Tamil Cinema or Kollywood is not just limited to the magnum opus names like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, A R Rahman, K Balachander, Shankar and Mani Ratnam that most of the Indian Cinema lovers would know, irrespective of the topology in India. Kollywood which is a portmanteau of the words Kodambakkam (a place in Chennai) and Hollywood is the second biggest thing in the Indian Cinema fraternity only after the most celebrated Bollywood.Source: mynanews.blogspot.com
It did not take much time for Kollywood to give the first talkie in Tamil “Kalidas” (31st October,1931) which was barely 7 months after India’s first talking picture Alam Ara.
1.AVM Productions: The oldest surviving studio in India
AVM Productions is the oldest surviving studio in India (Since 1945). A.V.Meiyappan is a prudent entrepreneur who is the founder of AVM productions. The filming studios are located in Vadapalani, Chennai. It has produced over 170 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malyalam.
AVM has introduced numerous acting legends in South India; some of them are Sivaji Ganesan, Rajkumar, S. S. Rajendran and Kamal Haasan. The AVM Studios with state of the art equipment has the shooting floors, recording, dubbing and preview theatres. The complex also houses facilities for production and post production processing.
2. Suyamvaram: The quickest ever feature-length film made:
Suyamvaram (1999) is a Tamil Cinema which holds the Guinness World Record for casting the most stars in a film and also for giving the quickest ever feature- length film made. The filming of the movie was completed in 23 hours and 58 minutes. The film had a magnum opus crew of 19 associate directors, 45 assistant directors, 19 cameramen, 36 assistant cameramen, nine steadycam operators, 14 heroes, 12 heroines, villains, comedians, five dance masters, 16 assistants, 140 chorus dancers, stunt coordinators, art director, makeup, costume and set designers, 15 film units, a still photographer and 1,483 extras to make the film.
3. Rajinikanth starrer “Sivaji”- First 4K DI Indian Film
Prasad EFX, one of the largest Digital Post Production Studios in India has colour graded and digitally post produced the Superstar Rajinikanth starrer, AVM’s SIVAJI completely in the 4K digital pipeline.
2K resolution for DI (Digital Intermediate) is the standard in India. Even in Hollywood only the mega budget films will be scanned in 4K resolution. Scanning an entire feature film in 4K resolution requires huge computing power, storage space and powerful graphics capability. A single frame scanned in 2K occupies 12 MB space and a 4K image would occupy 4 times more (48 MB). An idea of the huge storage space can be worked out if one understands that just 1 second of a movie has 24 such frames. For these reasons scanning in 4K for an entire DI feature film was never been done in India until the legendary Director Shankar and India’s leading Cinematographer KV Anand joined hands together for the blockbuster “Sivaji”.
4. He who gave us “Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Sridevi”: K Balachander
Directors are as important as to how a captain for a ship is important. The late K Balachander is a legendary director and India’s first and the most successful independent Filmmaker who had his heroines equally powerful as that of the heroes in his movies. The roll call of KB’s school of cinema would include the legendary protégés of his which includes icons like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Chiranjeevi, Jayaprada and not to forget the countless directors and scriptwriters he inspired.
5. Sivaji Ganesan – The First Indian Actor to play 9 different roles in a film:
Navarathri, the Tamil film starring Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan in 1964 was the first Indian film to feature a single person performing nine different roles with the prolific acting skills of portraying the basic emotions – wonder, fear, compassion, anger, peace, love, courage, repulsion and happiness. This record was them broken by another Tamil film where in Kamal Hassan broke this record by playing 10 different roles in his 2008 film Dasavathaaram.
6. Kamal Hassan’s Aalavandhan: An Indian Tamil Movie inspiring a Hollywood movie for a change:
More often than not, we often look up to Hollywood films and get inspired and long for magnum opus movie like how they do. Kill Bill is an American two-part martial arts film series, and the fourth film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. American director Quentin Tarantino acknowledged that the animation violence shown in Kamal Hassan’s Aalavandhan in 2001 inspired the Manga scenes in his Kill Bill films.
P.S. The legendary Music Director Ilayaraja and the musical maestro A R Rahman who hail from Tamil Industry and then went on to become a global icon would need a separate post only to talk about their accomplishments.