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Media mughal Ramoji Rao is making a full-fledged Hollywood film, "Quick Sand", not in Los Angut in Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. He has recreated the Arizona army base, the barracks, the vehicles, and US military uniforms for the army personnel, and above all, the virtual reality of American landscape. All this in his world-famous Film City. History knows Quli Qutub Shah as the founder of Hyderabad City and posterity will know Ramoji Rao as the architect of the Film City known to everyone who is familiar with the world of films and entertainment. Rao's alchemy factory has produced so far durables like the Margadarsi chit funds, Priya pickles, Ushodaya films and the Eenadu print and TV empires.

The Film City, spread over 2,000 acres of land studded with hills, vales and lakes, has few parallels as both a tourist attraction and major film-making facility. The city looks like the result of a collaboration between P.C. Sorkar and Vishwakarma and is anytime a match to Universal Studios in Hollywood, brick to brick, gizmo to gizmo. It is a place where reality acquires all the attributes of magic and incredibility. Today, it is the filmmakers' first choice as it is a single-window, press-button facility that opens up an unlimited arena of creativity for every major and minor aspect of film production. To quote some directors and producers, the Film City has "all facilities at one place with latest technology and advanced equipment." Its brochure highlights its motto as 'make the magic happen.' However, magic happens spontaneously without human intervention as though it is the main ingredient of the entire project. Yet, everything is real, from the 50 studio floors, the support systems, outdoor locations to the high-tech laboratories, the wealth of technology, the greenery, and the hillscape.

Every need of the filmmaker, imaginary and real, has gone into the planning and execution of this mega project costing hundreds of crores of rupees. Everything that goes into making a film, from raw film to cameras, to processing labs to editing consoles, stage properties, studio floors and even travel arrangements to recreation and past-time is available at the mere mention of it. All this to suit a variety of budgets, whether it is a shoestring art film or a giant formula film. Ramoji Film City is an all-in-one boundless complex offering not just film-making facilities but also customer services, technical expertise, production support personnel and comprehensive technical infrastructures attracting the attention of top film-makers, production houses and leading multinational advertising agencies. A rapid tour of the Film City complex vindicates the claim it makes in its campaign that "Ramoji Film City is geared to service several film and television productions simultaneously. It is one place in the world where you can walk in with a script and walk out, leaving despatch instructions for release of prints or television broadcast masters." The Film City, in company with the Cybercity, has put Hyderabad on the map of the world. In short, it is a film-maker's dream and a tourist's idea of a paradise.

Buses taking off every five or ten minutes from the main gate of the City take the tourist on a guided tour of the vast spread of exotic gardens, outdoor sets, studio floors, state-of-the-art technology labs, centres of digital film facilities, hospitality centres, complexes storing props and period costumes, recreation joints, communication resources and a bewildering variety of equipment and gadgetry for the film-maker. Though these facilities are significant essentially for the film industry, yet the curious tourist will find in them an awe-inspiring spectacle. What strikes the tourist first is the limitless spread of water-washed foliage of different climes and locales.

What strikes the tourist first is the limitless spread of water-washed foliage of different climes and locales. While these gardens are by design in full bloom throughout the year and are a great visual extravaganza for the tourist, the film-maker saves the effort and expense of taking his equipment, artists and army of technicians to either Kashmir or Switzerland for shooting because that ambience is available literally off the shelf at the Film City. These gardens known as Shangri la are laid in a variety of patterns from formal French gardens to the wilds of Africa. More such marvels are in the pipeline, In the middle of these meandering gardens nestle majestic gazebos of Rajasthani architecture of the Ranas' time.

You have colourful fountains, rock formations, and zigzagging pathways flanked by lamps, which automatically come to life at dusk. Shangri la is very well serviced by a support system consisting of horticulturists, botanists, landscape artists, well-stocked nurseries constituting the agri-division of the gardens. The tens of thousands of country-specific plants in the nurseries help in re-creating the spring in England or a Japanese garden. Even as the tourist is left gaping at the paradise on earth, Shangri la sets the imagination of the filmmaker on fire about the kinds of spectacles he can conjure up magician like with the endless possibilities that the gardens offer. Believe it or not, you can see the world famous Chinar tree of Kashmir or be enchanted by the fall vegetation reminiscent of Vermont in America. Hordes of producers from Hollywood, Bollywood, and Tollywood descend on the Film City empty-handed and go back with canned prints. Every comfort of theirs is taken care of -- from fully-air-conditioned accommodation, conferencing facilities, entertainment to banking, travel-related services, secretarial assistance, and what have you.

