Busan: A.R. Rahman ‘Le Musk’ Directing Debut in Post-Production 

A.R Rahman directing
Courtesy of Ideal Entertainment & YM Movies

Oscar-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”) is now in post-production with his directorial debut “Le Musk.” The film is a multi-sensory Virtual Reality experience, with haptic touch experiences and a sense of smell.

Rahman developed the story from an original idea by his wife Sairaa and directed from a screenplay by Gurachi Phoenix, besides composing the score.

“ ‘Le Musk” is almost 80% done,” Rahman told Variety, while at the Busan International Film Festival to unveil his screenwriting and producing debut “99 Songs.” “It is a 70-minute 360 degree 3D sensory experience. There are three episodes. Because of the quality we are getting, which everybody seems to be surprised at, we all got the faith that it is worth doing it right, cleaning up every frame. It is on 60 frames per second.”

The production used Disney-backed VR startup Jaunt’s ONE cameras. However Jaunt’s VR business model proved unsuccessful and the company sold its assets and refocused on ‘augmented reality.’ Jaunt was consequently unable to provide post support. Rahman’s team discovered artefacts while stitching together visuals and are now cleaning them up frame by frame.

Shot in Rome, the English-language film follows the journey of an orphaned child, full-time heiress and part-time musician, who grows up to be a diva on a mission. All through, she has one constant companion – the lingering Muskan scent. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she receives an anonymous message, which brings back her mysterious past.

The cast includes Nora Arnezeder (“Berserk”), Guy Burnet (“Ray Donovan”), Munirih Grace Jahanpour (“Pure”) Mariam Zohrabyan.

Canada’s Ideal Entertainment is producing alongside Rahman’s YM Movies, India’s Thenandal Studio, Belgium’s Zilvermeer Productions, and Intel, with Italy’s Interlinea Film as executive producer. The project previewed as a Samsung VR experience in 2017 and at Cannes earlier this year a clip from the project titled “Scent of a Song” was showcased as an XR (extended reality) experience.

“It should be done by next year,” says Rahman. “It’s in English, so we have to find partners for distribution because it is an installation, it is not like a theatre thing. It’s got a chair that directs you to what to see, and of course it has got a lot of music too.” Haptic technology was developed by London-based Feelies, playing a key part, and can be experienced on Positron’s Voyager VR chairs