DFX Supervisor Dipansu Halder and Senior Compositor Shailesh Kamble on set for an Indian Premiere League spot

The Mill worked with LoudMouth to bring to life an energetic and VFX-packed spot for the new IPL season. We sat down with DFX Supervisor Dipansu Halder from The Mill India and Senior Compositor Shailesh Kamble from The Mill Shanghai to learn about their experience being on set for the shoot with the LoudMouth crew and IPL stars.
Community April 18, 2023

What was the experience like, being an on-set Supervisor for The Mill team during this shoot?  

Dipansu: It’s been a long time since I’ve been at a shoot, and when I was representing The Mill, it was a unique experience. The onset crew was extremely accommodating and our inputs on the shoot from the VFX perspective were taken care of immediately. Though it was a very tight shoot schedule, we were given the chance to ensure the technical requirements for the VFX were always maintained. They were also gracious about our requests for a retake when required.  

Was this your first time being on set as a Comp Supervisor?

Shailesh: I have worked on several shoot sets, even with Indian cricketers before, but this IPL spot was unique for me because it was my first job for The Mill Shanghai. It was a great first experience, and returning to India was fun too.

What was the creative process like, from your perspective?  

Dipansu: From my perspective, shoot supervision is not just about taking lens info. It’s very important to know the VFX requirement thoroughly, plan your shoot in detail and share inputs with the direction team, camera team, and art department from the VFX perspective. A well-planned shoot saves a lot of VFX workdays. We need to be good decision-makers for sudden changes and unplanned situations.   

Did you have a favorite moment during the shoot? 

Dipansu: The overall environment on set was very collaborative and respectful. Before we began on the VFX for this spot, we had the confidence of the Director, and it speaks volumes for the partnership.  

What was the most exciting thing about this spot?  

Dipansu: The most exciting and challenging part of this spot was blending the athlete shots with the crowds. All of the cricketers were shot in indoor controlled lighting, with a green screen, and in post we needed to blend these with the crowd shots which were shot in outdoor daylight locations. It was a huge challenge to get the exact lighting match. One small mistake would be very obvious. But the well-planned shoot ensured that in the final output it’s impossible to recognize the takes were in separate locations and mixed and blended in comp.  

What were the main challenges on this project and how did the team overcome them?

Shailesh: From the shoot perspective it was ensuring every possible texture reference was captured in as much detail as possible to ensure the CG team could create the transformations accurately. This meant capturing images of the body doubles and their clothing and shoes, as well as comprehensive references from the cardboard cutouts. And last but not least, ensuring we shot sufficient reference footage of the celebrity athletes. For example, their facial features and expressions, especially their eyes and smiles which needed to be applied on the cutouts. 

There was a lot of data to capture and to manage on set so being organized and knowing when to get what you need on what is a fast-paced and busy set is a skill in itself. 

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