Red Chillies VFX - special effects for DON
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Vishal Punjabi
Red Chillies VFX

Red Chillies and Eros enjoy a special relationship

Red Chillies and Eros enjoy a special relationship- SRK
Bollywood Trade News Network

Eros International, the leading integrated company within the Indian media and entertainment sector, announced the forthcoming worldwide release of one of the biggest anticipated blockbusters this year, Shah Rukh Khan's OM SHANTI OM, produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and directed by Farah Khan on 9th November 2007. Eros is expected to release the film across an unprecedented 2000 plus screens worldwide.

"Red Chillies and Eros enjoy a special relationship going back many years. Eros undisputedly has the best global marketing and distribution infrastructure. OM SHANTI OM is a fun film and with the wide distribution strategy we hope to reach out to record number of audiences worldwide". adds Shah Rukh Khan.
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SRK on a buying spree

SRK on a buying spree
Mumbai Mirror
July 20, 2007

After buying a spacious studio in Andheri (W), Shah Rukh Khan now has a different office address too. He has bought an eight-floor building that will house the new Red Chillies office on S V Road, in Khar.

With the production house's activities growing by the minute due to home productions and SFX work on films like Chak De India and Om Shanti Om, the need for manpower and space has only increased.

Says a source, "It will be a state-of-the-art office with high-standard infrastructure. Currently, a team of architects is designing the office. It will take another three to six months before the team can move into the new office."

The building is situated close to a famous nightclub on S V Road. "This office is going to be bigger and better than the previous office in every possible way. Going by the space, it will also provide many more facilities and amenities for its employees," adds the source.

Shah Rukh's manager Bobby Chawla initially denied that SRK has bought a new office. On being probed further, he confirmed the news and said, "We have taken the new place on lease. I wouldn't have the exact address right now. You will have to call me back tomorrow."

source: Mumbai Mirror

SRK´s new adress for Red Chillies VFX

SRK’s new address

Shah Rukh Khan has bought a swanky new studio in Andheri

Mumbai Mirror
Ashwini Deshmukh
June 30, 2007

Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies VFX Studio now has a new address. After much property-hunting the actor and his team of graphic designers and technicians are set to move into a lavish office in the Lokhandwala area of Andheri (West). While the interiors of his new office are getting a facelift, new machines are being shipped in too.

Says Arjun Mitra, one of the head of the Red Chillies VFX team, says, "We are getting closer to Shah Rukh's vision of having a first-class graphic designing studio. We will move into our new office within a month. It's a huge space, that can support at least 300 professionals."

The property has been leased out to the actor for a period of a few years. The Red Chillies VFX team comprises 40 people, headed by Arjun Mitra, Ketan Yadav and Harry Hingorani. As for assignments, the VFX studio is presently concentrating on commercials and Farah Khan's film, Om Shanti Om. Adds Arjun, "We have the technology for providing the best visual graphics. Television commercials are keeping us busy these days."

Of late, Shah Rukh has been focussing on the expansion of his VFX studio. Before heading for a holiday in London the actor had several meetings to firm up the deal. After having worked on Main Hoon Na, Paheli and more recently, Don, the team has already started pitching in for Hollywood productions.

Adds Arjun, "We have got a bunch of expert visualisers and operators. The company intends to take up work for outside producers too, including Hollywood production companies. The special effects that we had seen in Krrish can be done in our studio too. We are also hiring more people and by the end of three years we should have at least 300 members working on various projects. We plan to add a hundred people to our team by the end of this years itself."

Besides his new office, sources indicate that SRK has bought another plot of land too, again in Andheri (W). "He has recently bought this land. But we are yet to determine the function of this space," says a source close to SRK.

• We will move into our new office within a month. It's a huge space, that can support at least 300 professionals – Arjun Mitra

source: Mumbai Mirror

Beyond 35mm

Beyond 35mm
Production houses venture into TV software, event management and VFX

Posted online: Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bollywood’s topline production companies are no longer content with their reel dreams. In order to have a better bottomline, production houses are diversifying and how! Yash Raj Films (YRF), helmed by Yash Chopra and son Aditya (the real brains behind every successful venture that YRF comes up with at the drawing board and beyond) has successfully launched Yash Raj Music and is exploring the possibility of animation, a studio and even has plans of moving onto television software. “We have a research team headed by Ravina Kohli, which is ideating and exploring various possibilities in the field of television. The ideating and exploring process will in due course, assist us in planning our strategy in this field,” says Sanjeev Kohli, CEO Yash Raj Films. Besides plans to construct its own state-of-the-art fully integrated film studio, YRF is reportedly planning a full-fledged film processing laboratory and a multiplex theatre chain.

Shahrukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies Ltd has forayed in VFX and according to sources, Khan is seriously scouting for land for a studio. “A film studio is a dream for me. I would like to build one someday with world class facilities, but now I don’t have enough money to begin one (initially had plans of using his KBC earnings as investment, but land prices claims Khan has shot up since). But my VFX studios is a state-of-the-art one. We’ve done VFX for Main Hoon Na, Paheli, Don and Om Shanti Om. And yes, even other production companies are approaching us,”elaborates Khan adding that Red Chillies VFX isn’t just a money-minting outfit: “There are some very talented youngsters in India and we offer a platform for them to showcase their work and get international exposure. Of course, the money’s also going to be good, but I am not here to do only business like others.”


Red Chillies set to spice up Indian VFX scene

Red Chillies set to spice up Indian VFX scene
June 8, 2006

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan really meant it when he remarked,"I want to open my own VFX studio" in a recent interview to a business daily.

Located at Khar in Mumbai, Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. the entertainment company owned by King Khan recently kickstarted its VFX division 'Red Chillies-VFX'.

Shah Rukh who is currently shooting in Kuala Lampur for Farhan Akhtar's Don commented “VFX is the way of the future. I personally believe that with all the colour, charm, passion and the lyricism that already exists in hindi cinema, the way to enhance the romance of films is going to be through the addition of VFX in our technique of cinema. Technology can only better the process of story telling and narration. It is a tool which the largest film-making nation in the world cannot afford to ignore!"

"Also, it is necessary to develop our own system as somehow the understanding of VFX in an Indian way is important because it will help us retain our USP of films and not end up being a reflection of the western way of thinking when it comes to effects. VFX is the next big addition to our films and needs to be nurtured and developed if our films have to truly get international in the near future” added Khan.

The operations and creative direction at Red Chillies-VFX shall be managed by the VFX Supervision trio of Arjun Mitra, Haresh Hingorani & Keitan Yadav who have been into the VFX industry for more than a decade now and have many successful films, TVC projects and some prestigious awards to their credit.

The trios' last stint was as part of the managment & creative team at Eagle 3D where they worked closely with two of Red Chillies productions 'Main Hoon Na' and 'Paheli' and various TVC projects. Both the films featured a good amount of well executed VFX.

Speaking to Animation 'xpress, 'Red Chillies-VFX' Keitan remarked,"We have worked closely with Shah Rukh on a couple of his home productions previously and we really gel well. . Shah Rukh is a maestro when it comes to understanding technicalities such as timing and camera angles and has a great understanding of Visual Effects. He is in-sync with the latest techniques and technologies as well. Red Chillies-VFX will strive at doing cutting edge VFX work and try and raise the bar of Indian Visual Effects"
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"The studio is an independent entity and will work on projects from across the local and International markets as well as Red Chillies Entertainment's own projects. We will however play the quality game and not the number game, with the focus on doing projects that offer a creative challenge" added Haresh Hingorani.

“This is a whole new adventure!” exclaimed Arjun Mitra. “Our objective is to provide the best facilities to deserving talent, and work for the best films… and obviously have a whole lot of fun and sleepless nights in the process!”

"Technology giant HP is providing end to end solutions for our studio. Our team size is currently close to 25 - 30 artists and technicians and we are looking to ramp up to a team strength of 100 in a couple of years time" he added.

Currently the studio is working on the VFX of Farhan Akhtar's 'Don' and also on "Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd."

- Anand Gurnani


Shah Rukh Khan & the fate of special effects

Shah Rukh Khan & the fate of special effects
Manu Joseph
TOI, 06. Aug. 2006

Many months before the future, Shah Rukh Khan is on the location of a Pepsi commercial somewhere in the Film City. He is swaying his head and moving his lips to a song in the background that is terrifying crows. A few meters away, outside Kareena Kapoor’s make-up van, some impoverished boys are loitering around, and they giggle every time they hear her flush. It does not seem that in this place an impending revolution can be declared. But that is about to happen.

When Shah Rukh finishes the shot, he walks to his vanity van, a furnished air conditioned room on tyres. He sprays perfume on himself eleven times and settles down to resume his vision of the future. He has created a team of men and machines that he says can make a Matrix now and very soon do much more. He has always been curious about technology and has been learning the fundamentals for years. “The first thing I learnt about special effects is that it is actually called visual effects.”

