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India is a fertile ground for the 3D format; so what’s stopping us?

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The Indian viewer’s appetite for cinema has not shown any signs of diminishing. Indians have a propensity to lap up movies of various genres with equal zeal. The acceptance of 3D films with special effects by the Indian market in the past few years has led to Hollywood studios entering India in a big way with promotions targeted to suit Indian sensibilities. The success of movies like Transformers: Dark of the moon, Iron man 3, Man of steel, Star Trek: Into the Darkness, Hugo, Avatar have proved that the 3D wave is here to stay. But the Indian film industry still has a long way to go before it can cash in on this enthusiasm.

Very few Indian films have made 3D a spectacular movie viewing experience. Movies like “Haunted”, “Ra-One” are just a few names that Bollywood can be proud of but the number of 3D films produced in India is abysmally low. Rudrarup Dutta, Head of Operations and Marketing, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures explains the reasons, “We are trying to use 3D more as a gimmick rather than an actual experience. In Hollywood, 3D is more of an experience; 3D suits the kind of films Hollywood comes up with. If you make a superhero film the 3D aspect really stands out and makes an impact. That’s missing in Indian movies.” he adds.

Despite the success of 3D Hollywood movies in India, the real revolution can happen only when Indian filmmakers churn out more 3D films. Some distributors and exhibitors are extremely positive about the future of this format in India.

Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR is positive when he talks about the demand of 3D in India, purely from a booming theatre chain’s perspective, “Movies in India are one of the prime sources of entertainment and if the same is offered with 3D effects, it creates a massive boom amongst the audiences and the cinema industry. The audience has thoroughly enjoyed 3D films and is demanding more of them.”

Exhibitors are also making the most of this heightened interest in 3D films. Vivek Krishnani, Head-Distribution, Marketing and Syndication, Fox Star Studios explains, “3D has proved to be a clear differentiator in terms of movie viewing experience for the audiences. We are happy  that the exhibitors have realized the value that 3D content brings to the Box Office as we have seen with some of our own releases- like Life of Pi, Ice Age 4, Croods 3D.  In fact our next, The Wolverine is releasing in over 650 screens out of which close to 400 are 3D screens. During the release of Avatar there were around 54 3D enabled screens. Today we have around 700 plus 3D enabled screens in the country.”

Multiplexes in most major metros are 3D enabled and that’s where one sees the Box Office contribution coming from. As 3D continues to penetrate into the Tier 2 market, Fox hopes that people will embrace this extraordinary movie viewing experience.

Studios in India are encouraging filmmakers to explore this visual format. Fox Star Studios’ Krishnani says they are giving directors with a fine understanding of 3D movie making expertise, the much needed push. “For example, we worked with Vikram Bhatt on Raaz 3 and helped take the movie viewing experience to another level by leveraging the best of 3D technology from our international office,” he adds.

Multiplex chains in India like PVR are buoyant about 3D movie-making. PVR claims that the re-release of Jurassic Park in 3D provided edge-of-the-seat entertainment.  3D film-making adds a new dimension to story-telling and creative expression of film-makers, yielding heavy Box office collections while offering exceptional movie watching experience to movie goers. The Indian film industry needs to explore the potential of this genre.

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