It's been three years since the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion. The movie was historic for multiple reasons – right from its technical achievements to its groundbreaking box office numbers. There's also another reason we loved the movie – its stunning opening credits. We asked filmmaker S S Rajamouli to tell us how they designed it.
"Baahubali 1 and 2 are not sequels, it is one continuous story. As there is a two-year gap between part 1 and 2, there may have been people who had not seen part 1 or had forgotten what happened in part 1. But we didn't want it to look like a serial recap and because it is the opening of the film, it had to be special.
How we were going to go about it was a much discussed point in our story discussions. The music director (M M Keeravani) told us that we will make a song so that it doesn't sound boring and then decide which visuals to put in that song. We thought this would be a good idea, but just picking up important visuals from part 1 for a 5-minute sequence would also be boring.
Suddenly this idea struck us – what if we take the iconic moments from part 1 and freeze them in time, make the camera move along these iconic movements and make the song play along in the background?
The visuals are VFX, they are all computer generated, but I will give a lot of credit for this particular sequence to an artist called Pratik. He made all these statues. We gave him the images from the film in 2D, he took them and started painting on it like a 3D sculpture. He painted each and every detail. He decided what material the statue should be made of – sometimes its porcelain, sometimes its metal, sometimes rock. Everything was sculpted, even the water was sculpted, the leaves, the chains, the ground… everything.
Then we gave it to a company in China. It was not even a visual effects company, it was a college students' union which did visual effects.
The creation of a 3D model and the camera moving around this 3D model is not a unique idea, there are many people who have done it before. I saw those kind of images before in one of the Marvel movie's end credits where all the heroes are standing or sitting or flying in one sculpture, and the sculpture rotates and camera moves across that.
So it is not the first time that we did it but it is just that we had these iconic moments from part 1. Whether it was Katappa stabbing Baahubali or Sivagami lifting the baby or Bhallaldeva fighting with the bison. They were already iconic and placing them in that order with that background song is what made it unique.