CG Today: As an audience, can one understand the technical substance of the movie? Do you think it makes a difference to the audience?

Mithun D’souza, Technologist, PixionMithun D'Souza: From a visual standpoint, the main difference to the audience is that movies shot digitally look digital, even if they are projected from a film print. This "issue" is definitely present in some great films like Slumdog Millionaire and other digitally acquired movies. The image often lacks the aesthetically pleasing sensibilities that we are all so accustomed to with films shot on negative. They lack the texture, the lensing (depth of field) and other elements which are taken for granted when we go to watch movies on the big screen. When you can't tell the difference whether the film was shot digitally or on film, it becomes a win for the DP and the post studio handling the process because they have succeeded in achieving a visual style on different platform compared to film which is far more economical and doesn’t suffer from any of the tradeoffs in image quality and aesthetics. Also, this film being printed at 4k adds to the resolution factor mentioned before there by resolving a far more beautiful and detailed image than standard 2k prints.

CG Today: Peter Jackson's Hobbit is getting shot on 48 frames per second, James Cameron is planning to shoot Avatar 2 and 3 at even 64 FPS, stereoscopic is back and revolutionizing. How do you see Indian technology vis-a-vis western technology?

Mithun D'Souza: From the technological standpoint, we are on par with our Western counterparts. We use the same equipments and are standardized to the same standards as that of our friends in the west. Films like Balgandharva and other such digitally acquired projects help with the uptake of new technologies proving that there are no tradeoffs even if you shot digitally or on film and thereby reinstating the faith in the Indian producers/directors to vie for this new medium. We are gearing up to supporting this Digital Revolution which is still in its nascent stages at the moment but will catapult into mainstream cinema very rapidly.

Peter Jackson and James Cameron are industry veterans who have all harnessed the power and flexibility offered by the RED Camera System to shooting their current and future projects digitally. Hobbit is being filmed on RED Epics in 3D and James Cameron recently made a purchase of 50 RED Epics to facilitate his future project. 3D is also a fad that is soon catching on here and is here to stay this time around. Many producers are planning to go down that path as well in the country.

It was a great experience to carve the digitally shot imagination of the film maker in celluoid medium & recreating the era of Balgandharva since visuals where captured on digital medium, altogether it needed a different kind of work flow was adapted which itself was a learning process for myself. It was indeed a great experience & was lucky to work on such a prestigious project “Balgandharva” - Mangesh K. Bhalerao, DI Line Producer, Pixion

CG Today: Mr.Sameer Pandit, as a DI and colorist for films like Fashion, Dabangg and Jail. How has grading added flavour to this movie?

Sameer Pandit: The major challenge in this film was to make the grade harmonise with the chronological graph that the film follows whilst always still maintaining the period look, achieving this look entailed exercising strict control over the spectrum of colour that could appear on screen and de-emphasizing colours that cued away from the period. Fairly detailed secondary corrections were used to emphasize lighting changes on the stage sequences and generally push the picture into a richer looking image. The digital acquisition of the source added a whole set of advantages and drawbacks into the mix, making it a superb experience on the whole. The fine control exerted by the cinematographer Mahesh Limaye over his craft went a long way into achieving this standard of output.

Pixion have screened small segments of the film to many of the directors, producers and cinematographers and most of them couldn’t believe that the film was actually acquired digitally. The work done is seamless, just like excellent quality of visual effects where if the VFX looks artificial, then you can easily point it out as something that was created. But when it just flows with the film and you can’t really spot it, you have achieved what you set out to do. Pixion has managed to attend a benchmark in true sense for quality production values and metaphors with no compromises what so ever in the final outputs.

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