Aanand L. Rai’s 2018 romantic comedy-drama film, starring Shah Rukh Khan as dwarf alongside Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and more, might have tanked at the box office, but its effect and packaging are mind-blowing. This film, not only left Indians stunt, but international VFX artists of the Youtube page Corridor Crew were also speechless.
In a past video, while talking about effects used in Bollywood films, the trio – Clint, Wren and Sam, spoke about the effect used in the SRK film. While breaking down exactly how it was done, they still were baffled by the final outcome. Read on to know their reaction.
Seeing a 5′ 7″ Shah Rukh Khan play a 4′ 8″ dwarf in Zero, all three international VFX artists were stunt and their first reaction was simply, “What?” One of three went on to explain the film to his colleagues before they could dive into understanding the VFX that went into making it look as natural and believable as possible.
Taking one scene from Zero, in particular, the one of Shah Rukh Khan (Bauua Singh) and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub (Guddu Mukhi) walking down the street while holding hands, the three international VFX artists were blown away by the perfection that went into making it look natural and real. Talking about it, one said, “The effects in this movie are so flawless it hurts my brains.” Before the other adds, “That’s a full on camera move. Like its tracking backwards also panning right.”
When the third questioned if the filming of Zero was done like that in Lord Of The Rings, the other responded, “No. It’s easy enough to do a camera move and have regular sized people and small people. But they are holding hands here, that’s what’s blowing my mind!” This statement left the third of the trio admitting, “I’m so confused now.”
Explaining how this particular scene was filmed, the first of the three said, “So every shot in this movie, that had this actor (Shah Rukh Khan) shrunken down to 4′ 8″, they had to shoot five takes for one take. They pieced everything together in the post (production).” Talking about one of their earlier works where they user five or maybe seven-step process in getting the final product, this international VFX artist said, “This is a 28 step process to get this guy to look like a little person.”
Talking about the scene mentioned above, he continued, “So the first take they did was just the actors walking together with the floor removed. All their sets were kind of like legos. So all the floors could be moved around and taken out. So he’s sunken down and he’s holding hands. They are holding hands, they are both in the shot.”
Shocked that the hand holding is actually real and not a post-production work, the artist adds, “The next take they do, the actor on the right, doing his motion with no people in the background, no extras, holding his hand out without the main actor. The next take is a clean plate, no extras just the background. They do another take, extras only. In the final take is the main actor holding an invisible hand. It’s just him, no extras walking down holding his hand out.”
Still baffled by the final product of Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero, one of the three international VFX artists say, “It’s not just him being shorter, it’s him being scaled. he’s smaller and thinner…” The second adds to it, “I think they are using all the takes in different pieces of it. So it’s like they are able to merge different parts of each take together. This has to be motion control system right?” To which one of the others added, “Yes. They had some pretty intense technology to shoot this movie.” Concluding talking about the VFX of Zero, one of the three said, “If that was the case then the camera move they do in the end isn’t all that crazy.”
They also noted that the dwarf body double used as a reference for Shah Rukh Khan on how to act. Talking about another scene from the film, the one of him interacting with his family, the artists are still left at a loss of words as to how the team pulled it off. Check out the video:
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