The 3D mania in Bollywood

MUMBAI: We hear of many filmmakers turning to the 3D technique in Bollywood lately. Among them Ram Gopal Varma (Warning), Vikram Bhatt (Haunted), Madhu Mantena (Magadheera), Anubhav Sinha (Ra.One) and Shirish Kunder (Joker).

Vikram Bhatt drops a bomb when he claims he is the only filmmaker who has shot his film Haunted in the 3D format.

Informs Bhatt, “The rest are shooting in the normal 2D format and then they’ll convert their films into the 3D format, which is doing great great disservice to the 3D technology because what the audience gets to see in converted 3D is infinitely disappointing. If James Cameron’s Avatar looked so much more deep, layered and lifelike than the clumsy 3D effects in Clash Of The Titans, it was because Titans resorted to the 2D-to-3D trick and it showed.”

Bhatt says Cameron warned filmmakers against taking the easy route to 3D. “I don’t know why Indian filmmakers are resorting to this gimmick. When you covert a 2D film into 3D you are not only compromising with the technique, but you cannot begin to get the multi-layered feel of a real 3D film. Let’s put this way… the difference between a film shot in 3D and one being converted in 3D is that a film shot in 3D provides an infinite numbers of layers and dimensions, while a 2D film that’s converted into 3D goes to the primary levels of three-dimensionality.”

If Bhatt had to measure the difference between real 3D and converted 3D on a scale of 1-10, he’d rate real 3D at 10 and converted 3D at 1 or 2.

So is Bhatt saying that other 3D films including Kunder’s Joker are not being shot in 3D?

“I repeat, I’m the only filmmaker in Hindi cinema who’s shooting a film in 3D. Haunted is the first 3D films in India since Shiva Ka Insaaf (1985) and Chota Chetan (1998). All the others are fly-by-night conversion works. Doing a film in 3D is hugely complicated. Believe me, Haunted took twice as much time as normal film. We had to shoot with two cameras simultaneously using the inter-ocular technology, which means getting on screen exactly the same range of vision through the cameras as the two human eyes. It was tough but satisfying. I am now doing another 3D film – Raaz 3, again a real one,” Bhatt ends caustically.

On cross-checking Bhatt’s statements about the ambivalence surrounding the use of 3D in Bollywood another filmmaker said, “I don’t know if Vikram Bhatt’s film is being shot in 3D. But what he said about the technique in India is true. Almost all the 3D films are being shot in 2D first. It’s faster, much cheaper and no one can tell the difference. And it isn’t cheating at all since the 3D filmmaker is not answerable to the ticket-payer regarding the point at which the format was created.

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