New facility to offer digital, film processing

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The joint

venture would offer for the first time the Kodak-kit for film processing, which is now available only in Mumbai

Spirit Media

would set up a digital intermediate processing unit within the year in Mumbai and is planning an overseas facility

Chennai, April 13

AVM Productions and Spirit Media, a subsidiary of the Hyderabad-based Suresh Productions and Rama Naidu Studios, have floated a joint venture that will provide digital processing, film processing and visual effects services for the entertainment industry.

They would be introducing the Kodak-kit chemistry negative processing with kits imported from New Zealand.

At the press conference to announce the joint venture, Mr M. Saravanan, Managing Partner, AVM Studios, said the facility would offer for the first time the Kodak-kit for film processing, which is now available only in Mumbai. Kodak would guide them on the technology here.

Mr Rana Daggubatti, Managing Director, Spirit Media, said the joint venture would commence operations from June.

The first such facility was put up by Spirit Media over a year ago in Hyderabad. Such a facility takes around Rs 20-crore investments, he said.

Digital intermediate processing

Digital intermediate processing is an emerging area that refers to colour correction and creating a corrected film negative. The Hyderabad facility has processed over 14 films including two international ones. The digital real-time colour aid systems in use there are the same that have contributed to productions such as

Lord of the Rings

,

Star Wars

,

Matrix

and in the domestic production,

Black

.They would also import pre-mixed Kodak processing chemicals for films. The entertainment industry now has to depend on Kodak's direct outlet in Mumbai. But this entails carting the film rolls by rail to avoid subjecting them to X-ray scanning in airports. Now, the industry in the South can avail itself of the facility in Chennai, he said.

Mumbai facility

Mr Daggubatti said Spirit Media would set up a digital intermediate processing unit within a year in Mumbai and is planning an overseas facility. The Mumbai facility unit would mark its presence across all major centres of the entertainment industry in India.Also involved in the venture is Nipuna Services Ltd, Satyam's BPO arm, which has a business partnership with Spirit Media to offer management services and technology.Mr Deepak Mangla, Chief Operating Officer, Nipuna, said that with its experience in digital technology, it could source the skilled personnel and assure minimum `time to market' delivery. `It is more family than business'The veterans of film industry from AVM Studios and Rama Naidu Studios struck a sentimental note on Thursday as they announced the launch of the joint venture. Mr M.S. Guhan, Managing Partner, AVM Studios, said the joint venture brings together two families whose third generation is in the business. Their joint venture partner, Mr Rana Daggubatti, Managing Director, Spirit Media, is the grandson of Rama Naidu, whose Suresh Productions holds a record for producing the most number of feature films under a single producer. AVM is in its 60th year and is the oldest film production company in India.Mr Guhan took the opportunity to introduce the fourth generation to the film world, his twin daughters Aruna Guhan and Aparna Guhan. They have just finished school, and before going to college, their grandfather, Mr M. Saravanan, will show them the ropes, he said.Ask Mr Daggubatti, why the company they decided to partner with AVM rather than go it alone, he says "it is more family than business''.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 14, 2006)
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