Location Diaries: Fire in the mountain, run, run, run
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Charlie Chaplin 2
Recounting an experience when shooting a crucial scene for the Prabhudheva-starrer Charlie Chaplin 2, heroine Nikki Galrani can’t contain her laughter. It was the pre-climax sequence which involved the presence of most of the cast, including veteran actor Prabhu. The location was a posh hotel on the OMR in Chennai. The actors all had one thing to do: Run.
This simple act turned out to be easier said than done. “There was a large cast present. The instruction was that each of us had to run in certain directions behind certain people while others had to chase us,” says Nikki. If everyone had to run in one level, the task may have been simple. But in this case, complications arose because the actors had to run up and down several floors of the hotel. Each one had to keep track of where the other had gone and then keep pace behind them.
“Prabhudheva master had to grab my phone and run with a lamp on his head. I had to chase him. Prabhu uncle also had to join in this chase along with the rest of the cast. While it was a lot of fun, the scene was completely chaotic!”
With so many actors all running behind each other, some got in the way, and sometimes, the timing was off the mark, while some just couldn’t keep up. Since the location was new to them and the corridors were all similar, there was added confusion. There was much laughter when people chased the wrong person or someone got in the way in the melee.
“It reminded me of this game we used to play as kids called ‘fire in the mountain, run, run, run’. It’s really difficult to co-ordinate so many people running from one floor to the other and back. I don’t know how the camera team pulled it off!”
Needless to say, after all that running, Nikki was quite exhausted. “But it was one memorable shoot and the resulting laughter actually brought us all closer together,” she concludes.