Bhaskar Interview: This time there were no Hindi feature films in the Oscar race, but India has been represented there by Namit Malhotra. He has received the award for visual effects in the film Dune. Namit is the founder of Prime Focus and DNEG, one of the largest post production companies in the Indian film industry. This time Namit was nominated for not one, but two films in the Oscars. They were both ‘dune’ and ‘no time to die’ from Hollywood, of course. Both are in the category of ‘Best Visual Effects’ at the Oscars.
Namit is further associated with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s ‘Brahmastra’. Seven years ago, he received the award for ‘Interstellar’ in this category. This time Namit got the award for Dune, although he missed out on winning the award for ‘No Time to Die’. Namit has openly talked to Dainik Bhaskar on the nuances of visual effects. key points introduced
For the first time in his career, when he got the Oscar nomination or won, how did he celebrate it?
The first Oscar was for ‘Interstellar’ in 2015. I was on the flight when the announcements of the victory were being made from the Oscars stage. We had even bigger pictures in the race with us. In my own company, I only believed that Interstellar would win. Usually every time this ceremony takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday. The rest of the world is in the situation of celebrating Monday itself. Our office was also open, but we made noise. Cut the cake wake.
What Were Christopher Nolan’s Directions On ‘Interstellar’?
For ‘Interstellar’, there was no visual example in the world and even in science, which could explain what would be the effect if we went through black holes and warm holes and through time and space? For this, the challenge from Christopher Knowlen was to meet astrophysicist Kip Thorne and take the formula from him to design something that would make the journey of time and space feel authentic, along with black holes and warm holes. When that film won the Oscar, our work was also published in Scientific Journals. People were shown what their image would look like if light traveled through a black hole and a warm hole.
What Were the References to the Visual Effects on ‘No Time to Die’?
‘No Time to Die’ marks the first time in James Bond’s 40-50 year history that a film from that franchise has been nominated for an Oscar in terms of VFX. In such a film, the challenge is for us. That is, those people already spend a lot of such films and shoot at the real location. In such a situation, we VFX people have to struggle a lot to create more magical worlds. The chase sequence of Land Rover in the film has been designed by us neatly. The way all the cars jump together there. Or the ship that sinks, they were shot underwater. Looking at them, you will not feel that VFX is also associated with real shoots. This is a big success for us.
How was the world of ‘Dune’ created?
This film has created a different milestone. The history of VFX will be further written as ‘Pre-Dune Era’ and ‘Post Dune Era’. In Bond Wale, we were talking about some scenes. In ‘Dune’, we had the challenge of creating a world ahead of 10,000 years. It is a matter of happiness that from that place we can convey to the audience. If he was seeing sandbomb in it, then it seems believable. This is already a book too. So it was easy to create visuals.