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Location Diaries: Sanchita Shetty — A trip down the memory lane- Cinema express

Location Diaries: Sanchita Shetty — A trip down the memory lane

This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week,  Sanchita Shetty talks about her experience shooting for Maayavalai

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Published: 14th November 2023

Shooting for her next film Maayavalai, took actor Sanchita Shetty on a trip down the memory lane. The film revolves around the events that take place in a single night. So the actors had night shoots in several locations, including indoors, roadside locations, and along the beach. 

One part of the shoot was held at the VGP Golden Beach Resort. The shoot was set up to capture an important scene during the sunrise. The experience brought back a flood of memories for Sanchita. "In that same location, I performed the very first shot of my very first scene in my debut Tamil film, Thillalangadi, opposite Jayam Ravi, directed by Mohan Raja. Now here I was, back at the same spot, 13 years later! I just cherished every moment of that part of the Maayavalai shoot. It made me look back on my film journey, reflecting on how much I had learnt, and the importance of navigating highs and lows with equanimity," says Sanchita.

Another segment of Maayavalai was shot on a bylane along the ECR around midnight. Actor Charan had to follow Sanchita as she walked down the bylane. "Since everyone in the neighbourhood was asleep at the late hour, we all had to avoid making any noise and disturbing them." So only a small unit was present. According to the actor, the cameraman Ramji followed the two actors with a steady cam while the director's team was observing the scene from a distance. "The director couldn't use a megaphone to give us instructions. So we innovated by using our mobile phones instead. We kept our phones on the speaker to hear him say action and cut from his spot. We also used minimum lights. It was all quite a challenge."

At the end of the lane, a van was positioned where both the actors had to get inside it at one point to shoot the rest of the scene. "The van shoot was challenging due to space constraints. But overall it was so well planned that things went smoothly. The minute I got into the van, I was struck by nostalgia yet again. It made me recall with fondness, my Soodhu Kavvum days, where I had shot inside a van just like this. The Maayavalai shoot was quite a happy journey down memory lane," she signs off.

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