16 Aug 2015 16:49 IST

The effects of FX

The success of vfx-oriented films such as Baahubali is kicking off a modernisation drive among theatres in South India

One of the reasons touted for the phenomenal success of recent blockbusters, Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, is the special effects and sound. The films worked best in theatres equipped with state-of-the-art technology and their success has kicked off a modernisation boom in theatres across the country. . Ashim Mathur, head of marketing, Dolby Laboratories India, says: “ Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan have kicked off a revolution. From Kashmir to Kerala, exhibitors want to offer their patrons the best cinematic entertainment experience. Be it luxurious décor, comfortable seats or the latest cinema technology, they want to give it all.”

Distributor and exhibitor Tirupur Subramaniam says: “I recently opened a new four-screen multiplex in Tirupur with 2K laser projection and Dolby Atmos sound system. People as far as from Erode came to watch Baahubali here.”

Upgradation of these systems has also led to an increase in footfalls. Ashim Mathur adds: “Our exhibitor partners have seen a great increase in occupancy, after installing Dolby Atmos. The success of movies like Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan reiterates the fact that audiences are looking for great storytelling, in which sound plays an important role.”Baahubali’s Hindi version has become the first dubbed film to collect over Rs. 100 crore. PVR Ltd., the largest multiplex chain in India, recently announced plans to install Dolby Atmos in as many as 50 of its screens across the country. Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director of PVR, says: “ Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan are pathbreakers in many ways, as they not only created new box-office records, but also increased footfalls. PVR is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a great cinematic experience in more screens across the country.”

Bijli also adds that the audience today has acquired a taste for big-budget spectacles that are best enjoyed on the big screen. “Today’s audiences are willing to pay, provided filmmakers deliver the highest-quality movie experience. The number of big Hollywood, Bollywood and southern biggies getting ready for release augurs well for the industry as a whole,” he adds.

Sound, meanwhile, has always been an important factor in Tamil Nadu. In the 1970s and 1980s, sound was mixed at higher decibel levels for Tamil films. With single screens lacking modern sound systems, higher levels were used to create dramatic effects to enthrall audiences. Films such as Mackenna’s Gold and Sholay were even advertised as films being presented “in full bloody blast of 70MM and stereophonic sound system”.

Sunil Narvekar, distribution head at SPI Cinemas, remembers: “Those days, watching a film in a good theatre was a treat by itself. There was no surround system, and the mixing was simple. Today’s audiences know more about sound systems and some even prefer to sit in the middle of the auditorium to get an enhanced sound experience.”

Upcoming films such as Anushka Shetty’s Rudhramadevi, Deepika Padukone’s Bajirao Mastani, Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale and Vijay’s Puli — that will be targeting the growing multiplex audiences in the country — are all spending big money on special effects and sound. The buzz is that S.S. Rajamouli will make his Baahubali 2, scheduled for summer 2016, even richer with more special effects. Not to be left behind, several single screens in Tamil Nadu in the B and C centres are also making plans to modernise their facilities, in order to attract more footfalls.

(Courtesy Cinema Plus, The Hindu)

Recommended for you