of filming, it was observed that several production houses are venturing into virtual production to minimise the budget and avoid outdoor shoots. The team at Illusion Reality Studioz is aiming to take virtual production a notch higher, as it is going to be a key pillar in the VFX facility. Under this technology, there will be functions like unreal motion builder which will be used to create photo imagery. Within the camera, the team can showcase what the directors are emphasising. Through this technology, directors, creators  and DOPs can become the part of visualisation process before it goes on the edit table.

Citing an example, Dadoo mentioned that for their upcoming premium series, they are virtually creating some assets and locations within the script to make it easier for the director to figure out the cast needed for the show and other important details. He shared that this process will save time on post-production.

Virtual production will allow them to create photo real and hyper real assets within the existing system. Through on-set camera tracking, lidar scanning (used to scan the set) it would be easier to create an environment in real time and it will also allow to create final imagery without going into post production.

“In India, we spend 15-20 per cent of our time in pre-production, 40 per cent in shooting and another 35-40 per cent goes in post-production. But in the western world, things are more organised. They spend 40 per cent of their time in pre-production followed by shooting and in post-production they only spend 20 per cent. India is still in the learning process, with our studio we are also trying to get into that space where we plan much in advance and save cost and time,” Dadoo detailed.

He envisages to become the first VFX studio in the country to use these tools and change the landscape of post-production process.

Apart from working on current projects like Vighnaharta Ganesha, State of Siege 26: 11, the studio is busy developing an original series – Akshardham, the shooting will commence in may. On the external projects, the team recently finished working on MX Player’s eight-part web series Ram Yug. The series is directed and produced by Kunal Kohli. The studio will also start working on 26-part animation series for The Jim Henson Company.

Dadoo said he is flexible with working on both co-production and commission based projects. Acquisition and syndication of content is also on the cards, stating that he’s working on syndicating content from Thailand and the Sri Lankan market. However, the major focus will be on creating content where the studio can retain the rights.

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