India’s “Sixth Sense” 6D theatre

[From The Hindu]

With the heart in your mouth

Shilpa Nair Anand
Kochi, February 1, 2012

A snake hissing in the face, feeling its breath on the back of the neck and wondering if it IS a snake near the feet…it is the ultimate ‘6D’ experience at the recently opened ‘Sixth Sense’ digital studio at Abad Nucleus Mall.

It is an entirely different movie viewing experience. It is a heady mix for the senses.

Twenty-four seats, 3D glasses, phones on mute, handbags on the aisle…why handbags? “It is safer,” says an attendant. Safer? Prudence questions, ‘this is just some short animated film or is it?’ Turns out it is much more. A sampler of the short films that will be screened, initially, are Dino Adventure, Forest Adventure, Haunted Raceway, Western Roller Coaster, Dead House etc. We were in for one thriller of a ride with ‘Haunted Raceway’.

The ride begins

A clown popping up on the screen is a shock, but we are ‘ok! It’s 3D.’ And then smoke rises and flies in as a haunted graveyard comes buzzing at us, ‘in 3D!’ and then the 4 D happens with the persistent tickling on our legs… Eeeks! And then the ride begins, literally.

Speeding into tunnels and diving down slopes, zooming in and out of the insides of a huge snake, crashing through closed gates (and ‘feel the pieces upon us’). Chairs rock back and forth, sideways and jolt (thanks to 3 Degrees of Freedom seat movements) corresponding to the track the race takes. It is not only synchronised chair movements but also special effects such as ticklers (back, neck, leg etc), air blasts (face and neck) and personalised speakers.

Vishagh Joseph, chief architect, Building Designs who was involved in setting up the studio says of the technology, “this kind of technology can be seen in fighter jet simulations. The films in Sixth Sense are all 3D films with the combination of special effects which are programmed for each separate film. Yes, the experience is 4D with the addition of seat movement to an ordinary 3D film. Apart from this, we have smell, wind, water and smoke, butt kickers, tail ticklers etc… which makes the additional dimension.” The 6D (some people refer to it as 4D) studio is the first of its kind in Kerala.

On why the studio is 6D and called Sixth Sense, Dr. Najeeb Zackeria, managing director Abad Builders, says “the sixth dimension comes from the viewer.” Setting up the theatre cost ‘as much as setting up two multiplexes each of 150-seater capacity,’ he says. Of the films listed ‘Dino Adventure’ and ‘Forest Adventure’ are for kids, says Vishagh. “These films fall within the category of ‘edutainment’,” he adds.

Combined with the effects in the hall – water and wind, besides smoke – the experience was, truly, one of its kind. The ‘Haunted Raceway’ was followed by ‘Western Coaster’, which was one roller-coaster of a ride (ah! this is why the bags are on the aisle…you need both hands to hang to your seat). But this is not for those with motion sickness; the effect is like being on a roller coaster. The drops and climbs were, to say the least, stomach churning.

Talking about churning, watching the films comes with a statutory warning – not fit for very young children, pregnant women and those with heart ailments. This is one place you don’t want to find out if something is wrong with you.

The tickets will be priced between Rs. 150 – 200.


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