“VFX forced writers and storytellers to be more imaginative”: panelist at VFX Summit 2021

In a panel discussion on the impact of VFX technology on modern storytelling in films and interactive media at VFX Summit 2021, experts said the happy marriage of technology and storytelling is the reason for amazing new content that keeps audiences glued. The VFX Summit (November 18-19), a gathering of creative minds from the global VFX industry, is part of Asia’s largest digital entertainment festival, IndiaJoy, held virtually from November 16 to 19 .

On the second day of the event, attendees got a glimpse into the minds of industry leaders like HAZIMATION Co-Founder, Director / Producer Haz Dullul, Mohawk College Professor, Writer and Editor Chief Atul Rao and Nishabdham director Hemant Madhukar. The session was moderated by Domain 3.0 VFX Producer, Digital Producer Praveen Kilaru.

According to the speakers, storytelling has changed, rather evolved in recent years with the advent of OTT platforms, technological innovations etc.

“In terms of crafting, I think the storytelling has improved tremendously. It has changed because the bar is high, both visually and in terms of storytelling, ”said Rao.

Today’s content needs to be engaging and visually appealing.

“I think VFX forced writers and storytellers to be more imaginative,” Rao, known for the Marvel Animation series Wolverine and the X-Men exclaimed.

Speaking about building the multiverse of the Marvel movies, and how technology has helped them, Dullul said: this writers room. It must be a crazy writers’ room. You couldn’t do that level of universe building in the case of Marvel in the 90s or 80s. It is now possible, thanks to technology and because we can visualize things faster.

He further highlighted the Netflix show Squid games, which worked very well. The reason is that we’ve never seen anything like it before and “people are taking more risks now”. Reiterating about the same show, Kilaru said that even if you put visual effects aside, “just the way of telling a story is a very engaging, new and very modern way of telling a story.”

Dulull, who began his career in visual effects for film and television, before moving on to directing and writing, drew everyone’s attention to existing negative practices.

“Because you can do a lot of visual effects, a lot of filmmakers, even producers or financiers, use the term ‘fix it in post-production’. I hate that term. You shouldn’t have to fix it in the mail, ”he exclaimed.

According to him, visual effects should be an extension of the creative process. A certain level of education is needed to emphasize this. When a VFX supervisor works closely with the director or showrunner, it becomes easy to understand how visual effects could be used not only to keep the story going, but also to bring it to another level. In today’s virtual production environment, we all know it’s not just about an LED wall with an amazing CG environment, there’s a lot of work to be done to get the content up front. The way to budget for visual effects has now changed.

“Now you have to fund the visual effects up front, with virtual production coming,” Dullul said. He pointed out that using software like Unreal fills all the gaps in the entire movie making process.

Emphasizing the importance of storytelling, Rao said, “When I see a movie with beautiful special effects and bad writing, it breaks my heart. I think a lot of other good things could have been done with the money spent.

Madhukar spoke about the southern Indian film industry where filmmakers like SS Rajamouli invest for about two or three years to make a film. But young filmmakers normally write a script and then think about including visual effects and then everything is finalized within budget. He thinks there is still a lack of awareness on how to go about using visual effects and how to do it on the right budget.

The VFX Summit panel agreed that all over the world, “funding” a movie is the primary concern, but with the advent of advanced special effects, even this is now taken into account at an early stage, for example. compared to past years. .