In-three pact to help with conversion in India

Reliance MediaWorks has partnered with stereoscopic 3D conversion company In-Three to form what the company is calling the world’s largest 2D to S3D conversion facility in India.

Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based In-Three is best known for doing most of the 2D to S3D conversion work on Disney’s “G-Force.”

Interest in S3D conversion for live-action pics, both new releases and library titles, is expected to surge if the upcoming “Avatar” is a box office smash.

The In-Three/Reliance MediaWorks joint venture, set to roll in early 2010, expects to handle 15-20 pics per year and will initially employ more than 100 people, with the number set to grow as business increases.

Damian Wader, VP of business development for In-Three, said his company had capacity issues and found a willing partner in Reliance, which was building a facility and wanted to get into the S3D business. “They came to us as much as we came to them,” Wader said.

Wader said India’s low labor costs were not a key consideration in the move. “It’s a savings, but not as big a savings as you’d expect.”

Move puts Reliance in competition in the S3D conversion market with another India-based post company, Prime Focus, which recently introduced its View-D process and owns facilities around the world, including L.A.

In related news, Fox Star Studios India is planning a 600-screen 2D and S3D release for “Avatar” in India, in English and dubbed versions in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, making it one of the widest releases for any Hollywood film in the country.

The number of Indian 3D screens will have jumped from 12 in July to more than 50 by “Avatar’s” Dec. 18 release.

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