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Jyothi Kalyan Sura talks VFX for new hit film ‘Men in Black: International’

From the time he was a child, Jyothi Kalyan Sura loved drawing. He always doodled, sketching his favorite cartoon characters and world’s he imagined in his mind. It seemed only natural for him to find a way to explore this innate talent as a career, but as he grew, he found himself drawn to creating art not on paper, but on a computer in the world of virtual design. It didn’t take him long to realize he could use these talents as a visual effects artist, a job in the field of filmmaking that he had long admired. Now, as a renowned VFX artist in his home country of India and abroad, he spends each and every day doing what he has loved since his earliest years.


“Though CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is a younger branch of the visual arts, visual effects is as old as cinema itself. From the early days of cinema, in-camera visual effects have captured audience’s amazement. Today, visual effects is an indispensable tool for filmmakers, as it enables them to create awe-inspiring visuals to enhance their stories. A comprehensive study of VFX needs research, diligent observation and understanding of nature – it is a field for the curious. The Visual Effects industry also drives many technological innovations that democratize the filmmaking process and gives even low-budget filmmakers the power to execute their vision. I love Visual Effects for its impact on the global filmmaking community – both in films and television,” said Sura.

Throughout his esteemed career, Sura has shown the world just how talented he is. He is incredibly versatile, working on movies like Dark Phoenix and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and even other media projects, such as the Sesame Street Interactive with SeaWorld Orlando. He is always making the most of his talents, and currently has not one, not two, but three films he has worked on in cinemas around the world.

One such film is Men In Black: International, the revival film of the iconic series. The film takes place in the same world as the previous series, where the Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization. It stars two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson alongside Liam Neeson, Tessa Thompson, and Chris Hemsworth.


“The Men In Black franchise is one of my favorite science-fiction films from the last few decades. It is a truly unique series in that it introduced not only a new type of science fiction films but was a move away from dark stories about aliens. With its awe-inspiring world building, unforgettable characters and fun tone, the series became endearing to hundreds of thousands around the world and to me. One of my Visual Effects mentors, Joyce Cox, was the Visual Effects Producer on Men in Black III. She shared amazing stories about the project which increased my respect not just towards the onscreen story, but also the making of these movies. So, when I look back, I can’t help feeling a sense of destiny, nostalgia and pride at my involvement with the franchise,” said Sura.

The film dominated the box office during the weekend of its release, which was June 14th, 2019. After only two weeks in theatres, it has brought in almost $600 million USD, an astounding feat for Sura, who is happy to have contributed to its enormous success.

Known around the industry for his many strengths, Sura was assigned high priority and complex shots from day one of working on Men In Black. During his first week, the production ran into an issue. The team had to deliver their work rendered in different codecs and looks for previews, which was a challenge given the number of shots delivered each day. However, as Sura was well versed with color pipelines and editorial workflows, he quickly came up with a solution without adding any additional burden to the team. With his new workflow, the artists worked their usual way and at the end of each day, he processed their work through presets he created to generate the required files. The most important factors behind his decisions were to build the most effective and efficient workflows. His background in computer science and his experience with building entire animation pipelines for Visual Effects helped him make such essential time-saving decisions. He was truly indispensable.

Men in Black: International reunited me with my old team at MPC. I loved the spirit and energy of my team. When working in stressful conditions, a good team can go a long way. Mark, my supervisor, entrusted me with critical tasks and I enjoyed handling the responsibility. Most shots that I worked on were artistically and technically challenging. I solved new and interesting challenges every day, which was the most fun aspect of the project,” he concluded.

By Annabelle Lee
July 8th, 2019

Jyothi Kalyan Sura talks VFX for new hit film ‘Men in Black: International’ Reviewed by JaamZIN on 8:07:00 AM Rating: 5
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