Technology in Nepali Films
Over time, technological advances and modern techniques in filmmaking have gradually transformed the Nepali movie industry.
D.B. Pariyar's 'Satya Harischandra' is considered to be the first Nepali language film ever made and the history of Nepali cinema can be traced back to this film. The movie was produced in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India on 14th September 1951. On the other hand, 'Ama' (meaning mother) is the first movie produced in Nepal which was released on 7th October, 1964.
Movie makers of Nepal talk about how difficult it was to make films in those early days compared to today.
Back then they had to struggle for quality as there was little focus on editing. Furthermore, reel camera was used to shoot films which came out expensive. Hence, only a single shot was taken and artistes were not able to get even a glimpse of their performance in the camera and could not see where they were going wrong.
When the digital age arrived, Kagbeni was the first Nepali movie shot using a digital camera and the film was released on 6th January 2008. The film industry has started using upgraded technology like digital cameras and graphic designing, leaving behind all those old systems of filmmaking such as the reel camera. The Nepali movie industry is now using the latest cameras like RED Digital cameras, GoPro, due to which picture quality has improved considerably. Even color grading and graphic designing is much better than in the past.
Over the last few years, movies such as Loot, Pashupati Prasad, Kalo Pothi, Dreams, Chakka Panja, Chakka Panja2 have raised the standard of film making in Nepal. Director Nischal Basnet says, "We can find a lot of technological changes in the Nepali film industry. The latest cameras and drones are being used for filming. Even in my own movie, Loot and Loot2 we had used multiple cameras like Red Epic, GoPro, Red MX and DSLR for shooting. Everything related to publicity and promotion of movies can now be done using a mobile device."
Dipendra K. Khanal, known for his direction of the movie 'Pashupati Prasad' says, "When I started directing, it was really very difficult. The release of Digital movies was restricted. Today, the Nepali film industry has become highly influenced by technology. I have used cameras like 4K, 2K, HD cameras for the direction of my movies." He further explains, "We have a lot of required technologies for film production but they are not properly used. Therefore, cinematographers need to study and learn how to handle equipment professionally.”
Director of Chakka Panja, Deepa Shree Niraula says, "The reel system has given way to digitalization which has made filmmaking so much easier. A few years ago, it was not possible to do dubbing until the complete shooting was over. But now, you can do it even if you are not completely done with the shooting." As the technology is developing, Nepal has also set a record of making the longest one-shot movie without any retakes. Araz Keshab Giri, who is the director of the one shot film, 'Jalo' says, "Jalo was such an unbelievable project. However, we had done our research and also had extra back up battery and storage. We must say that the picture quality as well as visual effects of Nepali movies has been refined a lot."
According to the directors, some of the new technology like Jimmy Jib, professional drones are yet to arrive in Nepal which can not only help to film from a different perspective but will also enhance the watching experience.