The moment one hears the word ‘superstar’ in the context of Bollywood, one always imagines Shah Rukh Khan standing with his arms wide open, or a shirtless Salman Khan flexing his muscles or even a Hrithik Roshan with his chiseled torso on display, but these are contemporary stars whom everyone knows, ever wondered why Amitabh Bachchan was called ‘the angry young man’ or Rajesh Khanna called ‘the original superstar’, well MAX’s newest offering to movie lovers in MAX 2 is determined to educate the youth of today about what into the making of these demi-god like figures.
Speaking exclusively to AnimationXpress.com, MAX VP & head – programming, Udayan Pradeep Shukla says: “The idea with MAX 2 is not just dump all old titles we have in our vast library, but to choose movies which movie lovers will enjoy in an enhanced experience supported with some interesting peripheral programming like ‘Take 2’ and ‘Exxxtra Shots’.”
MAX as a brand has been in existence since 1999 and is certainly a power brand for entertainment from the house of Multi Screen Media. Apart from screening blockbuster movies and movie premieres, MAX also has the rights to the cricketing property – Indian Premiere League – which takes place every year.
So on coming up with another property Shukla expounds: “MAX 2 is not just another MAX, but we wanted to bank on the equity of MAX. Our film industry has a rich history, but many evergreen movies have not got the right platform, according to me ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ is one of the best comedies ever made in the industry, but how many teenagers nowadays are aware of the movie? No one goes to a DVD library today to buy an ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ or ‘Anand’, and most of these classics aren’t available digitally also, thus we decided to programme, showcase and educate the audience with MAX 2 – a channel home to a movie lover.”
There is a very interesting segment or featurette called ‘Sitaare: Kal Aaj Aur Kal’ on the channel; it features biographies of actors from the years gone by as well as a few contemporary stars.
“The core intent was to make it a destination for the movie lover, but at the same time we wanted to do a lot of things around these movies to enhance the movie experience, thus we thought of doing biographies, movie stars from the 60s to the 90s and the list went on,” says Shukla. “The biggest problem is that there is not enough archival footage, thus we had to recreate a lot of things, most of the people are either unwell, busy or no more with us, but we didn’t want to do what every other channel has already done, by putting together downloaded footage and images to create a very shabbily put together product.”
The near three minute long featurettes, are a combination of motion illustrations with 2D animation. The video begins with the aspirations, struggles and journey of the stars from their early lives and slowly moving into the time when they attain their respective stardoms; with a very soothing narrative voice, complimented well with a light background score and a few famous dialogues of the stars, the video truly works as a tribute to them in a righteous manner.
Shukla adds: “I am a big Superman fan, and these stars are like demi gods, thus I wanted to take things a notch higher and treat them as superheroes; so it’s not just animation as that would be very time consuming and expensive, thus we have tried motion illustration in the featurettes.”
‘Sitaare’ is created completely on audio first, followed by getting the illustrators to work on the graphics and animation based on the narration. “The audio design is not action based, but direction based and the entire sound piece with voice over is created internally with a creative team. And then we get in illustrators on a project wise basis to work on the animation,” he explains.
Currently, the property is playing out between movies throughout the day time on the channel, but there are plans to take it digitally as well, and also plan graphic novels or coffee table books around ‘Sitaare’, which gets the message across to the youth.
AnimationXpress.com certainly seconds such initiatives and wishes the entire team at MAX 2 the very best with ‘Sitaare: Kal Aaj Aur Kal’. Are other broadcasters reading this?