The outdoor locations are products of great vision and a blend of landscapes and cityscapes ranging from the pastoral to the metropolitan, wild shrubbery to manicured lawns, rivulets and cataracts, singing fountains, churches, mosques and temples, an airport terminal, railway station, police outpost, shopping plazas, palace interiors, chateaus, rural complexes, urban dwellings, gateways, a 5 KM long winding highway inlaid into carpets of idyllic pasture. Carry your crew and equipment to shoot a dance and song number in the Shangri la gardens or a coronation in one of the period palaces or shoot a police chase through outdoor transport arteries. If the producer has something unique in mind, for example, a Russian dacha or American suburbia, Maya workshops spread over 3,00,000 Sq. Ft. and manned by 1,000 skilled and experienced artisans, will translate your thoughts into reality. It is a continuous process at the Film City to scout for new and unusually challenging locations for its own production and for the benefit of other film-makers.

Available to those film-makers are the support services of the Film City which provide information on the exotic locales available in India and also help international film outfits in customs formalities for faster release of production hardware. The outdoor sets are modular in concept and construction with the promise of limitless versatility. The architecture of buildings and other structures can easily be altered according to the filmmaker's needs. The technical infrastructures and professional expertise of the Maya workshops are an answer to the requirements of both small and mega-budget films.

Parade is another huge site of interest to both the demanding tourist and the film fraternity. Walking through it is like reliving the experience of browsing the contents of a vast museum. It is a giant storehouse of fabrics, period costumes, furniture, weaponry, knick-knacks, jewellery, pottery, crockery, clocks, furnishings, lamps, chandeliers, wall hangings, paintings, decorative artifacts, wardrobes, footwear etc. In a few minutes, artisans here can assemble a drawing room of the third millennium or a Moghul durbar, a shoe shop or a ramp for a fashion show. Ask for a Scottish kilt or a Japanese kimono or a Kashmiri pheran, it is there. You can design your clothes and experts at the tailoring shop will cut stitch and deliver your fancies overnight.

The Film City tour takes you through a world full of surprises, scares, and delights. You are taken in special buses first to Eureka, which is the beginning and also the end of the tour. Eureka is an architectural reproduction of a bygone era taking you across ornamental bridges and into the bowels of forts. Get past 72 steps to arrive at Mauryan magic or walk down the replicas of Mughal glory. In contrast is the rugged Wild West replete with horses, cowboys, and gunfights. Looks like a set of Jesse James supplanted from Hollywood. If you are not there first thing in the morning, you will miss the morning welcome ceremony with kings and queens, music and pageant of the likes of Disneyland. An equally enchanting programme in the evening winds up the tour.

If you are lucky you may hover around the shooting of a Bollywood or Tollywood, now even a Hollywood, film in shooting. Amitabh Bacchan and Govinda starrer “Bade Miya, Chote Miya” was shot here. Telugu blockbuster “Nuvve Kaavaali” was made here. “Crocodile 2” and “Panic” have been shot here. David Dhawan, Vijay Bhaskar and Sam Firstenberg are among directors who made their pictures here. All top heroes and heroines from Anil Kapoor of Hindi films to Venkatesh of Telugu films, Manisha Koirala, Soundarya and Hollywood hunks and beauties enjoyed the facilities available at the Film City. Who knows, with some luck you may get an autograph of a star to take

Throughout the tour, well-stocked shops and stores greet you selling mementos, knick-knacks and anything that you can take back commemorating your visit. If you are thirsty or hungry, there are four restaurants at Eureka itself.

Alampana serving authentic Mughalai cuisine from the royal house of Awadh.
Chanakya for pure vegetarian cuisine, specialising in Thali meals.
Gunsmoke for continental-style eating, serving food which sets the palate on fire.
Ganga Jamuna caters pure traditional and vegetarian South Indian Thali meals that match your grandmother's culinary expertise.

A cluster of highly sophisticated technology centres -- Symphony for audio-post production; Mantra offering digital film facility; Rainbow, the film laboratory -houses a stunning range and variety of software and hardware.

At Symphony is available "an ADR suite equipped with a dSP digital audio workstation for the quickest ADR possible including dSP's powerful ADR software, touch screen monitors, video projection and a wide choice of formats for output. The suite was designed by John Flynn and Sam Toyoshima of Acoustic Design Group.

