Locations changed in lockdown: UP settled in Nashik, then Shimla shooting in Nainital!

Despite the threat of Corona epidemic, Bollywood people are constantly busy shooting for films and web series. But in the current environment, shooting in the midst of an open-ended lockdown has become very challenging on many levels. Talking about these ground challenges, the production designer and art director who created the world of the film. a report:

Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani starrer ‘Jug Jug Jio’ was to celebrate a beautiful engagement ceremony in Chandigarh. All the preparations were done, the great location was also final, but due to first Varun, Neetu Singh and director Raj Mehta being Kovid positive and then due to the lockdown, this engagement kept happening. Now a new date and new place is being seen for this in Mumbai. Similarly, Neha Sharma, Namit Das, Ila Arun starrer film Aaf-e-Ishq Ki Dastan was to be Lucknow and Banaras Jawaan. The story was composed according to these cities of UP, but due to the restrictions in shooting due to Corona epidemic, it had to be shot in a kothi in Nashik. These are the problems that filmmakers have been facing continuously in the last one and a half years of the Kovid epidemic. Sometimes the location of the shoot has to be changed frequently due to a partner being corona positive, sometimes due to the lockdown, and in such a situation, the biggest challenge arises, for the production designers and art directors who created the world of the film. Not only do they have to think afresh when they change the location, but sometimes they also have to make compromises at the creative level.

How will the culture of UP come to Nashik!
Production designer Tariq Umar Khan of famous films like ‘Durgamati’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, ‘Motichoor Chaknachoor’, ‘Satellite Shankar’ says, ‘The production designer has to create the look, the atmosphere, the world of the film and The restrictions in the Kovid period are so much that the challenges have increased at many levels. For example, for the film Aaf-e-Ishq, we did recce in February last year. The demand of the story was from Lucknow and Banaras, so started thinking accordingly. We were supposed to go on a shoot in April, but in March there was a lockdown. Then when we got permission to shoot, we were forced to shift the film to a kothi in Nashik. Now any city is an important character of the film. Lucknow and Banaras have their own culture, their dialect, dress, style are all different. When we shoot in a city, we buy local things, clothes from there, use them. That was not possible in Nashik. Similarly, for Jimmy Shergill starrer ‘Caller Bomb’ we were supposed to shoot in a school in Shimla. When we had left for there, then it was found that a person in the team had come to Kovid test positive, so the schoolmates canceled the permission. We stayed there for many days, because we are sitting there visualizing that it will happen in such a scene, but we did not get the location, so we shot in Nainital, but when suddenly such a change comes, which you have not thought about. So, everything gets compromised from taking the shot. In one such project, we shot half of it at the real location of UP, Jaipur etc., later there was a lockdown, so we have to shoot in Mumbai further. Now you are shooting half the series in the real location of UP, then show a set from Maharashtra, then the difference will be seen, now how to reduce it becomes a big challenge for us.

Budget cut also became a headache
According to Tariq Umar Khan, ‘These days a very difficult budget is also being faced. For example, the budget of the film is decided in advance. Then, when there is some sort of interruption in shooting, a change in the schedule or an increase in the security budget, the production budget goes down, now it is a different headache to deal with that how you do not let the quality deteriorate despite this reduced budget Because your name is attached. For this, one has to respect the vendor, the burden has to be increased on the worker, the displeasure of many people has to be faced, this too becomes a big tension in itself.

Finding goods in lockdown is also a big challenge
At the same time, art director Shivangi Singh, associated with films like Margarita with the Straw, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Children of War, Hollywood’s The Speech, tells about another challenge. These days Shivangi, who is handling the art direction of Karan Johar’s film Jug Jug Jio, says, ‘The art and costume department has to buy or rent a lot of props. We had a lot of trouble with it due to the lockdown, as many prop shops were closed. The few that were open had to make special requests, so the work slowed down because of this. Second, there was the challenge of changing the location. Like we had to design the engagement set in Chandigarh, but in the middle of our two actors getting positive, we had to come back. Then after 14-15 days of quarantine we went again, so we had less schedule time, so now we have to set up its set in Bombay. Now what happens is that you first plan according to that location, think, then change the location, then all that hard work is wasted, because every location is different.


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