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First underwater studio-effect scenes

The 1943 Telugu release Chenchulakshmi made by Tamil Nadu Talkies ‘T’. Sounderrajan featured Kamala Kotnis in a few underwater scenes.

Prabhat Mukherjee’s  ‘Vicharak’ (1949 Bengali) starring Uttam Kumar and Arundhati Mukherjee featured a murder by drowning. The scene enacted by Atanu Ghosh and Prafulla Dey featured underwater footage picturised with a tank specially built for the purpose in AVM studios, Madras.

‘Anmol Moti’ in colour starring Jeetendra and Babita was made by S.D. Narang in 1969 and had many scenes shot underwater through studio-made devices.

First film without studio sets

‘Aasman Mahal’ (1965) directed by K.A.Abbas with Prithviraj Kapoor in the lead was shot on locations or interiors of palaces and houses without creating any artificial set.

First close-up shots

Hira Lal Sen was the first film maker to use close-ups in the two 1 hr dance films. Alibaba and Maner Maftn is apparent from an article in Ranagalaya (a monthly journal in Bengali) written by the then renowned theatre personality Amar Dutta. Reviewing the two films, he wrote. inter alia: The images in some places were so big and seemed so near that one could feel they were breathing on us”.

First footage using trick effects

‘Ankurachi Gaatha’ made by pioneer film maker D.G. Phalke in 1912 was the first to use the single frame exposing technique to show a bud bursting into a flower. The short film using the trick method helped Phalke to impress his financier and get funds for Raja Harishchandra, released in 1913.

Most versions of a story in a single year

The record for three films being adapted from the same story was set in 1991-92. ‘Heer Ranjha’ by Harmesh Malhotra, ‘Mehboob Mere Mehboob’ by H.S. Rawail and ‘Ishq Khuda Hai’ by P.D. Mehra. All these three were based on the Punjab folk tale of legendary lovers Heer and Ranjha and were filmed within the span of a single year.

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