“Kantara,” one of 2022’s most talked about blockbusters, brought the stunning visuals and storytelling of Indian filmmaking to a global audience. The action thriller brings together a unique blend of traditional culture and natural beauty of India, which was created with the help of colourist Remesh CP using DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software and DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel.
Written and directed by Rishab Shetty, who also starred in the film, “Kantara” tells the story of a Kambala champion who clashes with a no nonsense forest officer. The story begins in a half century old Indian village aside a deep forest where people worship God in an art form invoking nature and animal. Here the plot beautifully portrays the art of Buta Kola, where divine dancers paint their faces, wrap in a Siri made of coconut feathers and dance invoking the deity.
Showcasing the incredible visuals of Kambala, an annual festival of buffalo racing, and the vibrant colors of the Buta Kola ritual dance performances, Remesh CP was tasked with creating a look in every frame that brought out a cinematic feel but also captured the natural look of the festival and culture.
Now working at his own post house, Color Planet Studios, Remesh CP is an award winning colourist who has graded more than 150 feature length and short films and more than 250 television commercials over the course of his 15 year career. Starting his career in 2007, he has used DaVinci Resolve Studio for the majority of his work, which has included the critically acclaimed “Kumbalangi Nights,” “Ajagajantharam,” “Palthu Janwar,” “777 Charlie” and “Gandhadagudi.”
“Rishab Shetty wanted every scene to look beautiful and engaging and to have the proper continuity and adequate explanations for the crucial scenes. The actions, fantasy concepts and backdrop, which made the film strong visually, were easily possible with the DaVinci Resolve control surface,” he explained.
With “Kantara,” Remesh CP used an ACES color management workflow. He was tasked with working with large EXR VFX shots all within a tight deadline that had to include versions for theaters and global streaming.
Remesh CP explained, “Almost all tools we needed were a click away with Resolve and Resolve can load almost any format, including deep raster formats like OpenEXR. This made my job easier and quicker.
“The Advanced control surface also made me incredibly efficient and helped me a lot to tweak values precisely, and the reverse and forward tracking of Power Windows are very easy,” he continued. “I also constantly relied on Resolve’s color warper and qualifier tools, along with its HDR color wheels and noise reduction tools throughout the grade.”
One of the scenes that highlighted the film’s natural beauty and cinematic feel was when four of the main characters were hunting boar in the middle of the night, using only moonlight and head lamps. Using DaVinci Resolve Studio, Remesh CP was tasked with blending in the quick boar running through the trees and leaves along with the characters chasing it through a foggy forest.
“Resolve’s alpha matte helped me to blend the wild boar with the night forest. I applied a grain effect to the 3D model and controlled the sharpness of the 3D model with Power Windows in Resolve. This helped me dial in the look in each part of the scene and to efficiently get the realistic touch that the cinematographer and director demanded,” he said.
Remesh CP concluded, “I believe that we successfully set the mood that the DOP and the director wanted to achieve throughout the movie. And the movie was widely appreciated, especially for the color grading. DaVinci Resolve was an important part of making that possible.”
“Kantara” is available worldwide in theaters and through streaming services now.