The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Googa Baba an inspiration’
Aladin shooting underway
in front of green screens

Cinematographer SIRSHA RAY, who’s shot films here (Iti Srikanta, Faltu) and there (Home Delivery), on shooting Aladin...

What makes Aladin visually different from anything we have seen in Bollywood?

Primarily it’s the concept of set extension, both in indoor and outdoor situations. That gives Aladin a very special look. Secondly we have tried to give Aladin a comic book feel, which has paid off to make it special. As audiences, we come across fantastic architecture as well as landscapes where things are happening. We haven’t seen such action happening in such places although they look absolutely natural.

Did you storyboard the entire film? How did you prep for the visuals?

Storyboard was made for most of the major sequences. We had an elaborate previsualisation for about six months before the shoot, where the director

Sujoy Ghosh, production designer Sabu Cyril, visual effects supervisor Charles Darby and, of course, me were actively involved. We would pinpoint all the landscapes and architectural detail. Next Sabu and me would decide on the size and scale of the sets. Then I would have my lighting plans done. All four of us would discuss every aspect of how we are going to film Aladin and how we want it to look.

Was there any inspiration for the images? Any film or any book?

Sujoy and I both like Tim Burton. There’s 300 which I quite liked. There’s Googa Baba also among other inspirations. But those were just very basic references.

How difficult was it to shoot a film which would go on to have many visual effects added later?

Well it is not easy as one has to see the film in its entirety — all aspects like light, texture, granularity, compositional aspects and a whole lot of things. But it’s fun if you know how light behaves in any given situation and how the different raw stocks behave under those lighting situations. How many cameras you are covering with and a host of other things!

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