The firm Navodaya holds unique expertise in 3D Cinematography. It also has made many innovations in 3D imaging. These are the results of its longstanding association with Chris Condon’s company ‘Stereovision’ of Burbank, California. Mr. Condon, the founding member of Century Optics of Hollywood, is considered to be the foremost authority on stereoscopic imaging. He and his colleague Mr. John Rupkalvis had associated with Navodaya since 1984 for 3D projects in India. The system employed is the 35 mm over / under format (two techniscope images, each covering 2 perforations of a 35 mm frame. The aspect ratio is same as cinemascope anamorphic) see below.
Navodaya’s film projects are shot with 35 mm cameras (Arri IIC, Arri III, Mitchell, Arri 435, etc) using Stereovision lenses. For 3D projections Navodaya uses ISCO Optics – the very best 3D lenses manufactured by the Schneider Corporation. (This is based on Mr. Condon’s own design). Navodaya holds adequate number of Stereovision shooting lenses of varying focal lengths and a vast stock of ISCO projection lenses (50 mm, 60 mm, 70 mm and ISCO magnifiers & reducers).
Mr. John Rupkalvis has trained many stereographers who today work on Navodaya’s 3D projects. They collaborate with the cinematographers of the projects. Navodaya has also trained a number of 3D specialists who with modern computer systems and 3D software do ongoing research on stereography. Based on this Navodaya has developed computer graphics, matting & the compositing of 3D images for their projects. These innovations though very recent, are based on the introcular and convergence parameters tabulated by Chris Condon and John Rupkalvis during the ‘70s.
Navodaya have directly handled all their 3D exhibitions. From the first screenings in 1984, this would add up to more than 2000 screenings worldwide. For every 3D exhibition Navodaya takes responsibility of the following –
For all these, about a dozen trained hands are deployed to each cinema theatre. To achieve optimization on projector performance, an advance force is sent to all the prospective cinema theatres on a survey tour. They prepare a data sheet of the theatre particulars. And during the release to every center, one cabin crew - a projectionist & an engineer - both trained on 3D, are sent by Navodaya to handle the projection machinery. While the auditorium crew handles the screen modification, the cabin crew makes the projection modifications.
Chota Chetan 3D re-released in 1997 is the very first feature film in history with digital surround sound. DTS have been proud to acknowledge this fact. With this feat, Navodaya have mastered the art of positioning sound in 3D space to enhance the off-the-screen effects - objects like helicopters moving into theatre space. Digital Surround Sound has become an important element in 3D experience.
Navodaya manufactures every one of its silver screens. The spraying of a special aluminum primer and a special aluminum surface coat on standard plastic cinema screens makes these. The bought-out silver screens develop crease marks if they are folded and transported. They are meant to be erected at one place for years. But since Navodaya has to transport screens from place to place as per the dimension of the auditorium in which 3D is screened, it had to develop this process. Five trained hands take down the theatre’s standard screen and put up Navodaya’s silver screen in a couple of hours. The theatre’s screen is put back after the 3D screening.
For the theatrical exhibitions of 3D movies, Navodaya mass-fabricate plastic polarized glasses* (see below). Polarized jumbo gelatin rolls manufactured by Polaroid (now a division of 3M) are imported, slit and dye-cut to specifications. Navodaya has an assembly line for this.