Location Diaries: Jiiva horsing around in Raju Murugan's Gypsy
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Gypsy
When Jiiva signed up for director Raju Murugan's Gypsy, he learned that a horse would be part of the entire shoot alongside him. Having shot with a chimpanzee already for Gorilla, this wasn’t particularly new territory for him. The problem was, the crew needed to find the right horse. “We tried several horses before finally narrowing in on one,” says Jiiva. “One horse bit me, another stepped on my foot. I grew increasingly anxious, and at one point, decided to wear protective gear. I also opted for sturdier shoes.” He needn’t have worried so much, for, the crew immediately found a horse with a sweet temperament.
But before shooting could commence, he had to get to know the animal first, and so Jiiva spent a month bonding with the horse. “I spent three hours every morning and then returned in the evening. I spent time feeding it, talking to it, and getting to know it well.”
Meanwhile, director Raju Murugan apparently began developing concerns over how well the bonding was going on, as he believed this to be crucial to his film. “By the end of the first month, the horse and I got comfortable enough to face the cameras together,” Jiiva says. “I didn’t have to ride it in the film, but we did have to do some specially choreographed scenes.”
The crew, with the horse, travelled from Goa to Rajasthan and Varanasi. “We made sure it was taken care of properly wherever we were,” he says. When the shoot got over, Jiiva felt the pangs of separation. “I had developed quite a close bond with it, and it was impossible not to feel sad.”