And then there were 26: Modi scripts his Gujarat ‘victory sequel’ in 3D now
"Please don't flash lights on the stage," Kasu Rajagopal Reddy warned the impatient crowd collected near the BJP office in Dholka town of Ahmedabad district last Thursday. He had reasons to be anxious. The crowd was waiting to watch Narendra Modi magically materialise on a big screen.
Reddy and his business partner Mani Shankar needn't have held their breath. As the Gujarat CM appeared in full if flickering detail at 26 different locations simultaneously, the verdict on the state's latest 3D release, produced by the two childhood friends, was almost unanimous: it's a hit.
"Is this real?" asked Ajit Deviputra, a 22-year-old resident of Dholka, as Modi's hologram emerged on the specially erected stage in the semi-rural town located 40-odd km from Ahmedabad, and attacked the Congress in his usual style. "Seems he is sitting right in front of us."
When the virtual Modi took "breaks" to wipe the sweat from his brow, or sip water, many tittered.
Shankar and Reddy, who run Nchant 3D Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based firm, refuse to give out much of the "magic", citing a non-disclosure agreement with the BJP, except that "28 imported projectors were used in a 3,000 sq ft studio supported by multiple 4K (resolution) cameras" to project Modi via satellite. Both the sides also refused to say how much the project was costing, though some reports have mentioned a figure of around Rs 150 crore.
Hyderabad-based Shankar brings to his job the experience of five Bollywood films and nearly 1,500 ad films, not to talk of the technical knowhow he might have picked up during his BITS Pilani graduation days. While he claims to have worked with late prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, former Andhra Pradesh chief ministers Chandrababu Naidu and Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Shankar said Modi is "unique". "He is a born communicator and understands spatial orientations," said the filmmaker, adding that the CM took only two minutes to ready himself for the 3D holographic address on Thursday.