Location Diaries: Between a rock and a cold place
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film, and this week it is Titanic Kadhalum Kavundhu Pogum
For actor Kalaiyarasan, shooting for CV Kumar’s next production, Titanic Kadhalum Kavundhu Pogum, was a rather ‘rocky’ experience. The film’s unit was recently stationed in Kodaikanal, where Kalaiyarasan and Anandhi had to shoot for a song. Many of the locations the crew had finalised were amidst rocky areas. It was hard to walk, let alone dance. For six days, the duo had to shoot night and day, and sometimes, day meant having to wake up at 3 am. “The sun comes out early during this season, and we would barely have any time before it goes down again. So we really had to get a move on with the shoot,” recalls Kalai.
On one of the days, the unit set off on a climb of a rather steep and remote hilly area at 3 am. “It was a cold and misty morning, and our pathway was extremely rocky. I had to watch my steps carefully as I had fractured my right leg barely a month ago, and had removed the cast earlier than the stipulated time, so I could make it for this shoot. I couldn’t put much weight on it and knew that a slip would cost me dearly,” says Kalaiyarasan.
When they finally reached their destination after the long walk uphill, Kalai and Anandhi were told to take positions atop a giant boulder by director Janakiraman. They were rather blinded by all the mist, but nevertheless promptly took their position on top of it. “And then, the mist cleared, and made us realise how dangerously we were placed on it. On one side, it was a sheer drop of many hundreds of feet into a valley. The winds were strong too, and Anandhi and I were stunned briefly. We managed to compose ourselves and somehow, gave the shot,” he says.
The camera, for this shot, was placed on a crane on another rocky ledge nearby. “I had to control my fear of heights, ensure I didn’t fall off the slippery rock and while doing this, try and not strain my injured leg. All this, while remembering the steps as well. Dance master Dastha, thankfully, gave us some light steps. We stayed on that rock till 12 noon for that song. We had to look happy but I can tell you we were anything but,” he says.