AVATAR, the iconic film of James Cameroon, which again opened the eyes of the film viewing public across the world to the outreach of 3D, more so in India, is assuming interesting propositions. 3D version had contributed to more than 45% of collection that AVATAR obtained from India. Buoyed by the manner in which Indian audience has lapped up 3D viewing, now Shah Rukh Khan has decided to shoot his new film RA.ONE in 3D format as well. Akshay Kumaris already doing it for his film JOKER. But the real catalyst for the Indian film makers to turn their focus of attention to 3D films emanated from the stupendous success that HAUNTED had achieved. Made at a cost of Rs.12 crore, it could gross more than 43 crore at the box office underlining the fact that Indian audience was ready to pay for a real time experience.
Incidentally, the technology that was used in converting HAUNTED into 3D was not the one which was imported from Hollywood, but it has an Indian stamp over it, the man who did it is Sanjay Gaikwad, CEO of UFO Movies, aptly named, one can say. Hollywood could not feel much more intensely as it felt after Sanjay Gaikwad started propagating his technology and small producers using the same as well. With the kind of stand-off that the multiplex owners are having with the Hollywood film makers, if the multiplex owners decide to align their fortunes with the company owned by Gaikwad, then the collections that Hollywood film makers may be thinking about from the films to come may go for a toss. Technology used by Sanjay Gaikwad is quite cheap and provides near about the same experience of viewing as it is done through the Digital Cinema Initiative, the standard being used by the filmmakers, mainly from Hollywood.
But it is not for the first time that India has posed a threat in 3D realm. Way back in 1997, India's first 3D movie CHHOTA CHETAN that was made in 1984, earned the distinction of being the first 3D film in the world in digital version. CHHOTA CHETAN had rocked the box office again in 1997 as it had done in 1984.
But the point that has to be kept in mind by the filmmakers of the country, inflicted by the syndrome of following a success formula is that if one film made by them flops, then audience would give them a thumb down. Here the key differentiator from Hollywood would be the exposure to and usage of technology of cutting edge, which Hollywood does not think twice about using, but Indian film makers have a procrastinating attitude towards it. Besides, once the filmmakers are jumping on to the bandwagon of 3D they have to maintain a steady tempo of producing 3D films, as the multiplex and cinema hall owners would switch over to the technology when they are assured of constant supply. They may do it for Mumbai and Delhi but to do it at the all India level, continuous and steady inflow of content in 3D is the requiem. It goes without saying that once a theatre owner installs 3D his revenue inflow is three times faster than what he gets if he shows film in a conventional format.
These indeed are interesting times for cinema viewing.