Strategically, for Hollywood India is becoming a bigger market after each passing day. The recent movie, Jungle Book grossed more at Box Office than the Shahrukh Khan starrer Fan where the superstar is said to have delivered the performance of his lifetime. But, the craze doesn’t end here. Most of us are unaware of the fact that numerous props, artifacts and costumes used or wore in Hollywood movies are actually manufactured in India.
Certain manufacturing companies based out of Dehradun and Meerut have made their name in this niche market and have become official suppliers to Hollywood franchises. The astonishing aspect is that few of the suppliers have been in this business for more than decades but never came to fore because of their strict contractual obligations to maintain confidentiality. Anyhow, we are proud of the fact that such companies are carving out a niche of their own and being praised for their quality and trustworthiness.
Below are some Indian companies that have prospered in this space and gave us a reason to feel proud and elated.
1) Windlass Steelcrafts
The oldest company in this space was founded by Ved Prakash Windlass in the year 1941. He received an order to supply ‘Khukris’ to the British Gurkha regiment before independence. The company expanded its presence in Indonesia and Singapore due to the presence of British Empire and during 70s began the supplier to US Marine Corps.
Their journey to become a recognized supplier for motion pictures got a boost from the iconic ‘Helmet of Maximus’ from the historical blockbuster movie Gladiator. There has been no looking back since then. Their high quality, meticulously designed and crafted props have found place in Hollywood flicks like V for Vendetta, Batman begins, The Lord of the Rings and many more.
Wouldn’t it surprise you to know that Iron Man helmets and Body armors are manufactured here in India by this very company?
2) Lord of Battles
We were awe-struck when Jon snow killed a white walker wielding his sword “Longclaw” made of Valyrian steel. But, it’s mesmerizing to know that the sword was crafted by an Indian company based out of Dehradun. Known as “Lord of Battles”, the company was established by Captain Saurabh Mahajan. The company started with an order value of a meager $1500 but since then it has grown manifold.
With regular orders and ever increasing clientele, Mr. Mahajan has scaled up production by opening a manufacturing unit in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. SFX costumes, Weta workshop etc. who themselves are suppliers to blockbusters like The Martian, Guardians of galaxy, The hobbit etc.
3) Deepika Exports
This manufacturer from Meerut has a different modus operandi than the others. Deepika Exports is primarily a supplier to the contractors who in-turn are brought in by the movie franchises for these specific products. They have specialty in manufacturing swords, axes, spears, body armors, shields and other medieval artifacts.
Gaurav Agarwal, the director of the company takes pride in the fact that goods manufactured by his company have been used in ever successful motion pictures like 300 and Pirates of the Caribbean. The company has a good number of Artisans and craftsmen who are always ready to take up challenges which come up with every order.
4) Al-Hamdd Trading
Another supplier from Meerut is Al-Hamdd trading who specialize in Roman and Greek artifacts. They have supplied to TV shows with such medieval themes and plays. Another major source for their revenue is LARP (Live-Action Role Playing games) which is a craze in countries of Europe and America.
It’s heartening to see Indian companies flourish in the field of manufacturing but at the same time it’s saddening to learn that these companies don’t sell props in India. Thus, for now Indian customers would have to shell out a considerable sum to own their favorite superhero outfits and props.