3D Craze Engulfs Bollywood
Since the worldwide phenomenon of Avatar, Western moviegoers have enjoyed a new dimension of film-viewing pleasure. The animated success story inspired many Hollywood production companies to follow suit and invest in 3D technology. Recent 3D blockbusters include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung fu Panda-2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Now it seems the latest wave is taking India by storm.
The 3D Bollywood blitz was triggered by Vikram Bhatt’s 3D horror feature Haunted. 3D technology is still a rare treat in India, and audiences and critics alike lapped up their ghoulish encounters with the film’s cast. Haunted was a resounding success, and Bhatt’s next film Raaz 3, with Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu, will also feature the technology.
Since the success of Haunted, other Bollywood producers have also invested in the technology. Bollywood films currently slated for 3D release include Dangerous Ishq, Sher Khan, Joker, Ra.One, Raaz 3 and Don 2.
The adoption of 3D technology is beneficial to the films studios for several reasons. Although making a3D film drives up production costs by 20 to 30 per cent, the technique prevents piracy—which enhances long term gains. Additionally, if audiences are demanding 3D pictures, the movie houses have to satisfy demand. This means films created in 3D may enjoy greater demand—at least in the short run, a trend worth noting to aspiring filmmakers.
Of course, there’s also a dark dimension to 3D. The cost of movie tickets are likely to rise as theatres pass on the costs of the new technology to the consumer. Some moviemakers will undoubtedly fall into the trap of playing with the new technology like a toy—blitzing the audience with a barrage of special effects while completely neglecting the integrity of the story line. Finally, while the adoption of 3D technology will create a new field of employment in the long term, it will likely take jobs away from Indians temporaily as animators and effect professionals already familiar with the technology may need to be imported from Hollywood.
It’s too early to say whether the 3D trend will become a permanent fixture in Bollywood, but it’s off to a roaring start.
Chota Chetan (1984) is credited with first Indian 3D film in 1984. Although the 3D technology was still rudimentary, it went on to become a major box-office hit.