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Production design: New paradigms
By Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Those of us who would have seen the movie TRAFFIC SIGNAL would have been amazed as to how gargantuan a task it would have been for Madhur Bhandarkar to shoot his movie on the traffic light. Well, it is the studio where the movie has been shot and the set has been designed by the ace designer of sets Nitin Desai who has become a master in creating such surreal situations for quite some time with aplomb and panache.
In this trend which is becoming characteristic of the Indian cinema for quite some time a part of the movie is shot on the actual location then the rest of it is juxtaposed to a studio scenario which apart from ensuring continuity which the discerning viewer is particular about, also allows the artist to perform to his maximum possible limits without having an intrusion from the public. This is one more feather in the cap for the industry, which is further graduating and gravitating towards the methodologies, which have become more of a requiem the world over.
Shooting on location and then coming back to studios to finish of the film characterize this trend. LAGAAN of Aamir Khan started this where the shooting was also done in sync sound for the first time to have a real feel of the environment, and subsequently a set was created in interiors of Gujrat to complete the movie. How many of us would be aware that the famous snowfall seen of BLACK between Rani Mukerjee and Amitabh Bachchan was never shot on location at Shimla but was done in a studio. This was a trend earlier, before the shootings moved to locations and studio shootings had become a discounted commodity.
But with the economics of scale coming into play and to keep a tight leash on budgeting and to release the films on time, return to studio system had to happen and it has happened with a gusto. Nitin Desai, the master has again created the sets of JODHA AKBAR in Karjat as Hrithick Roshan expressed the view to be near his son, and he did it with EKLAVYA as well, where the set designed by him had led the viewers' gape in awe at the similarities. It is altogether a different matter that shooting of JODHA AKBAR near Karjat has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Aishwarya Rai, as now she can be near to Mumbai, otherwise she was to be in the deserts of Jaisalmer for about three months at a stretch. The less than miniscule difference between location and studios has been owing to the tools that technology has provided where with inter play of software the actuality can be projected on the screen and then again transposed on to the sets. This is what Mani Ratnam did for GURU where he could get the sepia toned black and white photographs of Marine Drive by taking recourse to technology.
With institutional finance available and the willingness to be original on the part of the producers to mesmerize the audience, the film production in India is indeed getting into a new groove altogether. This is also an invitation for the techno-experts who specialize in creating eras to try there luck out in Mumbai as the industry beckons them, and needs the organised technical inputs to make it stand out in the world of cinema.