Maya The Magic Shop (MTMS), the effects arm of Ketan Mehta’s Maya Ent. Ltd., claims to have completed India’s first visual effects-intensive film. Jajantaram Mamantaram (J2M2), directed by Soumitra Ranade, is loosely based on the classic Jonathan Swift tale Gulliver’s Travels and the Gujarati folklore of Bakasura and contains 63 minutes of digital effects work. Produced in India by iDream Prods. and marketed by Star Plus, J2M2 recently premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.
Effects sequences in the film will include a scene where a monster takes form from a sand storm, morphs into a flying dragon, collapses on the ground and turns into tiny living crabs that scatter in all directions. Another scene has a bat coming out of a tornado, which then turns into smoke. The smoke forms a skeleton, which finally morphs into the actor playing the monster — all within 30 seconds.
The array of effects in J2M2 was overseen by creative director Biju D. Prasad Sutar, the film’s effects supervisor and winner of the Zee Cine Award for Digital Special Effects for the film Hindustan Ki Kasam, also the served as lead digital compositor. Shibu Menon supervised all animated sequences of the film, heading a team of 22 animators, 2 senior visualizers and 2 storyboard artists. Senior animators include Rahi Bharve, Tarit Nath, Rajesh Prasad, Mitul Patel, Perminder Singh, Siraj Ansari, Godwin Fernandes, Uday Wagh, Avinash More and Vinayak More.
Priyam Chatterjee and Argha Sengupta handled visualization with the assistance of Balerao. Co-ordination of compositing and animation was done under the supervision of Wilson Louis, general manager of operations at MTMS, with the assistance of associate producers Kailash Jadhav and Abhishek De.
According to Biju D, one of India’s legendary names in EFX, "There has been nothing like this in India till now. J2MS is certain to sweep all Indian awards on special effects and it can even compete against Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter on the international front." With J2M2, Maya is emerging as one of the country’s leading studios and is gearing up to bid on international projects aw well. One already in the pipeline is Ketan Mehta’s tri-lingual The Rising, being co-produced by Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Pictures.