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Popcorn to make foray in 'Bollywood Tourism'
By Manisha Deshpande
Sunil Shetty's Popcorn Entertainment sure seems to be going from strength to strength with the rate at which it is going ahead with its diversification plans. A few days ago, the Creative head of Popcorn's film division, Pravesh Sippy, divulged details about how the company had got into designing projects but the latest on the company's front is an innovative concept on 'Bollywood Tourism', which is likely to be a sell-out in the tourism industry from day one. "It is a joint venture between Popcorn Entertainment and Travel Mart India Ltd, to cater to the needs of N.R.I.s and foreign tourists, who are curious about Bollywood and the way films are shot here. We are trying to sell the experience that is Bollywood," says Manoj Gursahani, Chairman of Travelmart India Ltd. and partner of Sunil Shetty in Popcorn.
To introduce them to the experience, Travelmart has created a set-up at Filmistan studio where tourists will go through a two-hour long song and dance experience, replete with the technique that goes in the making of a film. There will be no stars performing in the song and dance sequence but Gursahani informs that they can also have stars making special appearances if their clients are keen on having a particular star. A subsequent round of major post-production and dubbing studios will complete the behind-the-scenes experience of filmmaking.
According to Gursahani, it took them 18 months of research work and a considerable amount of investment to set up the studio and erect the set, besides choosing a director, choreographer and action director for the exercise. "It is a very unique concept which no one has attempted before which is why we wanted to be doubly sure of what we did. Everyone says that there are two things that excite the tourism industry, Bollywood and cricket. We are trying to sell the former," he adds.
Popcorn will have an official launching of the tourism division next week but prior to that Gursahani had an unofficial trial run recently and as expected the tourists who were present at the first run thoroughly enjoyed the experience, asking for more.