Location Diaries: High and dry
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Balloon
Janani Iyer shot extensively in Kodaikanal for her upcoming film, Balloon. During the shooting of a montage song featuring her and Jai, the director and team discovered that it was Jai’s birthday the following day. So they decided to wish him in a novel manner. Director Sinish cut the camera midway, but Jai was not informed. He was led to believe the shoot was on. Suddenly, a drone descended onto the set from the sky, holding a surprise birthday cake for the actor. “But Jai was so focussed on his performance that he didn’t realise what was happening. It was hilarious! It was only when everyone ran towards the drone that he realised something was up. We all gathered around and wished him. He was thrilled when he came to know about Sinish’s sweet gesture. It was an unforgettable experience,” recounts Janani.
But the shooting experience wasn’t entirely rosy. For the first time in her career, Janani did a stunt sequence for the film, and it turned out to be far tougher than she anticipated. The shoot happened after midnight. Around 3 am, ropes were tied around her and the sequence demanded that she be lifted high in the air. However, the technician manning the ropes was drowsy, and did not pull the rope properly. As a result, Janani found herself hanging in mid-air for many minutes. Unable to move, she found the pressure around her hips and the middle of her body increasing by the minute. The technician eventually realised his error and set it right. “But I had to repeat the take around 20 times that night. As this was my first stunt, I was unused to the rigours. By morning, my entire body was sore and I was in pain. It took around three days for me to recover”.