Vikram Bhatt talks about his horror flick in 3D, ‘Haunted', and why the format is here to stay

The 3D wave that's gripped Hollywood has made inroads into the Hindi film industry. Director Vikram Bhatt, who is the front runner among many other Bollywood directors wanting to make 3D films, doesn't think 3D should be dismissed as a wave. “It is here to stay. Technically speaking, Chota Chetan was India's first 3D film. At that time the technology was at its infancy. Shiva ka Insaaf was the only other 3D film in India. The situation today is different,” says the director.

Bhatt has shot his film, Haunted, in 3D and doesn't subscribe to the shortcut route of filming a movie in 2D and then converting into 3D. “The quality is just not the same,” he asserts. “Even in the West, the 3D format was not explored much until Avatar set a benchmark. Though many production houses later converted their 2D movies into 3D, they didn't make an impact like Avatar,” he reasons.

His film, Haunted, has Mithun Chakraborty's son Mimoh being re-launched as Mahakshay, along with newcomer Tia Bajpai. “I was to launch Mimoh but it didn't work out. He did Jimmy meanwhile. He then worked on his physique and acquired a new look. I was impressed and cast him in this film. Tia walked into my ASA production house wanting to cut an album. I felt she was made for movies. She was thrilled and came on board,” says Bhatt.

In Haunted, Mahakshay is given the task of selling a house. He discovers the house is haunted and gets down to solving the mystery before selling the house. The horror genre, Bhatt feels, enhances the 3D sensation. “In future, when 3D becomes the norm, we might see even emotional films being made in that format. Right now, horror and action movies are more suitable,” he argues.

Having said that, he feels 3D is an ornamentation and a movie won't work with a bad story. “After the first few minutes, the audience wants a story.” He has no qualms in casting lesser known actors for an ambitious project. “Many well known directors delivered flops in 2010. People are getting an overdose of stars and their lives in the mass media. They don't go to cinema halls to watch stars anymore. What people like is a good film with a good story,” says Bhatt.

He feels Indian technicians will learn the ropes of shooting for 3D format (“the parameters are different. The shooting process is slower and one has to have sustained enthusiasm”) and postproduction (“We had to take international help but within a year, our studios will be capable of working on 3D films. Sai Prasad and Kavita of Prasad Labs are pioneers in this regard”).

Vikram Bhatt is aware that theatres in most parts of India are not equipped to screen 3D films and has made his film fit for both 2D and 3D formats.

Meanwhile, he plans to direct Raaz 3 for Vishesh films run by his brothers Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt. “One cannot be burdened by the previous successes. I want to make Raaz 3 with a fresh approach,” he says.

Raaz 3 will have to wait. Haunted releases on April 15 and before that, Bhatt's horror series for Colors television, Andhera, will go on air this month.

Quiz him on his fixation for horror and he quips, “I have been pushed into it. In the process, I have become more scared of living with real people than thinking about ghosts.”