VFX has altered storytelling, says Oscar winner

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New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The emergence and advancement of technology and visual effects (VFX) has transformed storytelling techniques, says Academy Award-winning VFX supervisor Scott E. Anderson, who has worked on films like “Hollow Man”, “Point Break” and “The Shallows”.

The 53-year-old is happy that technology is nowadays being used to tell more stories on screen.

“The kind of stories we can help tell are more personal and across a wider range of budget. Visual effects and technology is now in many ways not separated from general filmmaking. I think we have altered the kind of stories that can be told,” Anderson told IANS over phone from Los Angeles.

He feels technology also gives a platform to people to “go out and make small films and put them on the screen with personal stories which was impossible two decades ago”.

But there are challenges that come with it.

“I think people sometimes get too wrapped up in the technology and personally, I think sometimes we are just watching pictures and people are not necessarily telling a story,” said Anderson, who is now creating visuals for a film “Sweetheart”.

Anderson has been associated with showbiz from 1989 with film “The Abyss”, and has taken care of the visual effects of films like “Starship Troopers”, “Juveniles”, “Chasing Mavericks” and TV series “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. He worked as visual effects supervisor on Blake Lively starrer “The Shallows”, which will air in India on Sunday on Sony PIX.

The VFX expert is willing to explore the different realms of Indian cinema professionally.

“I have not been approached (to work for Indian film) in number of years, but you never know what work brings,” he said, adding that the prime focus of the West is turning towards international market places like India.

However, he admits having limited knowledge about the “enormous country” and varied facets of its entertainment industry.

Anderson was supposed to come to India for Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s film “Muhammad: The Messenger of God” — which also had Indian musician A.R. Rahman on board. The film created a stir for all the wrong reasons, as a fatwa was issued against Rahman and Majidi for their involvement on the movie on Prophet Muhammed’s life.

“I think Majidi is there making his next film (referring to his next India-set film ‘Beyond The Clouds’). I have to admit that I have limited experience with Indian films. Obviously, the prime focus has moved heavily into the international market and we are aware of them from visual effects side more,” he said.

“I get (information about Indian films) mostly only in bits and pieces here in the US. I used to get through San Francisco film festival as it had an Indian film occasionally. But it hasn’t been a part of my range of stream of late.”

Asked what comes into his mind with the mention of Indian cinema, Anderson was at a loss of words.

“I am much more of musical person and independent film person. So, I think I have seen more of the independent side than the Bollywood side. But it is such an enormous country and with such variety. I can’t profess to know it all,” said Anderson, who is yet to visit the country.

–IANS

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