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Ravi Chopra attempts recolouring Naya Daur

If you have to re-establish the golden era of the Indian cinema, what else could be the best way than to re-release an all time classic like Naya Daur. And if this black'n white film is beauty-personified with colour, it will breathe in a new life into this masterpiece.

This is exactly what filmmaker Ravi Chopra has done to his father, B R Chopra's work of art which starred Dilip Kumar, Vyjayantimala, Ajit, Jeevan and Johny Walker. B R Films will now be releasing Naya Daur in colour format with 5.1 stereophonic sound.

In an exclusive interview, Ravi Chopra talks about why he thought of re-releasing Naya Daur in colour, his memories from the film's shoot and his dream to colour some of the golden classics by Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt.

Why did you choose to color Naya Daur?
Basically, I thought it is one of the most beautiful films made by my father which I consider as a classic. I used to feel that lot of people are not watching the film because it's not in colour. Especially youngsters, they don't want to watch a black-and-white film. I was worried that a film like Naya Daur might be forgotten. So, I decided to colour the film as I didn't want that to happen.
How long did it take to colour the movie?
It took about two and half to three years because this is the first time that we are doing it and I wanted a certain kind of colour for it. I didn't want people to see that film and feel that this film was coloured later. I want the film to look as if it was shot in colour.

Will the sound quality of the film also be improved?
Yes. It's 5.1 stereophonic sound.

What are the technical challenges faced while colouring a film, since it takes lot of time?
One of the technical challenges is to see what the colour looks like. Since the film is black and white, you don't know what the original colour is. But there is a software which tells you approximately what the colour could be. So we had to make those selections as to which would be the right colour and that took a lot of time. .

When an old film is new packaged, what are the marketing challenges, as people have already seen the film?
There is one set of audiences who have already seen the film and loved it. The other set of audiences are the ones that we have to look at and those are the audiences who we are targeting. These audiences must know the beauty of the film. They must understand that this film is worth watching or they would say why would I see a film, which is 50 years old. We have to make them understand that here's a classic, which you should not miss.

Did the coloured version of Mugal-E-Azam inspire you to colour Naya Daur?
I had started even before the colouring of Mughal-E-Azam actually. And Mughal-E-Azam has in one way help me notice the mistakes that they made, so that I could get over them before they could get the film on.

Mughal-E-Azam unfortunately, though a great film and a great classic was not coloured the way I would've liked it to be. The film looked like it was coloured, painted. I didn't want my film to look like that. I wanted Naya Daur to look as if it was originally shot in colour. And when you see the film, this is one thing that you'll surely notice.


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