Location Diaries: Horror of a shoot - Natty for Infinity
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Infinity
Sai Karthik's Infinity mandated actor Natarajan Subramaniam, aka Natty, to shoot for numerous night sequences, with one of them set in a semi-forest area near Chennai. One fine night, Natty and his assistant slipped away from the shooting spot during a break. "We started walking around the place and after a while, I realised we had gone far away, ending at an isolated spot without knowing the way back!" Luckily for him, as he tried to retrace his steps, Natty noticed several lights at a distance. "These were lights from our shooting spot. I heaved a sigh of relief and we started walking towards those lights."
All was not well, though. After walking a short distance, they heard a strange, eerie sound. "My assistant and I took a sudden pause, wondering what it was. We then realised that we were surrounded by a pack of dogs. As they were growling ferociously at us, our immediate reaction was to start running as fast as we could." But to their horror, the dogs began chasing them. "We held our breaths and ran like never before, totally overcome with fear!"
The duo managed to reach the location in time, where the unit members quickly came to their rescue, but the memory of that chase lingers even now, Natty says. "Every time I think about it, it brings back nightmarish memories of their hot pursuit, growls and sharp teeth. It was my most spine-chilling experience."
Another stunt sequence involved the villain shooting Natty, while his co-star Muruganandam would take the bullet in an attempt to save Natty’s character. The team had planned sound effects for the gunshot on the spot, and the shoot began. As it progressed, the wounded Murganandam fell on Natty, as planned. Natty, however, didn't realise that the gunshot sound effect had been placed just inches away from him. "The sound was so deafening and painful. At the same moment, Murganandam fell on me and fake blood began spilling out all over my eyes and ears. For a few minutes, I was in total shock as I could neither see nor hear anything."
As the unit came to his aid and helped clean up the fluid over him, Natty gingerly opened his eyes. "Luckily it didn’t affect my eyesight, but due to the proximity of the loud bang, I lost hearing in my right ear.’ He regained his normal hearing after two days. "It was a scary time, but when you love your job, the pain gets buried under the passion."
There are also moments from the shoot he cherishes, like driving motorbikes for a chase sequence. "Riding bikes is a passion for me. I have three bikes of my own including a Bullet and Yamaha. Filming those scenes was a thrilling experience."