Location Diaries: Travel tales - Vetri for Bumper
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Bumper
When shooting for his upcoming film, Bumper, actor Vetri travelled to several places. One of them was Thoothukudi, which turned out to be quite a memorable experience.
"My mother hails from the village of Pudukottai, which is near Thoothukodi. Though I was born in Thoothukudi, it was only for Bumper shooting that I actually visited the city for the first time," says Vetri. As the unit shot for a month there, the news about his return to the city travelled to his native village too. "A lot of my relatives came visiting, and they were all very happy to see me. Many invited us over for a meal, but I had to miss those opportunities due to the rather hectic shooting schedule."
Vetri also had to pick up the Thoothukudi dialect for Bumper, and director M Selvakumar held language training workshops for the actors. "Since I was raised in Chennai, I never really picked my native dialect. But while filming, I remembered how my grandparents used some of the words to me as a kid. My director also included them in the dialogues. Many of those words are not in use now. Later, when I spoke to my mom in the Thoothukudi dialect, she was thrilled!"
Bumper was also shot in and around the Thoothukudi harbour, and an island near the city. Vetri reminisced about leaving early morning for the shoots, which was a tough experience due to the sweltering heat.
The team also shot a day-long stunt sequence at a verdant plantation at Thiruvananthapuram. They were met with a sudden change in weather after prepping the shoot. "Rain was imminent and the stunt master made changes on the spot. He decided to shoot many of the stunts in a single shot in order to complete the shoot on the same day as planned." However, the rain gods had different plans, and it started raining halfway through the shoot. "But we made good use of that time as well. As it poured outside, all the actors and stuntmen, sheltered under a shamiana nearby, began rehearsing for the upcoming shots. That way, when it finally stopped raining, the rehearsals came in handy, and we completed all the stunts just as planned, and very much on time."