Indian Film Industry adopts ‘Technology’ to battle Piracy!
From Television to Video Piracy to Audio Piracy and now the bullying by OTT! The Indian film industry has been bravely confronting the technological challenges because technology and inventions are the bitter truth of existence. On the one hand, if the technology and inventions created hurdles and shattered the film business, on the hand, the film industry used the same technology for its survival!
In the late ’70s, when the threat from Television, Video Piracy, and Audio Piracy raised its ugly head, filmmakers adopted Cinemascope technology to attract cine buffs to cinema halls! The highlight of a Cinemascope film was that, when projected on the screen, it gave a larger than life-size experience to the viewers! The film covered the entire widescreen and was a delight for the audience! Besides, the Cinemascope film used a four-track stereophonic sound system along with the widescreen. Thus the overall impact of watching a Cinemascope film on the screen was multifold several times than watching on the tiny 21-inch screen of a TV!
Besides, Cinemascope, some top producers’ used the 70MM film technique to give the audience a royal cinema watching experience.
The highlight of 70MM films was that besides been widescreen, it had Six tracks of the digital stereophonic sound system. The viewing experience was crystal clear, and the sound was beyond imagination! Watching a 70 MM film was a gala experience. Films like Sholay, The Burning Train, Karma, Sagar, etc. were mega-hit. However, due to limited theaters that had 70MM projection, film producers stuck to Cinemascope and continue to make films in Cinemascope technology to date.
In the ’80s, when film producers were finding new ways to fight video and audio piracy, a Malayalam film director, Jijo Punnoose, brought a revolution in Indian film technology by making India’s ‘First’ 3-D film My Dear Kuttichathan (1984) in Malayalam. The film was a success, but when the film was dubbed in Hindi and re-released as Chota Chetan in Mumbai, it created a box office record! Film buffs were left spellbound by the 3-D effect.
The film ran to packed houses continuously for 50 weeks (Golden Jubilee) at Mumbai’s Metro Cinema! The film, being a non-star, dubbed regional-film, hence the distributors’ Rajshri Films’ released the film in the Matinee Show slot at Metro Cinema. However, overwhelmed by the tremendous success of the film, it was, soon, upgraded to daily three shows!
The reason behind Chota Chetan’s incredible success was the unique experience of watching the film wearing the tinted 3- D glasses. Besides, the thrill of experiencing the lethal fireballs coming outd of the screen towards us was an unbelievable experience!
Chota Chetan thus gave a befitting reply to video piracy! Several Hindi filmmakers made films in 3-D like Shiva Ka Insaaf (1985 ), Saamri (1985), etc. but lack of technological skill and poor scripts failed to boost the potential of 3-D films in the ’80s!