Photos by Dani Charles
Lyca Productions, the house bankrolling upcoming Tamil sci-fi drama 2.o, held a conference to talk more on digital technology and the business behind it. Titled ‘2.0 3D-Digital Meet’, the conference had several theatre owners and distributors in attendance, including Abirami Ramanathan, the chief of Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce, distributor Thirupur Subramaniam, producer R Ravindran, T Arulpathy, Seenu from S pictures, and others.
With ample stalls in one of the plush conference halls at ITC Grand Chola Chennai, the meet was to educate and bring in further support for digital technology in today’s cinema theatres.
Raju Mahalingam, Head of Lyca Productions, was all praises for the technology and the movie. “2.o was shot in 3D, with a budget of Rs 400 crores, and will be presented to you in 3D. This new technology was designed specifically for the audience to have a good experience while watching films. This shouldn’t just extend to Tamil Nadu, but must also expand to all over India. There are 20,000 plus 3D screens in China, but unfortunately, in India, we only have 1,500 screens that are compatible to screen 3D films,” he said.
As theatres across Tamil Nadu remain shut in protest against the double taxation, Mahalingam implored the government to abolish the tax completely.
“Lyca’s headquarters in London have told us not to take up any new projects until there is clarity on local body tax. Until this gets sorted out, we wouldn’t be taking up anymore. We currently have Kamal Haasan starrer Sabhash Naidu, Dhanush’s Vada Chennai, Sai Pallavi’s Karu, and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Ippadai Vellam. I request the Tamil Nadu government to look into this tax issue, and remove the entertainment tax, bearing in mind the plight of producers and theatre owners,” he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Abhirami Ramanathan hoped that there will be a positive outcome. “A solution from the government with respect to the entertainment tax is expected soon. Theatres will likely start functioning this Friday. On that note, 3D technology is the need of the hour. We need to move along with technology, and to beat piracy and bring people back to cinema halls, we have to upgrade our theatres,” he said.
Sivaraman of Qube Cinema Technologies, known for manufacturing digital cinema servers, integrated media blocks (IMBs) and Digital Cinema Package (DCP) creation software, said that 3D screens are a rarity in India currently. “There are 900 screens, and only 100 are equipped for 3D. With this meet, we try to educate you on how important such a technology is for a fun movie experience.”
Slides and presentations were shown, explaining the nuances of Active and Passive 3D, the systems and software, and the financial aspects of these equipment.
The meet also confirmed that 2.o, starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, and Amy Jackson, directed by Shankar, will release on January 25, 2018.