Graphic Artist Vinita Bakhale contributes to important scene in Academy Award-nominated Feature Film

The Big Sick (2017) Children's Playground Theatre Graphic Art by Vinita Rachel Bakhale Property Of Lionsgate
Vinita Bakhale working on artwork for “The Big Sick”

Although Vinita Bakhale grew up in the small town called Oakville, Ontario, located just out of Toronto, she was often inspired by her great-uncle, Diwakar. Diwakar Karkare was a famous Film Poster Artist in the Indian Film Industry. For nearly 30 years, he hand-painted official film posters and key film art for theaters, massive billboards, and building signage. As a child, Vinita really looked up to him, and he inspired her to pursue an interest in the film and television industry. Now she is a working Graphic Artist for Film and Television, where she is often hired early pre-production and is responsible for helping visualize sets and provide her skills in graphics based on the Production Designer’s vision.The Big Sick Poster

Vinita has many celebrated projects on her resume. She worked on the television series shows, Happy, as well as Damien and the Netflix hit Riverdale. She still finds herself surprised at the good fortune for getting to work on such interesting productions.

A year and a half ago, she was hired to create the visual imagery for an important scene on a small indie film with a low-budget of five million dollars. Since then, that indie film, whose name happens to be, The Big Sick went on to gross 55 million dollars in revenue, as well as gain international fame when it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay this past February 2018.

Co-Produced by Judd Apatow, The Big Sick tells the story of Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), who is in the middle of becoming a budding stand-up comedian when he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan). Meanwhile, a sudden illness sets in forcing Emily to be put into a medically-induced coma. Kumail must navigate being a comedian, dealing with his girlfriend’s tragic illness, and placating his family’s desire to let them fix him up with a spouse, while contemplating and figuring out who he really is and what he truly believes.

“I love how Kumail and Emily as screenwriters took the story of an immigrant’s journey and made it humorous without overwhelming the audience with any slapstick comedy or bombarding them with euphemisms. They made the movie relatable and personal with an amazing and humorous script,” said Vinita. “I am a fan of Judd Apatow, who has produced so many hilarious and memorable films and television shows. When I read somewhere that he was going to be one of the co-producers, I was so excited.”

TheBigSick (2017) Playground Theatre Graphic Art by Vinita Bakhale Property of Lionsgate
Playground Theatre Graphic Art by Vinita Bakhale Property of Lionsgate

The Production Designer hired Vinita to provide her technical skills as a Graphic Artist and visualize an important scene in the film, when the lead character Kumail performs his one-man-show in front of his future wife, Emily and her friend for the first time. The Graphic Artist did a good job matching the location photographs and created relevant graphic imagery of the Playground Theatre set so that the Production Designer could utilize the imagery to show Producers how the scene would play out.

As a general rule, while working on productions as a Graphic Artist for Film and Television, Vinita’s first point of reference is the script.

She goes through the script and makes notes of all the relevant visual and imagery graphics that would be required of her to produce. After this, she goes about researching specifics. Vinita consults with the Production Designer and coordinates with the key visual departments including, the Props Department, Set Decoration Department, and Costume Department to see what other support they may require of her as the Graphic Artist. Once she consults with everyone, she begins the creative process. This is where her instinct as an Artist comes into play. She creates imagery relevant to the script, and most importantly, by designing an aesthetic that flows with the Creator/Producer’s vision.

“Although it’s always a new experience working with a new script, new design aesthetic, new design references etc., the design process itself is rather pragmatic and structural” according to Vinita. 

“Working on The Big Sick was a short and sweet experience. Knowing that I was going to be creating visual imagery for a scene that would be seen by so many talented members of the production who I actually grew up being a fan of and still to this day admire was pretty cool,” she said.

The Big Sick (2017) The Playground Theatre Graphic Art by Vinita Bakhale Property of Lionsgate
The Big Sick (2017)  “The Playground Theatre”  Property of Lionsgate

This July, Vinita’s latest work, Freaky Friday The Musical, will be premiering on the Disney Channel. Once again, the Graphic Artist puts her style and artistic touch on an endearing story by creating visual imagery for the protagonist, Ellie’s Bedroom.

“I’m drawn to vivid colors and on the contrast, muted tones and textures. As a Designer though, I’d have to say I am now quite versatile. It’s important to be flexible because no one production is the same. On a recent production I was responsible for researching children’s toys and blankets from a specific time period. On another production I was required to research turn-of-the-century telegrams and textural paper. It’s very important to be authentic with whatever you are creating. Film and Television productions are multi-million dollar ventures. With a lot invested, production companies expect to get the best and most authentic version of whatever they’re producing.  Although we aren’t supposed to be a moving picture museum of imagery and graphics that are all historically accurate, because that would be impossible, we strive to be at the very least in the ballpark of the impossible,” she concluded.


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