Location Diaries: Baby driver
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is about Sathya
When Sibiraj left to Australia to shoot for his upcoming home production, Sathya, he couldn’t have known the dangers he would come to face. A substantial part of the shoot involved shooting with comedian Yogi Babu. “When we landed on the location, I learned that an important conversation between us was to take place in a moving convertible. The script needed Yogi Babu to be the driver, but the problem was Yogi didn’t know how to drive, and though we accounted for everything, we somehow overlooked this crucial factor,” he says.
When Director Pradeep Krishnamurthy learned about this, he wasn’t one to give up. Sibi says, “As it had automatic transmission, the director figured that we could give him some basic lessons on how to get the vehicle moving. And we convinced him to drive for the shot.”
But it proved to be far more dangerous than they expected. “There were quite a few near misses on the busy roads of Sydney,” he says. “Despite all the practice runs, he still wasn’t sure about driving. Adding to his woes were the dialogues he needed to speak while driving.”
Yogi Babu apparently got himself mixed up about the brake and accelerator as well, resulting in quite a few close shaves. “When he tried to be cautious and drive slowly, irate drivers who were overtaking us, gave us an earful. And when he tried to speed up, he almost ended up driving the car into other vehicles. In hindsight, I can see that we put several lives at stake, including ours,” says Sibi.
“Yogi told me it was the most he had ever struggled for a film.” Eventually, they decided to make Sibi the driver, as Australian cops were beginning to sense that something was amyss. The problems persisted. “I had forgotten to bring my international driver’s licence. But we went ahead with the shoot anyway,” he says. “We couldn’t afford not to, as these were crucial scenes. And when we finally finished shooting them, we were relieved nothing had gone wrong.”
Sathya, a thriller, stars Sibi along with Varalaxmi, Ramya Nambeesan, Anandraj and Yogi Babu.