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3D version of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat was close to being abandoned

Stereo supervisor Jimmy Philip and his team had only two months to convert over 2,000 shots into 3D.

Sonal Pandya

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (2018), starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, is the latest Hindi film to be released in 3D.
Not too many films take up the challenge of making a 3D film. In fatc, Bhansali almost came close to abandoning the idea of converting Padmaavat into 3D altogether for the paucity of time and the risks involved.

Sudeep Chatterjee, the cinematographer of the film, said, “Padmaavat in 3D was always an idea but it was only sometime in July-August [of 2017] when we got a nod for 3D conversion. There was less time and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to pull it off. There are many things that can go wrong during 3D conversion - ideas can shift, dimensions can shift, with one character appearing bigger than the other. So naturally, a lot of work was put into the conversion of the film.”

Chatterjee revealed that Bhansali wanted to try 3D since Guzaarish (2010). They also converted a few shots for Bajirao Mastani (2015), but the film was not released in 3D.

For Padmaavat, the colour grading and 3D conversion was handled by Prime Focus World. Jimmy Philip was the stereo supervisor on the project and worked with Chatterjee and Bhansali to deliver the 3D version.

Philip has worked on Hollywood films such as The Martian (2015) Kong: Skull Island (2017), and Beauty And The Beast (2017). He and his team completed over 2,000 stereo shots of Padmaavat over the course of two months.

While discussing the behind-the-scenes efforts, Philip said, “There are lots of 3D moments in this scene, with floating embers, dust drifting across the battlefield and arrows flying towards camera — it’s a great sequence and a fittingly dramatic climax for the film. We leveraged our extensive elements library to recreate most of these FX elements, while also carrying out additional [compositing] to enhance the overall effect.”

All their efforts seem to have paid off as the film has been doing well since it released on 25 January 2018, earning Rs500 crore worldwide.