Saturday, June 13, 2020

Digital leap of Nepali cinema

Digital leap of Nepali cinema

With the production and screening of Bhushan Dahal-directed films 'Kagbeni' and Alok Nemwang-directed 'Sano Sansar', Nepali cinema took a new turn in 'Digital Journey'.

According to the filmmakers, the digital technology used in the films made in 2008 has made the Nepali cinema industry more professional and organized. Director Ashok Sharma says that the use of digital technology has increased the quality along with the number of movies. He says, ‘Before the advent of digital devices, only 25 and 26 movies were made here annually. But now there are more than a hundred. '

Director Dipendra K Khanal has the experience of making a difference in the technical side of cinema production after a gap of 25 years. "The use of digital technology has raised hopes along with the quality of the film when it was time for a crisis in cinema," said Dipendra.

The period from the beginning of production in Nepali cinema to the beginning of the digital journey was very challenging and arduous. Cinematographer Deepak Bajracharya, who has deep experience of the time before and after the introduction of digital technology, says, "In the old technology, the director should have relied entirely on the cinematographer, but this is not the case now."

Cinema in old technology

In the old technology, celluloid cameras were used to capture the negative. According to cinematographer Bajracharya, the film shot in negative should have been exposed at the beginning. Later it was developed and printed. For the first time, work prints came out. Editing was done on that basis. Only then was the final print worth watching in the theater released.

At that time, it was not known whether the film was shot or not. ‘There was no camera to watch on the video-assisted monitor. That's why the director had to rely entirely on the cinematographer ', says Bajracharya.

Initially, the video was shot at 35 mm. Later, the directors started shooting at 16 mm. The manufacturers had estimated that the budget would be halved as soon as it was halved. However, this made the scene of the film worse. Not only film production but also screening was equally difficult. The same film could not be shown in all the halls at once.

According to director Sharma, it used to cost Rs 10 lakh and Rs 12 lakh to make a print of the film. At that time, reel prints of movies were made from 2nd and 3rd to 5th. The same reel had to be carried. Two reels were kept in Kathmandu and two were sent outside.

"The investment would not have been raised in time if we had not been able to screen the film at once," says Sharma. There was also a problem of reel breaking and scratching. We were making low-quality films ourselves. 'At that time, the sound of the cinema was not catchy and attractive. Because the sound was recorded and played on tape.

The change brought by the camera

When director Dipendra K Khanal came to Nepal from Japan in 2008, he brought an HD camera. Until then, films were made on celluloid in Nepal. When he made his first film in digital HD, he faced a big challenge. Along with him, the new directors of Chhimal were boycotted due to digital technology. ‘The film I shot with an HD camera was called a short film. It was said that the technology was brought to spoil the cinema, 'he recalled.

Director Ashok Sharma was also looking for a solution after Nepali cinemas started losing money. "Before the foreign cinema, our cinema did not exist. There is no alternative but to change technology. Then around 2008, we introduced digital technology. But, other filmmakers did not accept, 'recalls Sharma.

At the same time, there were rumors that celluloid could not be replaced by digital. There was a great deal of debate about technology.

Director Khanal took the debate as a conflict between the new and old generations. ‘Old makers used to make films on celluloid. We have started using digital technology, "he said." Conflicts have also increased because of mutual ego. "

Many working on celluloid believed that the depth that comes when pulling on a reel does not come in digital. "It simply came to our notice then. Because, at that time, digital technology was also under construction, 'he says.

QFX operator and filmmaker Nakim Uddin, Bhaskar Dhungana, Rajesh Siddhi, and others had a role in making the technology digital. "We've worked hard to digitize the halls since the film was shot. We have also operated the first multiplex of QFX, 'says operator Nakim Uddin.

They tried to change the cumbersome process of showing the film from the reel to the hall. For this, a digital system was installed in the hall. According to Director Sharma, a modern system was installed in 2 and 4 halls. However, the lack of films to be shown on digital systems added to the challenge. ‘Celluloid used to make films.

No one wants to convert it to digital. We have brought equipment including cameras from abroad so that the production can be done digitally and shown digitally only after the production is done digitally, 'says Sharma. At the same time, a digital camera called SI Tuke was introduced in Nepal through DCN Company.

It was no less difficult to convince producers who did not want to work through digital cameras. "We also distribute the film to digital filmmakers and pay Rs 4 lakh in advance to a producer," he said. And finally, some producers are ready, 'recalls Sharma.

