Specialist digital film consultancy Digital Praxis recently provided Digital Intermediate supervision services for India’s latest blockbuster, Drona, at Digital Praxis’ Mumbai-based client facility FutureWorks.
As part of an agreement with Eros and Rose Movies, Digital Praxis CEO Steve Shaw acted as DI supervisor on the project, as well as being the lead colorist for the film, setting the film’s look with director Goldie Behl and cinematographer Sameer Arya, in conjunction with the film’s postproduction and vfx supervisor David Bush.
“The entire postproduction was performed at 4K, making Drona one of a handful of films to have been posted at this resolution in the world, and a real first for India,” said Bush. “While a number of films have been scanned 4K, the logistical issues associated with handling 4K throughout the entire postproduction pipeline means most projects are down-sampled to 2K for the actual postproduction and DI. This was not so with Drona.”
The film was probably one of India’s most complex ever, with over 1400 visual effects shots. Most of Mumbai’s vfx postproduction houses were involved in working on and supplying the wide range of vfx images. Also working on the demanding, 20 hour-a-day color correction process were FutureWorks colorists Ashish Nanajkar, Rahul Purva and Ranjit Patil.
Quantel also supported the process with one of its own training operators, Meetal Gokul, who provided on-site assistance.
“Pulling together all the various postproduction companies’ vfx work was a lot more demanding than a traditional DI operation,” said Shaw. “It was only through the use of Quantel’s Pablo 4K and Genetic Engineering shared workflow technology at FutureWorks that we had any chance of finishing the film on time, and within budget.
“The complex nature of Drona—the mix of vfx shots and very varied cinematography, with the film being shot in Prague, the Namibian desert, Bikaner in Rajasthan, and within Maharashtra at Mumbai’s Film City—meant that the DI process was one of the most complicated I have ever encountered,” Shaw continued.
“The film itself has a very rich look, with each segment of the story carrying a style that separates it from the rest of the film,” added David Bush. “This again made for a complex DI process, with far more than simple grading being employed. The film was lucky to be able to call on the services of Digital Praxis and Steve Shaw, and combine them with Quantel’s Pablo DI system.”