Better Looking Bollywood

Published On: 2012-05-21

Author: unknown

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A better looking, better sounding Bollywood

Source: INAS

NEW DELHI: Be it a plunge from a high-rise or a storm or simply actor Hrithik Roshan fooling around with his shadow, special effects have never been better in Bollywood. 

Sound and visual effect facilities have come a long way from the days of the TV serial "Mahabharat" and have emerged as the main driver of growth in the prolific film industry.

Hindi film producers are slowly and steadily making films that rely heavily on special effects to carry the story forward. 

While "Jajantaram Mamantaram" had 63 minutes devoted to special effects alone, Rakesh Roshan's "Koi Mil Gaya", which releases August 8, will be India's first true-blue sci-fi. 

"Rudrakash" will have 75 minutes of special effects, a record for Bollywood.

If you raved about Hollywood thrillers like "Terminator 3", "Men In Black" and "Godzilla", a similar fare from Bollywood is not far behind. 

The most significant leap is actor-turned-director Rakesh Roshan's "cute" twist to son Hrithik's onscreen love story in "Koi Mil Gaya".

Rakesh Roshan says the "cute" animated character cost him "as much as two other top heroes would have". The computer-generated character cost a whopping Rs.100 million. 

In addition, about 20-25 minutes of special effects in "Koi Mil Gaya" have been rendered by the same people who did "Independence Day".

Compudyne Winfosys, a Bangalore-based Internet and multimedia solutions Provider, did the rest. 

"Koi Mil Gaya" is a big budget film made at the sum of Rs.350 million. Roshan says a major chunk of the investment was diverted to special effects alone.

"Rudraksh", on the other hand, deals with an offbeat story and stars a 75-metre-tall monster. Co-produced by Sunil Shetty, Sohail Maklai and Nitin Manmohan, it will witness both Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty donning various get-ups, with Bipasha Basu and Isha Koppikar as co-stars.

The producers refuse to divulge the exact amount the makers have spent on special effects alone, but it's evident that the money is huge. "Rudraksh" is already complete and is slated for release on August 15.

At least two computer animation and graphics companies in Bangalore - Compudyne Winfosys and GDR Multimedia -- and international imaging technology giants like Silicon Graphics are waiting in the wings to make their Bollywood debut.

Technology can solve a lot of filmmakers' problems and is not really all that expensive, they say persuasively. Silicon Graphics is also in discussions with movie directors like Hyderabad-based Ramoji Rao and Bollywood's Pankaj Parashar to market its special effects generating machines in India.

And for an accident-ridden Bollywood, special effects are also the answer to many ills.

An obvious beneficiary of digital enhancement was the action-thriller "Qayamat", starring Ajay Devgan. The film was touted as India's first fully digitally enhanced film and did wonders at the box-office. 

Says Sanjay: "One keeps hearing the complaint that most trailers on television look better than the actual film. But this didn't happen in 'Qayamat.' This (digital enhancement) is the future."

Clark McKay, senior editor, Fox Digital USA, said in an interview: "I think India is already on the brink of making big leaps in the field of special effects. You're already at the stage we were at just four years ago. Now, it's just a matter of execution and learning some new tricks."