Location Diaries: Narrow escape
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Vellai Pookal
Shooting for Vellai Pookkal was an unforgettable experience for Vivekh. The actor, who plays a former DIG, had to shoot inside a defunct nuclear power plant near Seattle, USA. "The team got permission to shoot there with great difficulty. It was a gigantic, abandoned structure, and quite eerie," he recalls.
The shot required him and Charlie to follow a man who starts walking into the reactor premises. Everything was fine, till the man they were following began climbing steep metal stairs on the walls of the reactor. Vivekh began the climb, concentrating on his shot, and only noticed after a while how high up they had come. Looking down from the dizzying heights was quite frightening, he says.
Special drone cameras were being used to follow the actors as they climbed higher and went in deeper. "We were told that mobile signals wouldn't work inside the structure. And once we climbed up high, there was no way of reaching the unit below." However, special security guards had been hired to follow the actors, for their safety.
Suddenly, disaster struck. After 500 ft, the drone camera lost the feeble signal it had been working on so far. As a result, it wavered and came crashing down near Vivekh. "It happened in in the blink of an eye! Luckily, I happened to step aside, a move which saved me. The very next second, the drone came crashing down on a security guard who was just behind me. He was hit on the head and so badly injured that he had to be hospitalised. I shudder to think it could have been me!"
The shoot was called off for the day and extended to the next.