20 years ago, Mahesh Kothare released Zapatlela, one of the first puppet based film in India. Along with being a big runaway success it had occupied a cult status and a permanent place in the memory of the viewers. Thecharacter of the doll named, ‘Tatya Vinchu’ that comes to life had became a hit, sending a chill down the spine of the audiences.
In the year 2013, Mahesh Kothare is back with Zapatlela 2. The film also marks the Marathi film industry’s first ever sequel and also the first ever Marathi 3D film. The smash hit sequel also spells the return of the dreaded ‘Tatya Vinchu’
With Zapatlela 2, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has announced its foray into regional cinema. Directed by legendary filmmaker Mahesh Kothare, the movie stars his son Adinath Kothare along with Sonalee Kulkarni, Sai Tamhankar.
The movie is produced by Kothare and Kothare Vision in association with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Moving pictures.
The screenplay has been written by Mahesh Kothare and Ashok Patole with dialogues by Ashok Patole, lyrics by Guru Thakur, music by Avadhoot Gupte, cinematography by Suresh Deshmane and choreography by Umesh Jadhav and Phulva Khamkar. Nitin Chandrakant Desai is the production designer. The team has roped in Spanish stereographer Enrique Criado, who has looked after the 3D stereography and special effects for the film.
In a conversation with Animationxpress.com’s Ishpreet Chandock, Mahesh Kothare says,” Zapatlela 2 takes forward the story of Tatya Vinchu; in the sequel the doll comes back to life but this time Laxmikant Berde’s son has to tackle the monster doll; the story is about the horror and mess the doll creates and how it affects the protagonist’s life.”
Zapatlela 2 has been entirely shot with a 3D camera, sharing some light on the same he added,” It was exciting as a filmmaker to make this in 3D, since the inception of the sequel I have always wished to make it in 3D. And the experience has been wonderful. All credit goes to the team and Suresh Deshmane to make this possible. This is the first for Marathi Cinema and I am quite proud of it.”
“We had a lot of Indian and foreign technicians working on the film, especially Enrique; I would say I had a lot of apprehensions in the start whether he would be able to adjust to our style of working but I had a wonderful time working with him. He was a thorough professional, who abided by our timings and we were able to complete the production in 36 days, which is quite a feat for such a kind of film.”
Prime Focus was also involved in the production of the film. Prime Focus, trusted Enxebre Entertainment and Enrique Criado, for the stereography of the film. Prime Focus, who is also responsible for the Hollywood blockbusters, like Men in Black 3, Frankenweenie, Dredd 3D, Total Recall, Star Wars: Episode I or Harry Potter… among others. On this he stated that Prime Focus has also undertaken the postproduction, CGI and VFX of the Film.
“Prime Focus has been involved in a lot of projects involving 3D in the past, but they were about 3D conversion, this was the first time they were doing a movie which was shot in 3D. During pre production itself we had spoken to a number of studios, Prime Focus was very keen to be a part of this project, and we were quite happy with the deal they offered for the services. Overall I am satisfied with their work and would look forward to work with them in the future.” he added
Ramdas Padhye, the internationally famous ventriloquist who had designed the speaking doll, ‘Tatya-Vinchu’, which had become instant hit even in 1993 in the earlier version of the film, has worked on the sequel as well. Talking about the doll, which had horrifed children and adult alike 20 years ago, will the menace have the same impact today. When we asked Mahesh the same, he said that the character too has been evolved to suit the present times. He also mentions that the prequel still ranks the highest TRP’s on TV 20 years after his release and the use of 3D, Animatronics and state of the art Computer Graphics technology has made the character even more real and menacing.
The most significant responsibility of both, marketing and distribution has been shouldered by Fox Star Studios, the internationally famous production house of Hollywood. Speaking about his experience working with Viacom 18 Pictures and Moving Pictures he says,” It was a wonderful experience to work with Viacom 18 and Moving pictures, they gave me the strength and confidence to make this possible. I would like to mention two important people; Rajnish Khaluja and Nitin Ahuja both have played a very significant role in this. Select Media Holdings who is presenting the film have also done a wonderful job, I first came in contact with them for the rights of Pachadlela, they were interested in buying them, in those conversations they offered me to work with them for theirs and Viacom 18’s first collaboration. At the same time I was working on Zapatlela 2 and I showed it to them and they quite liked it. Niraj Josh, who is heading the marketing team has played a key role in the promotions, as a filmmaker I wasn’t keen to show my film as it was still under post production but he gave me the confidence.”
“I am proud to say that without any Television promotion, we have managed to make Zapatlela 2, the most anticipated Marathi Film in 2013.”says Mahesh.
Elaborating on the production of the film he added,” We completed the production in 36 days. The entire production was a memorable experience, as it’s the first 3D Marathi film, we worked extra hard to make it a memorable experience for the audience. We have shot the film with a Led Emex Camera, not to mention it is also the First Indian Film to be picturised on a 4K Resolution. A Qasar Rig was used for the 3D, which was useful and brought a lot of difficulty while shooting as it required a low temperature atmosphere, so we had to make sure a low temperature environment is maintained. Also the use of Split Beam Technology has been used for the filming of the film. My aim area of concern was to make sure that the 3D experience for the audience is an enjoyable one, without any stress. To make sure, I have used the best equipments of International standards to create that depth in the 3D. There are some gimmicks in the film but those are just to enhance the experience of watching the film.”
“Overall making this film has been a dream comes true, it’s been a long struggle for the past 7 years, it took me along time to lock the script but I am quite happy with the way things have turned out. I saw some rushes in 3D and I was blown away, and I am sure the audience would have the same sentiments. For me the most memorable and toughest sequence of the film is the climax, it involved a giant wheel so we had to keep notice of a lot of things, it involved 3D, Animatronics, Radio Puppetry which added to the task but I am quite happy the way it shaped up at last. Adleeb Pathan who was responsible for the action sequences should be given all the credit. I would like to say that it has given me great enthusiasm and impetus to make more movies and surpass the boundaries of technology used in Marathi Cinema.”
As we bid adieu to Mahesh Kothare, we asked him for his final words for the audience, to which he says,” If you want to experience Tatya Vinchu in 3D come to the theatres.”