Two years ago, director Priyadarshan showed the scenes of oceans that are depicted in many movies to his son and said, “Our movie too should have seas like this. It should have the same color and the waves should rise exactly like this.”
Sidharth, his son, watched the video clips and said after a few moments, “The story of Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham takes place in the Arabian sea. It is the salinity of the water which alters the color of the water and decides the nature of the waves. The Arabian Sea has a light blue color. The oceans in the video clips are in other places and those colors cannot be used here. I will only work if everything is depicted with honesty.”
It was the moment when Priyadarshan realized that his son has grown up. He became sure that Sidharth would open up a magical world of technical brilliance for him. The veteran film maker didn’t have to think twice to entrust the graphic designing of the most ambitious project in his career to his own son.
Sidharth, meanwhile, didn’t disappoint his father and brought home a state award and a national award. The youngster is thrilled that the movie has won this year’s national award for the best feature film.
Around 20% of the movie shows scenes of oceans and fierce naval battles, storms and sea journeys have been splendidly portrayed. Interestingly, not even a single shot has been pictured in real sea. They have been ‘magically’ created by Sidharth using VFX. Only a shot of the sea shore has been canned in the camera.
Priyadarshan about his son
The film maker says Sidharth was asked to come down to Kerala from the United States to work for the movie. The movie was made on a strict budget and the makers couldn’t afford to bring in high profile technicians from abroad. However, they wanted the same quality of work that is often seen in the foreign movies. “When I told him our requirements, Sidharth contacted many studios in India and in the US. Finally, it was decided to divide the graphic works to four persons and Sidharth would be the graphics supervisor. Before taking up the project, he told Mohanlal and producer Antony that he required 11 months, for the graphics works alone, after completing the filming. They agreed and Antony was ready for anything.”
Priyadarshan admits he didn’t think Sidharth had movies in his mind when the latter was a little boy. He believed that his son would become a football player, seeing Sidharth’s love for the game. It was only after completing his plus two that Sidharth had joined a course to study VFX. After the course, Sidharth began working as a VFX artist in the United States.
“It is not easy filming the graphic scenes. I am not actually seeing the sea when the scenes in sea are filmed. I have no idea about the waves or what happens underneath the ship. However, Sidharth sees the sea for me and creates it fabulously. I remember him saying that water is the most difficult object to be created using graphics. I had learned a lot of things from him,” says Priyadarshan.
Meanwhile, Sidharth is happy that he could get all the support from the crew members while designing the graphics. “Usually, in India, movies aren’t shot with the help of a pre drawn story board. The director films what is in his mind. My father too is like this. Before staring the work for this movie, each scene was drawn in detail, after discussing with art director Sabu Cyril and cinematographer Thiru. The movement and position of the camera was decided earlier itself. Graphics cannot be done if the movie is shot in the usual way. The wonderful cooperation of Thiru and Sabu Cyril is also the reason why the graphics turned out amazing. I was entrusted with a huge responsibility. I believe that I have fulfilled it. Now, the audience should decide the rest,” says Sidharth.