At Mantra, magic is at work. The digital film services available here cover colour correction for commercials, feature film transfers for TV and DVD as well as tele-cine transfers for dailies. Perfect visual effects for films and TV commercial makers are achieved through scan record services, film composting, and effects on Inferno and 3D on Maya in a networked status.

World class processing for colour and BW films is available at Rainbow. In the laboratory, which is fully air-conditioned and dust-free, the printing is on the latest BHP printers with wet and dry gate options. Support services include ultrasonic cleaning and coating. It compares with the best film laboratories anywhere in the world. In the best Ramoji Rao tradition, the Film City stocks a mind-boggling range of cameras, lenses and filters. It can provide multi-camera setups in any format along with studio monitors and a full range of other video equipment.

Augmenting these services and facilities are Film City's crack workforce of professionals who can accept any challenge thrown up by production and post-production tasks and bands of lighting and ancillary crews. At a moment's notice, the Film City can commission editors, sound engineers, dubbing artists, musicians and other professionals to answer a welter of producer's needs. There are a number of green rooms classified as deluxe, air-conditioned and economy, to suit a variety of budgets and to meet your studio and outdoor requirements. There are special mobile make-up rooms too, which can be positioned at the beck and call of the film-maker. Universal Travels takes care of your travel needs, both national and international. It can charter a shuttle chopper service, if necessary. You have a bank offering a wide portfolio of financial services. With the help of the most modern telecom network here, you can access the outside world from the halcyon environs of the Ramoji Film City.

The Film City is extremely well equipped in the management of human and physical resources to cover the rest and recreational needs of the film folks outside the floors and locations, tourists, and people on vacation and honeymooners.

Leading such props is Sitara, the international standard fully air-conditioned luxury hotel with four royal suites, four theme suites, 96 deluxe rooms offering dream-world comforts to the creamy layer of the film-making entourage. Galaxy, a multi-cuisine restaurant with an attached bar is the answer to the choosy gourmet and bohemian. You can help yourself to Chinese, Mughalai and Indian dishes, and delicacies.

You have a poolside barbecue appropriately called Sholay, where choicest Kababs are served under a star-spangled sky. Startrack is a mini conference hall with an attached banquet hall called Taj Mahal. For the fitness devotees, there is the Samson and Delilah health club. Now relax at Champion, the clubhouse offering indoor and outdoor recreational facilities. Play Tennis, Squash, Billiards, Table Tennis, and Basketball and also do some Yoga here.

Tara and Sahara are two economy hotels. While Tara is a 24-hour restaurant offering 24-hour room service for 125 elegant rooms of which 84 are air-conditioned, Sahara is a well maintained shared accommodation which accommodates about 700 people with provision for separate arrangements for ladies.

If you wish, their expert photographer(s) will capture these precious moments to perfection you can carry back an entire album of tender memories! Imagine you and your lovely lady against the backdrop of the magnificent locales! They even have a mini film crew, complete with a director, cameraman, make-up artist who will assist you in filming your unforgettable moments in Ramoji Film City.

Seven days in a week and throughout the day, a doctor is in attendance and in an emergency there is a tie-up with super speciality hospitals in Hyderabad. Sunbeam is an ultramodern laundry handling anything from fine silks to giant canvas tents. It also handles hotel laundry besides outfits and costumes of actors and dance troupes. A special office complex named Samrat helps you open and run your project offices equipped with telephone and fax ensuring full connectivity besides secretarial and other services. The City's security services provide cover not only against intrusion and disturbance but also for personal and property safety.

Visit the Film City, in the loving care of 7,500-strong devoted workforce, once or make a film here to experience a reality which is stranger than fiction.
For more details visit the website:

Advance reservations can be made at any of the Margadarsi Chit Fund or Eenadu offices. Advance reservation receipts will be issued upon payment of an advance of Rs. 20/- per ticket. Current bookings can be made at the Film City. (Subject to availability)

For further information contact Response at Ramoji Film City Ph: 46501. Fax: 46505
From Hyderabad dial 925-Ph/Fax No.
From other cities dial 08415-Ph/Fax No.

From Bus No's
Secunderabad Railway Station 205F
Nampally Railway Station Reach Women's College, Koti in Bus Route No's. 100GS, 100H, 100J, 100K, 100L, 100M and 100R. From Women's college bus route no is 205F.
Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station Reach Women's College, Koti in Bus Route No's.1 and 86. From Women's College board bus route 205F.
Jubilee Bus Station Reach Sec'bad Railway Station in Bus Route No's 21, 22, 23 and 25. From Sec'bad board bus route no 205F

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