Sabu Cyril, production designer of Baahubali, is quite chuffed with his work in SS Rajamouli’s upcoming magnum opus Baahubali:
The Conclusion. Having worked on films like Endhiran, Ra.One in the past, Baahubali was the first film for which he had collaborated with SS Rajamouli and in the past five years, the duo have worked closely to create the world of the period drama.
“It’s quite challenging to work with Rajamouli because he expects everyone around him to be as passionate about cinema as he is.
It’s not an easy task to follow a strict regiment of having to wake up at 3:30 am every single day and report to the sets by 6 am for nearly five years. Everyday was a big surprise and a challenge, and every now and then, Rajamouli would ask me, out of the blue, if we could create something,” Sabu Cyril says.
Apparently, few days ago, Rajamouli asked him if he could create a cloud inside a room! “It’s a trade secret and I can’t reveal how we did it,” Sabu Cryril laughs, adding, “He was eager to experiment with how light interacts with the surface of a cloud so that it can be used as a reference while doing the visual effects of the film.
And this is just one of the several challenging tasks that I’ve had to work on in Baahubali.” For someone who takes a great amount of interest in animatronics, Baahubali gave him the scope to create a lot of animals, albeit mechanical, including bulls, horses, bisons, elephants and even a crocodile.
“I should thank the producers for that because they gave me a freehand to do whatever I felt was best for the film,” he adds.
At the recent pre-release event of the film, Rajamouli quipped that Sabu Cyril had hurt his ego during their first interaction five years ago. The reason? Sabu Cyril was half-asleep during the narration! Ask him about his first interaction with Rajamouli, the production designer bursts out laughing and says, “I don’t have the patience to listen to the entire story.
People who know me just give me a brief outline of a script and tell me what they want from me. The day I met Rajamouli for the first time, I had just come back from the shoot of another film and I was really tired. I asked him if I can have black coffee.
It was really embarrassing to be honest. It happened with another narration of a different film too.
I actually slept off in the middle of the narration and when I woke up everyone around me asked whether the story was so boring. The truth is, when I was a kid, my grandmother used to tell me stories to make me fall asleep and that habit has stayed with me every since.”
Post Baahubali, Sabu Cyril will next work on another big-budget period film, Sangamithra which will be directed by Sundar C. “It’s going to be another challenging project, but after having worked on Baahubali, I’m sure my previous experience at handling a period drama will come in handy for this bilingual film,” he adds.