Mumbai, January 4 2014: When Bollywood producer GP Sippy and his son Ramesh Sippy, made Sholay -- arguably one among the most iconic Hindi films ever made in modern times -- it cost them Rs 30 million, and reaped in five times that amount in theatrical releases alone. Sholay was ranked first in the British Film Institute's 2002 poll of ‘Top 10 Indian Films’ of all time.
Now 28 years later, the grandson of "GP" -- Sascha Sippy has joined his cousin and other family members to release a 3D version of the movie this weekend. The conversion, by Maya Digital and associated distribution costs is said to exceed Rs 30 million. Some 350 artists and FX experts worked to convert the film into the digital 3D format, under the leadership of UK-based computer animator Frank Foster. ( Hindu Businessline report). Animation XPress quotes Ketan Mehta, MD & Chairman, Maya Digital Studios. “The first and the most important challenge which the team faced was restoration and colour correction of the movie’s negative. The film had to be scanned; several portions had to be painted and touched-up using various softwares and many manual processes. It was after this restoration process that the film was ready for 3D conversion. This was followed by creation of a depth map, which indicates what is near the screen and what is far away. With the help of the depth map, a 3D environment is created, and the third dimension is given to the image... the 2D to 3D conversion of Sholay meant conversion of 285120 frames, from 2D to 3D."
"One of the most complicated frames from the film is, where Hema Malini is standing in a jungle. When we speak about depth and 3D, each individual portion is a separate layer, with its own depth. From her nose, to the hair, to the flexed hand, to each and every tree, to every leaf of each tree become a separate layer which has to be pulled out individually and then composited together to form a 3D frame with the right depth, making this scene the most difficult scene to be converted in 3D", Mehta added.
Critics have mixed views on what the 3-D adds to the Hindi film classic, as this selection carried in Hindustan Times suggests.
Meanwhile Sholay Director Ramesh Sippy is not amused and has moved courts to stop the release of the 3-D version. Not on artistic grounds, it seems but something to do with the ownership of rights to the film.
See a trailer for the 3-D version in our Video spot on the home page