The first DI house in Dhaka
Bangladesh film and television industries have long been deprived of many digital advancements going on in the world. A technological change was badly needed for the industry. Well, the wait for change seems to come to an end as 'bioscopewala' a digitised filmmaking solution claimed to be the first of its kind - has started giving solution with its Digital Intermediate (DI) house in Bangladesh.
Since the release of George Clooney's 'Oh Brother Were Art Thou?' the backbones of major Hollywood/Western media industries are many Digital Intermediates (DIs), that serve as the corner stone for converting analog data (35mm film) and digitizing the images without any sort of loss in terms of data (color, pixels, frames etc) and preserve the overall look of the film as visualized by the artists themselves.
In short, DI is the process of digitising a motion picture and manipulating colour and other image characteristics to change the look, and is usually the final creative adjustment to a movie before distribution.
Every major motion picture/ TVC outside Bangladesh goes through this process of a DI.
The first and only Digital Intermediate in Dhaka, bioscopewala opened its door in June 2008. They include most features a DI house would such as film scanning, colour grading, 5.1 audio, offline and online editing as well as Visual Special Effects (VFX).
Though bioscopewala started its journey in 2008, the idea and planning of it started long before. The four souls Tanvir Huda, chairman, Mushfiqur Rahman, managing director, Sahadat Hossain, director (post production) and Bappi Rahman, director (audio post) - who are behind it, were well preparing themselves in the US and the UK to turn their dreams true.
Unknown but sharing the same vision, they came to know each other through a common friend sometime in 2004. "And we just clicked" said Tanvir Hunda.
He also said they have established bioscopewala to take Bangladesh film and TVC industries to international standard. "It's not just our business, it's our passion too," he added.
"bioscopewala offers one stop service A to Z- to it clients," said Mushfiqur Rahman. It means the clients can get all the necessary things under one roof, from camera to audio postproduction, the final output of the product.
Their setup is based upon a complete digital workflow, hence eliminating the process of tapes and enhanced by the use of a storage area network (SAN) server. bioscopewala also offers a 2K workflow, which means the images processed here are 4 times that of the 576 horizontal pixels seen on standard definition TV screen.
The heart of the company is high definition camera it rents out to clients. Filmmakers like George Lucas and Robert Rodriguez use these types of cameras to shoot most of their projects.
The camera comes with a variety of 11 lenses, as well as a high-end lens adapter to get the best outlook. Once the shoot ends, the data stored in the camera is captured and edited in the offline suit. Then comes the rigorous process of color grading.
Now don't mistake colour grading with colour correction as most people usually do!
The grading process requires a colourist to meticulously grade or balance each scene to match the look or color tone as desired by the clients, thus giving every product of bioscopewala a unique look.
Other changes such as ColorFX (CFX) are also done in this stage. The project is then handed down the hallway to the Audio Suite. Here, using the latest audio devices (including 5.1 surround capabilities) and a professional standard vocal dubbing booth, the audio is processed and headed to the next phase of online editing.
In the online editing, the offline edits and the audio are synced and the project is conformed or matched with the original footage. If any sort of VFX and final color corrections are required, done here as well. Once the client approved the final cut, it is then downloaded either digitally or through DV tapes for television channels.
Film and TVC makers usually go abroad and spend a lot of money for the DI solutions and thus a lot of currency drained out of the country, bioscopewala by providing same solution can help from draining money out of country. And it hopes more DI houses will come to this arena and help country's economy.
The directors of bioscopewala shared the same vision of revolutionizing the film/TVC market, not only by introducing a digital intermediate but also having highly skilled, trained professionals from Hollywood and London.
Their colourist had been trained under Kevin Shaw who worked in films like "Parineeta", "Black" "Troy" and various Hollywood, British and Bollywood films. At the moment, bioscopewala has 14-team members all excel in their respective fields.
So far bioscopewala has done TVCs of Grameen Bill Pay, Cell Bazaar, Banglalink Aunubhutir Network, Banglalink Desh SIM, Dolly's Pickle and Romania Orange Cream Biscuit.
bioscopewala is also providing full HD support to First HD film of Bangladesh "Jaago".
If our mainstream filmmakers work with bioscopewala or any other DI houses (hopefully more DI houses will come eventually) audience may get some relief from watching ugly looking movies or they can even have more or less fun watching movies with international standard looks despite the low quality scripts!