Regular movie fare has some unlikely competition in Andhra Pradesh from multimedia films at tech-savvy Hyderabad's Laserium. Deccan Chronicle Interactive (DCI), the agency in charge of the Laserium project of HUDA (Hyderabad Urban Development Authority), is now working on expanding the number of offerings for visitors. DCI is the Multimedia, Internet, Innovative Media and e-Marketing initiative of the Hyderabad-based Deccan Chronicle Group. The agency is also in talks with the Sri Lankan Tourism Board to create a laser-based multimedia film show to be screened at a lake in Colombo.
Speaking to exchange4media on the multimedia films, Vijay Marur, CEO, Deccan Chronicle Interactive, said, "The quality of entertainment offered to the public, in any medium, evolves. In the process, we are now looking at creating films for HUDA, which will serve to revive some traditions and promote the cultural ethos from around the region. The tourism ministry too has evinced an interest in the project. We are also in talks with several people including the Sri Lankan Tourism Board for similar projects."
DCI's work for HUDA at the Rs 13-crore Laserium project included the conceptualisation of the films being aired at the Laserium at Lumbini Park, at Tank Bund, Hyderabad. The mixed bag of audiences for which include the local populace, Indians from outside Andhra, foreigners, and travellers from other parts of the state. The project was carried out in collaboration with German firm Laserland, which implemented lasers for the Olympics.
This success of DCI's work on the Multimedia Film for HUDA reflects in the 1,000 plus people who visit the Laserium each day. By August-September 2005, the new set of (at least five) films will take over from the show currently on at the venue. According to Marur, over 50 scripts are being discussed including 'Antics of little Krishna', and 'Tenali Raman tales'.
Marur said, "The first film remained a documentary in terms of treatment and we understand that any laser show has to be fantasy. We want to give the product the best we can give, and we're even open to other sources for creative inputs." The agency has walked the talk with other producers being invited at its behest to provide creative inputs for the films. "HUDA have been wonderful people to work with, and we no longer look at this project as a challenge, we take it as our responsibility. Such is the freedom given to us by HUDA," he added.
The current film is a 22-minute history of Hyderabad and how it developed, and is screened in two versions everyday - once each in Telugu and English. With the expanded set of offerings, the organisers may look at three shows a day, of different films, with further shows over the weekends, according to Marur. The park has a capacity for 2,000 spectators, and a combined show is of musical fountains and laser beams projecting the culture and heritage of the city on a 60-feet water screen.
The dazzle of lights seem to have reached Sri Lanka's shores and Sri Lankan Tourism, an existing client of DCI, has shown interest in the project, and talks are on to create a Laserium at a lake in Colombo.