To find a career of your choice in the film industry, you require guts and gumption and a lot of innovation. If you want to be a motion and a design artist or even a game designer, you need exactly that. Getting that ball rolling on an idea and then solidifying it for the next steps. Who is a motion and a design artist and how does he enter into this storytelling world? He is the one who has been creating the lyrical videos that are being released as part of the movie promotion. It is an art and requires specialised training. Klapboardpost.com talks to Bhargav Merugu about his entry into this story telling world and gets an insight into this profession. Twenty six year old Bhargav is from Vizag but has made a career like many other film personalities in Hyderabad. As a kid he remembers drawing a lot,and having a fascination with visual storytelling. Though he loved game design, he gravitated towards motion and design and focussed in post production which encompassed editing, motion graphics, animation and VFX. He then found jobs that gave him the opportunity to find his bearings as a motion designer.
He shares, “I love art work and when I was a child, my teachers said that animation is best suited to me. I was also fond of films and would make sketches of NTR and other heroes. That was in the fourth standard. My parents also encouraged me and would buy pencils and other stuff. Later as I grew up I veered towards designing. I wanted to join animation as soon as I passed out of school but my relatives desisted me from taking up the course. I sought admission in a multimedia course in Vizag. My experience there was different and all I can say is that we should take up such courses only if we are truly interested to take it up further and work hard on all the softwares by ourselves. What they teach is just basic, the interface is for a month but the designing.. we need to do it ourselves. I started this when I was in intermediate, did all this during graduation and by the end of it I made a few short films. I also developed interest in game designing but my parents insisted that I finish graduation first. I did that and I was sent to ICAT design and media college in Bengaluru. It had game designing, animation and VFX too and after a while I realised that what has been taught in the college can be studied from home too. I thought I spent a lot of money and time on it just learning three soft wares.”
Bhargav did a video song with VFX for making a portfolio and that fetched him notice. He was called by Silly Monks and later he moved to Walls and Trends. He learnt collaboration, soft skills and then worked on motion graphics, lyrical content, packaging for digital content and the method to work on music and posters. What was his job definition? “Youtube management, keeping cinema content in a secured manner, working innovatively on the content and editing it. In Walls and Trends, the ambience was different and I worked on motion graphics, animation, the depth of it. I am known as a VFX artist and also a motion graphics artist.” Ask Bhargav if VFX is growing in Hyderabad and he replies in the affirmative. People get scared to do VFX scenes because they think it is time consuming. VFX is nothing but imagination, the studios such as Pixeloid, Makuta, Arena Animations and some more companies tie up with students who have done specialised courses and work on films. It is a creative field and students are also showing interest.
Bhargav talks at length on the lyrical videos which are fast gaining prominence for its attractive art work. He quips, “The lyrical video started in 2015. It is about raising the expectations of the cinema through songs via images (not video). First the people will like the song and get used to it because of the lyrics. Later the video will enhance it. We don’t know if this lyrical content will exist for a long period as Bollywood has begun using video and lyrics together. We are doing a completely lyrical video now and then it will be a video plus lyrics running on it. The digital art designers help in creating background and we animate it and carve it out beautifully. We keep changing it to make sure the audience is not bored, we need to introduce new things to keep them engaged.”
He adds, “Motion graphics artists are in demand now. I have done 32 films and these lyrical videos come under a span of one year. We like to give innovative, fresh stuff and we think a lot and plan and fail. Sometimes when the directors say something is final, we stop there. We can only design better if the song is good. We try to bring out a flavour, colour consistency, natural environment etc. The directors show us the film sometimes and some show only the song, some only give photo shoot stills. We use a bit of the video song and the lyrical content. All this comes under cinema promotion. We also do title designing, green screen removals etc. I don’t differentiate between small and big work, if I find it satisfying I do it. I worked on Venky Mama, Sarileru Neekevvaru, Chowrastha Band. I am a freelancer and I am also an employee in an ad agency as a VFX artist. There is teaser packaging, title designing, motion movements or posters, text animation, lyrical content, juke box, post production work and so much to do in social media promotion. We also do concept videos.”