He has invested, “more than a few crores” in Red Chillies-VFX, a technology company of about twenty five “mad young people”. Hewlett Packard has set up a server, “that looks like a Ferrari.” He is searching for a 5000 square foot office space in Bandra, close to his seaside bungalow so that he can drop in often. The mandate is clear. To do just about anything on screen, except animation for the moment. He wants to be part of a furiously growing visual effects industry that is believed to be worth just Rs 200 crore today.

In a small way, Shah Rukh has already been introducing technology in the films he has produced. The desert scene in Paheli where Amitabh Bachchan makes a guest appearance was shot in the backdrop of buildings. Those buildings became sand dunes in the lab. In the same film, he spent ten lakh rupees just on creating a crow that has a complicated crush on Rani Mukherjee. Animals may not know this but Maneka Gandhi’s militant crusade against their film careers has petrified producers. Shah Rukh himself was asked by her to explain why he used so many pigeons in Paheli. “Now with technology she won’t have any problems. We can make animals, beat animals and even eat animals.” In the coming months Red Chillies-VFX will create effects that, he says, will impress Hollywood. “We’ll do more than just clearing the rope from which the hero dangles.” Just then Priyanka Chopra walks into the van.

She is, unfortunately, in a modest blue salwar. Her large eyes flutter greetings all around. Her hair is tied up above her head, exactly like Lord Shiva’s. “Shah Rukh,” she tells him with eye lashes stunned in a worry, “I wanted to ask you about this whole pesticide thing.” She is one of the three film stars who endorse Pepsi and her conscience that may or may not be speaking to her in a full length mirror was disturbed by the allegation of Centre for Science and Environment that Pepsi contains pesticides.

Shah Rukh calmly explains, “We are a filthy country. Our ground water is bound to be contaminated. We have no health standards. The vegetables we eat are contaminated. Just because Pepsi is a multinational, people are pretending to be shocked. I have no moral conflicts. I drink Pepsi, my son drinks Pepsi and I endorse Pepsi”. It’s not just damsels between shots who come to him for guidance. In the industry, his general knowledge and easy articulation is respected. People approach him for his opinion. Shah Rukh has the power of persuasion and he hopes to employ it to sell Red Chillies - VFX. He will be, clearly, its primary salesman.

He plans to approach, “just about everybody who matters in the industry”. But he will not sell cheap. “I don’t want to work with people who will count the seconds of special effects and ask for a discount. It’s for people who want to spend a bit more on quality.” Some have shown interest but others have said they are not interested in working with his company. “Sanjay Leela Bansali said no, I don’t know why.”

An insider says that every film that Red Chillies works on will cost at least Rs. 50 lakhs. In time, the company will even pitch for high end work from Hollywod. Not just the menial side of special effects that Indian companies have been passing off as, “Hollywood work”. According to Arjun Mitra, probably the creative director of Red Chillies-VFX because designations have not been distributed yet, “There are inquires from India and outside almost every day.”

Shah Rukh’s honest connection with technology is old. When he launched, he was not afraid but overjoyed upon being told that the technical consultant was a 16-year old boy. The actor was the first in India to introduce Jimmy Jib, a smart camera crane.

A few years ago during the shoot of a Santro ad, he saw the Korean crew use the equipment. He offered to exchange part of his fee for the Jib. The Koreans could not take the offer but they helped him buy the Jib. It was about Rs. 20 lakhs then. Shah Rukh started lending the Jimmy Jib on hire. The business did well till the operator who he had trained in Korea for this purpose went away to start his own firm.

It is said that Shah Rukh’s eagerness to infuse technology in Ram Gopal Varma’s sci-fi Time Machine had affected the relationship between the two. “Shah Rukh was excited. He wanted to know how the film was going to be shot. He wanted to discuss pre-production. But Ramu is not a tech guy,” a scriptwriter says. “He does not even have an email id. He was not comfortable.” Shah Rukh denies this. He says that the reason they stopped work on the project was that when he asked Varma for the script, he got an SMS saying, “Looks like you don’t trust me. Then we should not work together”.

But among those in the industry who are fond of technology, Shah Rukh is something like a freeware prophet who frequently urges them to experience his Play Station at home. He and his son Aryan spend considerable amount of time gaming. “I plan to convince Amitabhji too to play.” But he is clear that he will not get into the business of gaming any time soon. It is a vastly more sophisticated world. And at the moment, he concedes, beyond us.