KK Senthil, Director of photography
My first film was 'Aithe' in 2003 and since then I have given effects for various scenes in about 12 films. But 'Eega' was a challenge on a completely different level. I was tested to a great extent. For, until then, it was just about a few scenes and that was it. But 'Eega' was an entire film. In these 12 years, the kind of effects done have also changed. There’s a lot more detailing that goes into the film. And when I say detailing, I don’t just mean details of the character; there’s texture, lighting and so many other aspects. There isn’t a specific line between what is real and surreal; they both go hand in glove.
If you look at the industry, I believe we’ve come full circle because films are about the visuals. However, in between we kind of lost track paying more attention to dialogues and other things. While they are important contributing factors, the overall visual is the appeal. And, now we’re going back to paying more attention to that.
Pete Draper, Co-founder, Makuta and Supervisor of VFX
I have been doing CG since 1990s and in all this time, I think 'Eega' was the most challenging and most fun. We worked on it day and night and they were so many details to look after, it felt really good to see the final product. Being the supervisor, there was a lot of quick thinking involved and everybody looks to you for a solution. So figuring all of that out was good.
This is the first time that I’ve actually seen a producer this calm about his movie (referring to Suresh Babu). And working with the director and with Senthil was a very good experience, because all these guys really love their work. They are really passionate about it. For us making the film was about making this fly real. There were so many retakes and re-adjustments, it was painstaking. While doing the graphics is one thing, making it more challenging was another. We had a huge debate about how to get the fly in the car (with reference to a scene where the fly attacks actor Sudeep’s character in the car). Just flying him through the door was too simple. So we had him come in through the engine and the air conditioner, throwing in a few obstacles.
D Suresh Babu, Co-producer
I was told it was insane to take on a project like this. But I was always a fan of such films like Jaws and so on. The whole man versus creature is perhaps something of a childhood fantasy. Plus our Chandamama stories are full of them. So when I had the opportunity to be a part of something like that, why not?
The only problem with a film like this would be for the audience to connect to the fly. So we had to make the fly a character that was likeable, that viewers could empathise with. That was beautifully done by the team. So much so, on the opening day, I was absolutely cool. I usually have numb fingers and I’m anxious, but I guess with Eega I just knew. And (Raja) Mouli simply said, “Don’t worry.”
His confidence was all I needed. We’re also living in a generation of technology and CG. So, this is perhaps the right time for us to step into a more sophisticated VFX zone. There have been plans of maybe doing a 3D version of the film, but the logistics are sketchy and we need to see if the cost, the time it is going to take to render the film in 3D and number of screens that we can actually screen the film at will work in our favour. So that’s a decision still pending.
SS Rajamouli, Film director
I am naturally very elated and also a bit confused, as the response to the movie was something I didn’t expect. Nobody can tell you why anything is a hit. There is no formula. People will come up with theories. As to whether Eega came to the audience at the right time, I don’t really think it would have mattered much, plus or minus a few years. The audience ultimately responds to good content. Yes, we are a hero-driven industry, no qualms about that. But you will also find smaller budget films with no notable actors doing just as well, purely because of its content.
The story for Eega actually came from my father and he’d told me about it in the 90s. By about 2004 or so, we decided to work on the story and finally here we are.
For a film like this, it was a conscious decision to cast smaller stars than the bigwigs. It just wouldn’t have worked. By the time casting was done, we actually had already developed a character and were basically matching who we thought best went with it. Will I work on a full-length animated feature film? Yes, definitely! I don’t know when, though. A film like Eega took about eight years. So you can imagine the rest.