Movie tickets always sell out the moment any Marvel or DC movie is released. Although some people may just be going for the cold ambience inside the theatre and the delicious caramel popcorn, others rave about the amazing visual effects that the movie had.
Almost everybody on the planet has seen VFX films, and love them and the wonders that they do on the screen. The visual experience is beyond comprehension and makes the film truly out of this world.
The plot of today's story originated straight out of Margao. Twenty eight-year-old Kunal Raj, who started off by filming short videos and vines with his friends back in 2017, is now releasing his first ever VFX film on November 11, 2022 in Goa. Although he has a degree in mechanical engineering, his heart was always set on videography and filmmaking.
Q. Tell us about yourself and the beginning of your movie journey.
I remember that even though I was working for 5 years, I would utilize my after-work hours, and sometimes even my work hours, get together with my friends and brainstorm on how to improve the quality of the videos we were making. Eventually, I turned this passion into a profession and transitioned entirely into filmmaking with the brand name ‘KRF Media’ which is a media production, VFX and 3D company. It also sub-brands 3ViNERS and 3XP Podcast – where we chat with interesting and creative personalities from Goa about their creative process, and insights which would help listeners and fans, who are eager to unravel their stories.
Q. A VFX short film in Goa? Impressive! Tell us more about this achievement.
This film is just a glimpse of how this VFX series will progress. I wouldn't consider this as much of an achievement. However, we are confident that we will be taking this series to another level as it progresses.
Q. For those who are totally clueless, what is VFX all about?
Visual effects (VFX) are special effects added to a film using a computer. VFX typically combines live-action and effects created in post and delivers realistic environments and characters. The main goal of VFX is to take something fake and make it look real, or at least believable.
Q. Were you always into films and VFX, or is this something that you found yourself drawn to later in life?
Before this, we were into short films, but those are restricted to YouTube. In addition to that, VFX is something that needs to step up in Goa. I know it is time consuming, but, in my opinion, good things take time and are worth the time.
Q.Tell us about the cast and location of the film?
It has been written by Rahul Pathak and Rajesh Singh, while the VFX is by Anurag Raj. It has been directed, edited, colour graded, and sound designed by me. We have Vijay Dhage playing the lead role in this film. The location is an abandoned site which was perfect for this shoot. The crew members included Alroy Fernandes, Kelly Rodrigues and Ashutosh Raj.
Q. Do you feel that choosing a storyline for a VFX film is more difficult as opposed to a regular film?
Absolutely! Creating a VFX film requires a lot of brainstorming in order to visualise the mental elements that will be placed artificially in the edit before executing the shoot. There needs to be a VFX supervisor or someone who knows how the scene needs to be shot so that it can be turned into reality.
Q. What was the best part about doing this film?
In my opinion, the best part was definitely the feeling of trying out something difficult and watching it being executed flawlessly, whilst meeting the vision that we had at the start of storyboarding.
Q. Were there any roadblocks during the making of this film in Goa?
The shoot was completed a year ago, but mastering some of the VFX scenes to achieve this level of filmmaking took us months. To be honest, we had lost all hope for a few months and wondered whether we would be able to achieve the desired effects since it wasn't meeting our expectations.
Q. How long did it take to make the film?
The entire process took around 4 months. The filming and script wrapped up within 2 weeks, but the VFX editing consumed most of our time.
Q. What was your inspiration?
There are so many creators from other states of India, who have been producing great VFX and 3D content despite having limited resources and that has been an inspiration to us. And, of course, not forgetting the world-famous Marvel Series.
Q. Tell us about the creative process during the making of this film.
We started the process by location scouting. This is really important since we need to be precise with the shots and visuals. We then work on storyboarding, casting and checking scene feasibility. Prior to that, we prepare a list of VFX scenes that are possible and then go through multiple drafts and try to reduce shoot time, because single scene setup and multiple angle shoots consume a lot of time, since continuity needs to be maintained. Once the shoot is done, it is compiled, edited and the scenes are rendered for the VFX part. As and when the VFX scenes are completed, the film is brought back to the main timeline. Colour grading and sound design is done at the end.
Q. What was the budget of the film? Did you fund the film yourselves or were you funded by a sponsor?
This film was funded by ourselves, at KRF Media. The cast, crew and system upgrades are worth approx ₹ 80,000 since we needed a better system (to handle VFX edits) and a powerful system to edit. The question of reaching out to sponsors did not arise since this was an experimental film and the fact that sponsors need to see a sufficient number of views is difficult here in Goa without any external support.
Q. On which platforms will the film be aired?
It will currently be aired on YouTube (Channel name: 3XP | 3ViNERS), but we are looking forward to levelling it for subsequent episodes.
Q. What age group is the film suitable for?
This film is suitable for all age groups, who are keen on experiencing an exhilarating storyline.
Q. Given the opportunity, would you make another VFX film?
Yes, as many as we can! Sometimes, I wish we had more than 24 hours a day so we could wrap up quicker.
Q. What have you learnt from this experience?
It has taught us that no matter how small the mistake, or missing out on shoot days, it costs us weeks to rectify the edit.
Q. What motivates you to keep going?
The dream of directing and working on bigger film sets representing beautiful Goa.