Location Diaries: Fast and furious
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Deverattam
Shooting for his upcoming release Deverattam was no easy task for Gautham Karthik. The action blocks were shot in quick succession within a period of five days, leaving him pretty drained. But there was one thing he found even tougher. The shoot was going on near Madurai, beside a river. Gautham had to run behind a jeep full of goons giving them a hot chase. The camera team was mounted on a vehicle beside the moving jeep. But a strange problem arose, the actor tells us. "The old jeep was travelling at a high speed. But when I began running behind it, it so happened that every time, I would end up overtaking the jeep!"
Even when he had to chase some extras who were on foot, Gautham ended up out-running them. This kept happening repeatedly, and the flummoxed director, Muthiah, finally had to tell the actor to run slower, in order to film the shots.
"But I found reducing my speed really tough to do. This is because I was an athlete in school and even won the 100 metres run in 11.9 seconds. So running has been a passion. But to complete the shoot, I had to find a way out."
Gautham requested Muthiah for some time to rethink his running strategy. Finally, he came up with a solution. "I discovered that my strides were long and my speed was high. So, I shortened my strides, but quickened my steps and thus reduced my speed just enough to stay behind in the chase. I had to co-ordinate with the speed of the vehicle and the extras on foot, and I also had make sure it wouldn't look like I was jogging on screen." With the running under control, he next worked on his facial expressions to make it look like he was pushing himself past his limits of endurance. "I mentally focused on all the mind-body co-ordination techniques I had learnt while training with Power Pandian master. That saw me through the rigorous shoot."