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Tratuler Jagot

By Nusrat

THE 3D craze is now really in! Toy Story, Shrek, Monsters Inc. and the latest one, Finding Nemo have won the hearts of millions. In our country, there are also a great number of 3D lovers, who are most eagerly waiting for Disney's next production. The good news is that another 3D animation film is already on its way. And this one is being made in Bangladesh! Titled "Tratuler Jagot", this 3D-animation film will surely cause a stir among the ardently waiting 3D fans.

The world has advanced a lot in the field of 3D-animation. But Bangladesh could not yet attain much success in this area. With our meager resources and limited technical expertise, 3D-animation seemed to be next to impossible for us. Then in 2001 the first 3D-animation movie titled "Montu Miyar Obhijaan" was released. But for various reasons it failed to satisfy the interest and fascination of the viewers. Recently, a software developing company called The Shom Media, in their attempt to make the impossible a possible, took this project into hand. With a team of nine young, energetic, dedicated and determined people they started their tedious journey towards success. They chose the science fiction "Tratuler Jagot" written by the renowned litterateur Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal as the story for their movie and started to work on it.

The story is about a youth, Tratul, who fights against the misapplication of scientific technology of the distant future. An evil scientist, with the help of some aliens from another galaxy, has created an illusory world where he can keep the replicas of people from earth. The evil group has also genetically created the most impeccable person on earth, Riya and the most evil man on earth, Nuriga. Their replicas have been sent to the illusory world. But why? What is their intention? Will Tratul be able to restrain the evil intentions of the evil scientist?

One of the most vital aspects about a 3D movie is the story. If the story is not powerful, the movie might not be accepted and enjoyed by the viewers. All foreign movies like Toy Story, Shrek, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo etc. had very good themes and each conveyed some messages to the people. Shom Media chose Dr. Zafar Iqbal's novel because all his novels contain a good and influential story, which conveys a message to their readers. This is the first time that a science fiction movie is going to be released in our country. Perhaps "Tratuler Jagot" is going to be the first science fiction based 3D-animation movie in the world.

Shom's road to the goal is not at all smooth. According to Mrs. Afroza Haq, their Managing Director, the most difficult part is to get a sponsor to finance the project. While there are many to finance worthless Bangla movies, unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to find one who will support such high-tech based entertaining project, which will not only give unblemished pleasure to the viewers, but also develop the skills of our multi-media software developers.

The Technical Consultant and Director of the film Mr. Rajib Ahmed, a non-compromising, talented software expert thinks that the biggest technical difficulty they faced was with the software. "The creation of films like Shrek or Monsters Inc. used the most developed software in the world. But we had to improvise the available software in order to make it compatible with our requirements. We could not use many of the foreign software, as they could not provide us with the programs required to create most of the native features", he revealed. Another major technical problem was lip synchronization. It was not possible to use the phoneme interaction created by Disney and is widely used by the English 3D movie producers, because it does not match with the lip movements of a person when speaking Bangla. But this problem was efficiently overcome by ingenuity and hard work of the Shom team. "We have put a lot of stress on quality", commented Mrs. Afroza Haq. "We did not make any compromises about this. We have tried our best to reach the international standard though it is true that we could not achieve that standard yet. We truly hope that someday we will achieve that goal as well. However, it was a big challenge for us to attain this quality level. We have used twelve realistic characters in this film in order to make the film more entertaining. This is the first time in Bangladesh that realistic characters are being used in an animated film. It is extremely difficult to create a realistic figure and make it walk or talk."

Mrs. Afroza Haq also talked about the steps taken to achieve high quality voice recording. "Just like foreign 3D animation films, we have hired professional artists to create the voices for our characters. The voice of our hero and heroine, Tratul and Riya, was given by popular artists Nader Chowdhury and Kumkum respectively. Voice is one of the major aspects of such films and we did not compromise on this. All the voice and sound recordings were done in a professional way in proper studios", she added.

The launching of the trailer of "Tratuler Jagot" on 5th September 2003 at Reporters' Unity Auditorium was a grand success. Inaugurated by Dr. Zafar Iqbal himself, it was attend and enjoyed equally by young children and intellects like Prof. Kaikobad of BUET and prominent filmmaker M. A. Samad. "I am highly impressed with their quality of work. Despite so many limitations this group of talented young people have done a great job," praised Dr. Zafar Iqbal.

The film is scheduled to be released in November. They do not want to release it in the cinema halls because being a new type of movie, it might not be accepted by the local audience who are more accustomed to typical Bangla films. It will take some time before they understand and appreciate the concept of 3D movies. "We are planning to release the film through one of the TV channels", disclosed Mrs. Afroza Haq. "We are hoping that it will be telecast during Eid-ul Fitr, along with the Eid programmes. In this way, the film will get wide publicity."

We are sure millions of viewers will be eagerly waiting to watch this extra-ordinary movie during the Eid holidays. From the success of the trailer, it seems that "Tratuler Jagot" will set a trend of 3D movies in Bangladesh.

(The writer wishes to thank Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Mrs. Afroza Haq and Mr. Rajib Ahmed for their helpful support.)




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