Birla's Applause to produce 'Lord of the Ring' visual effects

MUMBAI: The last of the Lord of the Ring troika - Return of the King - scheduled to hit the theaters in December has an Indian angle to it. Applause Entertainment will be producing the visual effects of the movie.

According to media reports, the prestigious audio visual contract for the Warner Brothers production, under the New Line Cinema banner, are expected to cost between $130-140 million.

A vehicle for the AV Birla group's media and entertainment investments, Applause is the first Asian company to bag a contract of such a magnitude.

While the movie has been shot extensively in New Zealand, the visual effects will be produced in the company's Mumbai office. According to reports, the work on the project began in May after Applause made a presentation and completed the trial project in record time.

The FXs of the first and second part were created by New Zealand-based Weta Production owned by Peter Jackson, the director of the movie, with support from industry biggies like Sony Images and Digital Domain. 

Recently in the news for first taking a 25 per cent stake in Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS) and then opting to exit the venture, by turning over the stake to adman Suhel Seth, Applause has a slew of projects ranging from film production, television to events up its sleeve.

Its latest foray into film production will be through Stamp Collectors, an English co-production with a US film distribution company Miracle Entertainment and a crossover Hindi movie directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali with Amitabh Bachchan - Black,, reports say.

In the television arena, Applause is already doing television software like Bollywood Tonight on Zee Cinema and plans to tap the educational programming genre too. Reports say the southern market would be important for the company in television software business too.

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