Enjoy 'Sholay' now in 3D
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When Sholay released in 1975, Ram Dhumne was in the 10th standard, somewhere in suburban Mumbai dreaming of becoming an artist. And as with most people of his generation, the film turned into that shrine that was to be revisited and worshipped over the years.
Clearly, for Dhumne, Sholay was the greatest movie ever made. So when Dhumne, presently the VFX Composing Supervisor of the Maya Digital Studios, was told about their latest assignment, an ambitious stereoscopic 3D conversion of Sholay, it was a bit overwhelming.
"Just the feeling of seeing my name along with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, RD Burman and Javed Akhtar in the title credits thrilled me," he says, in between trying to fix a demo show-reel of all the projects his company has undertaken. Inside the conference room of its office at Film City, Mumbai, is a giant television screen, to showcase 3D films. It is here that Dhumne, along with colleague Hemant Shinde would examine every reworked frame till it satisfied his aesthetic standards.
"Being a 3-hour film, there are some 2,85,000 frames in it. We knew we couldn't miss out on even the tiniest details because people have already watched the film a countless number of times," he says.
Maya, headed by filmmaker Ketan Mehta along with Deepa Sahi, was founded in the mid-90s for animation and visual effects. Some of its recent films are the animated Ramayana, Sons of Ram, and television shows such as Motu Patlu and 'Vir: The Robot Boy'.
But three years ago, when the chance to work on Sholay came, it was unlike anything the company had undertaken.
"Sholay is a legendary film, we couldn't be intrusive and same time it had be an enhanced experience. Moreover, the film being 35 years old, We had to restore the original first, do the colour corrections before we could proceed. I think it's the most complex 2D to 3D conversion that has happened anywhere in the world," says Mehta, director and chairman of Maya.