1st animated live action flick to release end 2006

Space Jam, Scooby-Doo are two Hollywood movies which come to mind when one thinks of creative ventures which have combined animation with real-action heroes. One can add the name of multiplex movie Friends Forever to that list.

Friends Forever
has Ashmit Patel and Hrishitaa
Bhatt as its lead pair. But most importantly it will star a 3D animated character called Zampano, a first for the Indian market. Zampano, plays a pivotal role in the film as he helps the heroine find her true love. He is on screen for 36 minutes and even has a five minute song picturised around him.

The picture which is produced by Celluloid Dreams has been under development for two years and most of the live action filming has been completed. The film has been directed by Saumitra Ranade with Biju D wearing the animation director’s hat. Both had earlier worked on Jajantaram Mamantaram.

“It took over 10,000 hours to conceptualise and composite the eight inch Zampano with live characters. It was a challenging task for the team to make him a friendly, adorable character with cute actions and seemingly real emotions”, K Naresh Kumar, General Manager, Synergy Images, which is doing the animation with the help of 15 animators at its Bangaore studio at a cost of Rs 10 million, told reporters today.

“The team started by putting their concepts on paper and then a clay model of their vision. Zampano got coloured on Screen and went through several interactions before he got his body, clothes and facial features”, he said.

The movie is slated for a release by end this year.

PRODUCED BY: Celluloid Dreams, Mumbai (company owned by Rashmi Seengal and Suresh Kumar, MD CDIL, which is involved in a mega multimedia park project in Mohali)

Exec Producers: Divya Seengal and Kanat Kashyap

Animation production: Synergy Images, Bangalore – (Malini – president, Naresh Kumar CEO)

Game Production: Chennai based Red Octane Technologies India Ltd, (headed by Swami Venkat in India)

Director : Saumitra Ranade

Animation Direction: Biju D

Starring : Zampano, Hrishita Bhatt, Ashmit Patel