Subsequent films, Kagbeni and Sano Sansar, greatly improved the quality of Nepali cinema. After that, the attention of other producers was also drawn towards the new technology.

After the commercial success of films like 'Loot' and 'Slippery Height', the influence of digital technology increased. With the onset of the crisis, digital technology made the industry move. "The viewers who were watching the four-sided and crimson video were very happy to see the clean screen," says Dipendra.

After that, Red's 'Pho K' camera entered Nepal. Then came 'Six K'. Recently, Dipendra used an AT-K camera in the production of the film 'Aama'. ‘Until now, we have not only cameras but also lenses or many other good devices in the Nepali film industry. I have a high-end camera set in Hollywood, 'says Dipendra.

Producers' investment in cinema halls has been declining due to digital technology. ‘Rs 10 and 12 lakh were spent on re-print. Digital technology does not cost print. In many halls, it was possible to run the film at the same time, 'says Sharma.' Reel also affected the film business. Now the film business is up to 220 million.

According to cinematographer Bajracharya, the last Nepali film to be shot in celluloid format is 'Goodbye Kathmandu'. Cinema making in the world today is done through digital technology. However, some directors in Hollywood and Bollywood are still drawn in the negative.

Less improvement in sound
Earlier, the sound of the film was played in 'Monona'. Which is why the sound of the film sounded hoarse. However, with the advent of digital technology, 5.1 sound systems began to be practiced. Gradually the tape was displaced. The sound was recorded on the computer. Amrit Shrestha, an active sound engineer in the field of cinema, says that it has become easier to work after the sound has been recorded on the hard disk of the computer. ‘Before, a long song had to be sung all at once. Now you can sing in pieces. The dub also has a lot of mixing and sound designing technology. We are currently working on 5.1. It can also create good entertainment, 'he says.

However, sound engineer Pradip Kumar Upadhyaya is of the opinion that there is still a lot of work to be done in a recording. According to him, there is a lack of technical knowledge about sound. He is of the opinion that the producers and filmmakers have not made the sound a priority in the film. "The film manages to entertain as well as inform. It does not seem to have been written with the technical aspect in mind. But, it is better when the film is written with both sides in mind, 'says Upadhyay.

Director Khanal also admits that Nepali cinema is weak in favor of sound. ‘There is a big difference between the sound of Bollywood and Kollywood’, if we listen to the sound of Nepal, we get a lot of difference. The reason why our sound is not original is because of design problems, 'he says.' The sound design needs time and technology to do it using our own original instruments. We lack that. '

Sound engineer Shrestha says that the biggest problem is not being able to become a professional. He feels that the technical side is not given much priority. "There is no discussion with technicians in filmmaking," he says. "We lack expertise." You have to do everything yourself. I had to look after the department alone. That's why I couldn't be creative. '

Challenging digital journey

Director Manoj Pandit understands that technology has added a lot of ease to the 25-year journey of the cinema industry. He says that cinema technology, which was only available to a limited number of people in the past, is now in the hands of ordinary people. ‘Before, cameras needed a lot of light. The team of technicians was also big. At that time, it was not enough for the common man, 'says Pandit.' Cinema was made only for the interest of a limited number of people. Because of that, it was profitable along with the interests of the classes. It was arbitrary on the basis of efficiency. '

However, critic Anup Subedi does not accept that the development of technology has increased the quality of cinema. "New cameras and technology have come, but how creatively we have used that technology," asks Subedi.

He does not accept that the market of Nepali cinema has increased. He says, ‘Nepali cinema is not yet available in a large part of the Terai. Its market is only around Mahendra Highway and in Kathmandu. Technology has had little effect on the market. "

Director Khanal also admits that even though there are enough technical equivalents now, the results are not satisfactory. He is of the view that the problem behind this is the lack of new manpower on the technical side. This time around, more than 50 new directors made their debut in the film. Producers and artists are also trying to direct themselves. However, no one wants to become a cinematographer or editor in the technical field. Nepali films always despise the technical side, 'Khanal explained.

Cinematographer Bajracharya is of the view that the technology introduced in Nepal has also been misused. ‘When the drone first entered a Nepali film. Drone scenes began to appear in every film. It was so repetitive that it was boring to watch, 'he says. According to Bajracharya, no matter how much new material is used, it doesn't make sense if it doesn't attract the audience.

There is technology, there is no quality cinema: Anup Subedi
Digital media has made filmmaking technically easier.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have any doubts. Please let me know.