One Of RRR's Shots Took Over Two Years To Complete (And It's Not One You Might Expect) [Exclusive]

I like to think that my existence can currently be categorized into two distinct time periods: Before I saw "RRR" and after S.S. Rajamouli's epic masterpiece completely melted my face off. "RRR" is a Tollywood movie that has to be experienced to be understood, dazzling movie lovers across the globe with its inimitable combination of action, adventure, spectacle, humor, heart, musical numbers, political commentary, and the best damn male friendship on screen since Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in "Shaun of the Dead." Everything you've ever heard about "RRR" is true, and even still, nothing can prepare you for the magnificent bit of Telugu movie magic.

There are countless moments of "RRR" that you won't believe you've actually seen on screen, and the massive scope of the three-hour-plus historical fiction triumph did not come by quickly. /Film's own Ryan Scott recently interviewed some of the VFX team on the film, including visual effects head Srinivas Mohan and visual effects supervisors Pete Draper and Daniel French. Scott asked the trio if they have a favorite scene, and French confessed that his favorite is also what took the longest to create. Is it when Raju turns into Rama, when Bheem goes face to face with a tiger, the wild animal raid, or even the ultimate handshake? As impressive and unfreakingbelievably cool as the aforementioned moments are, the moment French had in mind is the shot that established the size and scope of the main setting.

Pull back and think big

Daniel French acknowledged that "RRR" is filled with plenty of wonderful shots, but the long pull out during the festival after Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) chases Lachu (Rahul Ramakrishna ) through the village is his personal favorite. The shot follows Raju through crowds of people before pulling way, way back until the village looks as far away as a photo taken for a "Wish You Were Here" tourist attraction postcard. "That was one of the first shots we started working on, because it defined the whole area for the whole sequence, basically, and one of the last shots to go out the door," said French. "We continued working and refining that shot throughout basically the three years we were working on the film." 

French said the start of the shot is practical through a cable camera move, but the further the camera pulls back, the more CG takes over. Paul Draper echoed the sentiment, even joking that the hard work was brought on by their team's own previsualization. "As soon as we'd done it, we're like, 'Whoever's doing this next, I'm really sorry,' because, again, this is a money shot" Draper continued:

"You see this on screen, it's going to be one of those shots. It's going to be a 'Wow.' Not just go from a cut to a wide. It's like, no, we're traveling back, we want to see that distance. We keep going, we keep going. It's like it doesn't stop. It just keeps going, going, going."

The end result is a seamless composition and the justification of nearly two and a half years of work. "RRR" is a visual feast, and we have the tireless dedication of the VFX team to thank.