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Directors’ strategies on resuming shoots

Directors’ strategies on resuming shoots

With pandemic restrictions in place, filmmakers are seeking workarounds and help from technology

加拿大28信誉老群Many Kannada films were halted during shoot, and some right after being announced, due to the lockdown. With the Unlock 1.0 in progress, discussions about resuming film shoots have begun. However, the challenges and changes that await filmmaking are many.

Metrolife spoke to a few directors who have projects that have been stalled.

加拿大28信誉老群Pannaga Bharana, who directed ‘Happy New Year’, says that these times demand for story-oriented films rather than larger-than-life concepts.

He details, “I’m working on two films — ‘108’ (a film which happens in an ambulance with four characters) and ‘Flat 111’ (a comedy thriller primarily with three characters inside a flat). Both can be done in limited locations and with a few actors. We have to work on the story in such a way that the crew uses lesser people.” 

加拿大28信誉老群These stories were written by Pannaga almost a decade ago. “These were stories producers didn’t want to work on back then but are perfect projects for now,” he says.

加拿大28信誉老群He notes that there are also different plays that can be converted into films. Pannaga adds that knowledge about technology and techniques will be sharpened now.

加拿大28信誉老群“One cannot always watch intense and minimal-actor stories. Learning new techniques, effectively doing green mat shooting and understanding CGI and VFX, will help in delivering powerful action sequences and other subjects too,” he adds.

Unsure about options

加拿大28信誉老群Kiranraj, director of upcoming film ‘777 Charlie’, starring Rakshit Shetty, is not sure how he can resume shoot of his project.

Some parts of the film have to be shot in Shimla and Kashmir as per the script’s requirements. “It is a route that the characters take for the story to progress. When travelling to other states we would have to follow each of their quarantines rules, which will extend the shooting,” Kiran observes.

While he wants to oblige by all the rules for the film’s completion, there are logistical difficulties involved. “We have people to look after the dogs and a few cameramen, apart from the crew, so cutting down on manpower will be challenging,” he says.

He has a sequence which needs at least 300 junior artists for it. “There is no way I could compromise on this. VFX is the only other option I see ahead, which I will decide upon only after being reaffirmed that the shot will look realistic.”

Song sequences left

加拿大28信誉老群‘Bell Bottom’ fame director Jayathirtha, who is directing ‘Banaras’, a film which stopped shooting in March because of the lockdown, has two song sequences left.

加拿大28信誉老群Jayathirtha reveals that one of the songs is a romantic number and another a crowd one. “I cannot change the script suddenly as the songs add to mood and story. There is no way that I can shoot these songs by following social distancing and restrictions,” he says.

He says that he is ready to follow all other restrictions implied for staff behind the scenes and for the crew, but wants to stick to his concept and script.

加拿大28信誉老群“The only way out is to wait it out and see what is changed in the next set of rules. I also want to ask the authorities though, why can’t I shoot my film with artists who are healthy (not infected by the virus),” he adds.

Will wait it out

Kannada filmmaker Lohit H of Friday Films has acquired the remake rights for the Malayalam film ‘Helen’. The film was scheduled to start shooting in March but the lockdown was announced.

加拿大28信誉老群The film will be directed by debutants Sabu Aloysius and Arunkumar M. Sabu says that not much can be changed in the script as they want to stick to the story.

“We have moved a long way in the storyboard and don’t wish to rethink the story now. We will wait for restrictions and regulations to change so that scenes can be shot accordingly. Every film has a shelf life and we don’t want to shoot it now. We want to wait till theatres reopen,” he says.

Hemanth Rao, director of ‘Kavaludaari’ and ‘Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’, had announced ‘Sapta Sagaradaache Yello’, a romantic drama starring Rakshit Shetty before the lockdown.

加拿大28信誉老群A poster for the film was released recently on the actor’s birthday.

“Since another film with Rakshit involves a different look, we had agreed that he would complete that film and we would start shoot for ‘Sapta...’. Now the other film is postponed due to lockdown, so we will have to wait,” he says.

In the current state of affairs, Hemanth feels it will be very difficult to shoot the film as he has envisioned it.

“The script demands physical contact, and has scenes where there are many people in a room, which is impossible to plan now,” he says.

What can filmmakers do?

Director Hemanth Rao says that he realises the rules serve a purpose but says that they will pose many challenges for filmmakers.

“They will have to write stories for the present conditions, rewrite the story and reimagine the scenes. Self-contained scripts will be the way forward until life goes back to normal,” he says.

Scenes with more characters will be a possibility in bigger spaces like a studio or big house, Hemanth adds.