Brahmastra: The story unfolds.
The story of Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt's Brahmastra will be revealed when it releases during Christmas.
But there's so much that has gone into the making of it.
Director Ayan Mukerji shares his experiences and thoughts on social media, offering engaging details on the superhero movie.
'The movie was called Dragon in those days,' Ayan writes on Instagram. 'I had no idea what VFX was but had dreamt up a movie full of it... I had long strange hair... There have been so many milestone memories and discoveries for me through this ride, that sharing them with whoever is listening on Instagram is as much about connecting the dots for myself... Here is the first really simple concept art we made for the movie... but about something that is at the very heart of it.'
'Ranbir -- The absolute first person to have heard about Brahmastra and the first to have jumped on for the ride! On a writing trip for Yeh Jawaani in May 2011, is where the idea was born... and Ranbir was my very first phone call. There is so much to share about B.astra, but it is fitting that the first team member this Insta journey touches upon is... Ranbir aka Shiva aka Rumi aka Artist aka Soldier!'
'First, he was Rumi. Rumi with long hair. This image is from an early look test for the movie. Rumi said, 'Love is the bridge between you and everything...', and that feeling is the foundation we started building the protagonist of this movie on... But then, there was new inspiration, newer thoughts... Dragon became Brahmastra, we gave Ranbir a haircut, and Rumi became... Shiva,' Ayan explains.
'...And then, there were 3... from our vfx studio in london, way back in 2016. these were early days on this movie. alia was the new force in our creative life... the brief was simple... ranbir and alia needed to work as one unit and that relationship was more important than their individual characters because at it's heart, our movie is... a love story... There has been a lot of love since then,' Ayan writes.
'I met Alia when she was 18 and almost instantly she bombed her way into my life and my movies and my soul. Today, she's not so little anymore and bombing us with too much beauty in Kalank's beautiful trailer which dropped earlier...' he posts.
'London is the hub of VFX for Brahmāstra,' Ayan continues. 'Finishing up a week of work here... We have the team, we have the dream... and the dream is so damn big I don’t know what I was thinking when I started. Waiting to put it all out there in the world.'
Ayan posts a picture of the Regent's Canal in London, and writes, 'Early in 2016, we started spending a lot of time in London, developing the VFX for our movie. A recurring event of these trips has been taking long walks by the canal, where a lot of ideas, visuals, themes came to me...'
'What is it about some places that allow us to daydream more than others?!' he wonders.
'Beginnings,' he hints. 'Tel Aviv, Israel... Beginning of 2018, and the beginning of many things... We were in Tel Aviv to prepare for our first shooting schedule with a very special member of our team, and it marked the beginning of Ranbir and Alia working together for the movie and getting to know each other... Brahmastra has come with a lot of travel, to find creative collaborations everywhere in the world...something I hope will add greatly to the film eventually.'
Ayan posts a picture of the muhurat of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Swades, which was directed by his brother-in-law Ashutosh Gowariker.
For all those who don't know, Ashutosh's wife Sunita is Ayan's half-sister. Sunita is Ayan's mum Amrit's child from her first marriage.
'At the age of 19, I started my journey as an assistant director under Ashutosh Gowariker, my brother-in-law and first mentor,' Ayan writes. 'With Ashuda, I really understood the passion and sacrifice that each film takes, and how to devote oneself completely to the journey of the movie one is making... I gave clap for each shot on this movie, and in return, took from it, so much learning, such special relationships and many many memories.'
Concept Art, Ayan feels, is a new aspect to his film-making process, and one of the pillars of making a VFX film.
'Concept Art has made me a more visual film-maker (I hope) and is the foundation of Brahmastra's spectacular visual ambition. (Also that's my cabin in the old Dharma Office, which I fought hard for because it has a garden view and nice light),' he writes.
Ayan's mentor, Karan Johar.
'Baba & I... (Or, where stories come from...)' Ayan writes, with a childhood picture of himself and his father Deb Mukherjee. 'My earliest memory of storytelling begins with my father telling me tales of Indian Gods and Goddesses... Shiva and Durga and Vishnu and Ganesh and Kali ! He was a passionate teller and the child-me passionately fell in love with our own mythology... Who knew that the impressions made then would come back a full circle... to form the inspiration of this amazing journey myself (and my team) finds ourselves on, today.'
'This is my modest writing spot in my house where all my films were born. I started writing Brahmastra 8 years ago, have grown and evolved and aged through the process, and still, the writing never stops,' he writes.
The rejects, Ayan informs.
Photographs: Kind courtesy Ayan Mukerji/Instagram