Friday, May 18, 2007

You lose to win

Finally a reality show debuts on national television where everybody a way. Biggest Loser Jeetega debuted on Sahara One yesterday at 9.30 pm (Timing Fri-Sun 9.30 pm). In this show all contestants are obese and will have to lose weight to win. The biggest loser will win Rs 1 lakh for every kg lost.

Finally a reality show that makes quite a lot of sense for those watching and participating. Obesity is emerging as a big problem in a developing country like ours. At this point of time India has over 1 crore obese citizens. Now consider the other ones who are not obese but overweight. The combined number will look serious. Many of our overweight friends/ relatives are conscious of the weight problem and have tried once or made multiple attempts to lose weight but in vain. They just can't figure out what works in losing weight successfully and keeping it off in the long run. Many have lost some weight when they attempted it but have gained it all back and more when they've returned to the normal routine. In sheer frustration they just let themselves be and decide to live with excess weight. Many of them live in a state of psychological problem to the degree of depression! Biggest Loser Jeetega will not only take care of this for the 16 contestants but also for the entire population of overweight Indians.

In the first episode of the 16-week contest the contestants have been split into two groups with an expert and experienced trainer assigned to each. The trainers work under the ex-physiotherapist of Indian cricket team Andrew Leipus. To support them is a team that includes a cardiologist, a psychiatrist and the medical team and team of chefs of Amby Valley, the venue. At the end of each week there will be a weigh-in and the team who has lost the less percentage of total team weight will be declared the loser of the week. And the losing team has to vote out one of their members who caused the maximum damage for their result. Hence one contestant will leave the venue every week. During these 16 weeks the contestants will have to live in Amby Valley and totally out of touch with the outer world.

The contestants who lose the contest or get voted out early or late will take back with them sound, effective, scientific weight loss advice customized to their health, body type, personality and tastes and preferences. This contest can make invaluable difference to the life of each one of them. Those who stay towards the finale will obviously benefit the most, with weight loss that seemed impossible.

Adding glamour to the show is anchor Suniel Shetty who doubles up as a mentor and the scenic locales of Amby Valley. Choice of Suniel looks apt as he is credible in the fitness matter, has a caring and friendly personality and has that much necessary celebrity image required in a show like this. The show has been shot like a movie to sustain viewer interest. The next weeks will tell how many eyeballs Sahara One is able to attract in this pathbreaking show, an Indianised version of highly successful The Biggest Loser show on international television.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Adlabs Kolkata update

Adlabs' Kolkata business (Post-production and film processing) has an experienced local partner, RDB Organisation, that is into films for decades. RDB used to be run by late RD Banshal who has produced a couple of memorable films by Satyajit Ray.

The joint venture will also anchor the first of Adlabs multiplexes in Salt Lake in February.

Their post-production set-up in Tollygunge, Kolkata's film zone, boasts of the first Dolby Digital recording and mixing studio in the city, specially designed by Roger Darcy of Recording Architecture Ltd., UK. It is currently catering to Teentoretor Jishu, Sandip Ray's second film in the legendary Feluda series started by his illustrous father Satyajit Ray and Pinaki Chowdhury's latest production.

The film lab at Salt Lake is busy with Bappaditya Bandopadhyay's Kaal, a Hindi movie Falai by D&G Movies and the Pinaki Chowdhyry film among others. To quote Bappaditya, "Adlabs will help Tolly technicians immensely. Cinematographers always need a lab close at hand as it helps them experiment with the prints. Kaal is the first film being processed at Adlabs and the negatives have turned out really well."

The new, improved avatar of RPG's film wing

Today's Telegraph (Metro), to the delight of people like us viewers, tells us about Kolkata-based RPG Enterprises' newly restructured film and TV business. They are making a fresh start in Tollygunge after two debacles in Bengali- Mantra by Rabi Ranjan Maitra and Swapno by successful mainstream director Haranath Chakraborty starring the reigning king of Bengali cinema- Prosenjit.

They have divided the film business into three units to remain focussed- Bengali films, Hindi films and South Indian films (Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam). Aparna Sen, the head of Bengali films and television content, will produce Bengali films on their behalf. Her unit will start with her English-Bengali project The Japanese Wife (Japani Bouma in Bengali) starring Rahul Bose, Raima Sen and a Japanese actress to be shot in Sunderbans and Japan apart from Kolkata. The Hindi unit, headed by BR Sharan, will make Rituparno Ghosh's Draupadi.

Like a true corporate in film business, there will be a creative team under Aparna for screening and greenlighting scripts submitted by filmmakers and aspiring filmmakers.

Rather than a being more of a financier, RPG will be an active producer by bringing a quality control function to making films among other things, again a corporate characteristic. Aparna will be mentoring young directors, help them with the script (An area of her expertise by her own admission), cast & crew and in the process taking away a lot of problems that a director generally faces. This will ensure the director is focussed on his film. The aim is to marry quality with economic viability. They are now open to receiving scripts.

Later they will make content for Bengali television.

Looks like a dream come true for almost-starved viewers of meaningful Bengali cinema. Also talented telefilm directors, like Parambrata and many others, who rue about lack of opportunities in Tollygunge for fulfilling their big screen dreams, will now have a place to look forward to.