Gone are the days, when animated features were considered for gags. It has rose to a level that every live action movie incorporates animation to raise their film-making standards. Animation is playing a vital role in Cinema across the globe. Especially when it comes to Hollywood, they take it to a level which makes your jaw drop. In the past decade we have seen the transformation of animation, which brought in wonders like Avatar, Bewoulf, Life Of Pi etc.
The hard truth is most of the Hollywood flicks are being worked in our country’s backyard, which many are unaware of, from this backyard comes Hari Haran who will be debuting in Hollywood as a director for a Photo-realistic animated movie called “Woolfell”. This film’s primary crew is Indian and that is something we can be really proud of, and the grapevine is Yuvan Shankar Raja will be composing for this film. It’s written by Dhivya Venugopal and edited by Praveen KL.
It was a great opportunity to meet Hari Haran and get an insight on his upcoming Hollywood project “Woolfell”.
“Woolfell” will be a photo-realistic animation film, which will be on the lines of “Beowulf (2007)”.
Hari Haran states that “Woolfell” will be a photo-realistic animation film, which will be on the lines of “Beowulf (2007)”. If you remember this movie, it had Angelina Jolie in the lead, and for some time you cannot say if it’s real or animated, because the animation is rendered to that level. This is something less ventured in the industry for the obvious reasons.
Hari Haran was a freelance animation and VFX supervisor for international films like Ironman 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Life Of Pi. And in India he has worked with Madhusudhan who is the primary supervisor for “Vishwaroopam 2” and Hari Haran was asked to take care of a particular department in regards to VFX.
Hari is based out of Bengaluru and he’s in Chennai at the moment to start their production house, when asked for the name of the production house, Hari stated that it has not been decided yet, they are venturing and exploring with the local production houses at the moment. Once they have narrowed it down, will be giving it a name.When asked if “Woolfell” will have any desi actors?
we are in talks with A-listers from Bollywood, and it will be too soon to divulge the potential names lined up as options for that role.
We will require an Indian actress, as we have a character which requires the desi background and we are in talks with A-listers from Bollywood, and it will be too soon to divulge the potential names lined up as options for that role. The film will be shot fully in English and will be dubbed in regional languages as well by the local distributors. India is a very potential market and we want an Indian actor promoting the film here.
Which production house have you been tied up with?
The project is funded by “Venture Capitalist”, as far as the international distributors are concerned we are in talks with leading distribution houses. Meanwhile we have our distribution teaser screening happening at American Film Market in November, and Yuvan Shankar Raja has done the score for the teaser, he’s also finished the theme track for the film. Next year we are planning to screen it at Sundance Film Festival next year, post which there will be a screening of that teaser in India as well. Meanwhile the team is trying to screen the teaser before Sundance, but waiting for a permission from Sundance as, we cannot screen it anywhere if we are going to screen it in Sundance Film Festival.
Which distribution house have you approached in Hollywood for Woolfell?
We are in talks with MPAA with a list of top 5 distributors from Hollywood, it’s a movie where only they can distribute. To our genre we have a list who will be interested in taking up this project.
Did your background in VFX made Woolfell happen?
Exactly as being a VFX supervisor I will be in full control of the film, and I have a team under me who have been working on the project in Bengaluru.
Have you tried your hand in Short-Films area?
I have never tired short-films, but have been working in an upcoming Hollywood film BTM “The Bremen Town Musicians”. Which is again an animated feature film which will be on the lines of “Ice Age” and I’m heading the project.
Can you enlighten us on the plot of “Woolfell”?
It’s a political drama basically which is set in the futuristic hyper-utopian time, which is the next level of evolution, portraying the relationship between a ruler and his son.
How did Yuvan Shankar Raja happen in Woolfell?
I believe when it comes to re-recording, after Illayaraja….Yuvan has a keen touch to it, in a peculiar way.
We wanted new sounds and did not want to go with the usual ones, and also wanted someone who understands my own language and be comfortable in working with. Was looking for unique sound. Actually I believe when it comes to re-recording, after Illayaraja….Yuvan has a keen touch to it, in a peculiar way. When you watch the teaser you will know what I’m talking about, it was apt and required Yuvan kind of sounds. After the teaser was done our sound designer Kunal Ranjan, who worked in “Whiplash” had showed the teaser to his counterparts in Hollywood, which was well received. Kunal is also part of Vishwaroopam and Thoongavanam. Yuvan and I never planned to do western sounds, we wanted to try something different.
What does “Woolfell” mean?
Woolfell means “Shedding away one’s fear”.
The first look poster gave a feel of “Real Steel”, can you enlighten us?
We didn’t want to reveal much as it will be releasing only Christmas 2017. So there is a street boxing sequence in the film, which is for about 5-6 minutes, thought will use that for the first look.
Animation-Political Drama-Sci Fiction….will this please the audience?
Animated features usually have a message hidden, but mostly it’s said in a humorous way, but yeah at a serious note “Woolfell” will be the first.
So, is the entire crew Indian?
we are in talks with Christopher Anderson for stunts, who has done movies like “Lord of The Rings” and “King Kong”.
The primary crew is Indian that is myself, Praveen KL, Dhivya and Yuvan. One of the top Art Director and the Cinematographer are from Hollywood. The stunt choreographer is from there, at the moment we are in talks with Christopher Anderson for stunts, who has done movies like “Lord of The Rings” and “King Kong”. I will be flying down in January 2016 to sign the final crew, after which will release the list of final crew. The most of the project will be done in India and few things we will have to fly in and out especially the sound which I and Yuvan have decided to do there.
Can you humour us with the potential International cast for “Woolfell”?
I can confirm that we have 4 “A-Listers” from Hollywood who will be cast in Woolfell. And it will be too soon to reveal the names.
We are in talks with our distributors and have given them a list of potential actors who we have in mind. I can confirm that we have 4 “A-Listers” from Hollywood who will be cast in Woolfell. And it will be too soon to reveal the names. As Hollywood is shut at the moment due to Holidays and then Sundance, only after that they will be getting back to work, once they do we will have the final list of actors.
Will the Hollywood actors flying down to India for the project?
we are in talks WETA DIGITAL for their studio to work on motion capture.
As it will be a motion capture, they won’t be coming down. Moreover we are in talks WETA DIGITAL for their studio to work on motion capture and I have asked Madhusudhan sir to finalise that, which will be confirmed once we have the dates from the actors.
Next will be a live action film which will be on the lines of “Da Vinci Code”, so some kind of myth with religion backdrop. Hope it doesn’t get controversial.
I have a script ready which has an Indian theme, but will be a Hollywood movie which will require an Indian actor obviously. Next will be a live action film which will be on the lines of “Da Vinci Code”, so some kind of myth with religion backdrop. Hope it doesn’t get controversial which is the case when it comes to subjects of this sort. As far as people watch it as a work of fiction it won’t be a problem, the script is an interesting one with a great perspective.