In a southern city of India, a reporters search for a missing actor, leads to revelation of multiple lives connected to it through greed and bad choices. The three last days before the incident follows the struggling actor, an ambitious filmmaker, a wannabe hustler, an opportunist, a lover and two cinephile thugs, through an inter-twining vignette of their lives.
Even though the film feels like a documentary, the plot was scripted, rehearsed and then improvised on location.
Most of the one takes were considered good take on the third take. The lengthy scenes were decided to go one takes owing to the sound pollution and location limitations.
The unit didn't spend more than 2 hours at a set and scene, and there were days they shot 6 scenes.
The filming was not scheduled, as the director asked the actors to standby for the 10 days of filming and be ready to shoot on command.
The assistant director Sarath Balan worked on the sync audio to the film, while assisting the director.
It took 15 days for the director to convince the team that he was going to make a film in 10 days. As expected, the filming ended just an hour before the director had to catch a flight back home to Copenhagen.
The film was developed in a month and was shot in 10 days.
The director did not want to cast any "name talents", but decided on Vinay Forrt who was becoming more popular in the local film market, because Vinay was in his previous short films and Vinod wanted Vinay to complete the series.
Vinay Forrt introduced Madan Babu (producer), Franko Davis(Franko), Rishi Karthik(book salesman), Avinash(restaurant owed) and Roopesh K.V.(Dr Roy's Colleague) from his drama school.
Suraj Ramakrishnan introduced Troju Jacob (head surgeon), Lukman(Casting Director), Becky Thomas (Tina) Tony Luke (Tony), Abhilash (A.C.P.)
The accident scene with Dr Roy and Deejay in the car was staged by random kids hanging around by the street. The Assistant director Sarath Balan, plays the guy running to the car for help.
Vinod decided to shoot the film on HDV cam to give the film a documentary feel to it.
The martial art form Tony Luke was performing is called 'Shadow Boxing'.
The 'book sales' scene were on of the first outdoor shoot for the film. It was set in a very busy corner of Fortcochin and Mattancherry, with the most external disturbance ever with regards to audio, heat and congestion. Vinod remarked that if that take was good, that they could shoot anywhere at any time without worry.
The filming was divided into groups of casts and no group of actors knew what the other group of actors were playing in the film. No one except the director knew what the exact story was.
Vinod used Excel charts to schedule the filming, no screenplay or story board was used. The plotting and often the script was formed a few minutes before the filming.
Arjun Chemparathy was cast by Vinod when Arjun sent him a short video introduction of himself on youtube.
Vinod casted Jinu Joseph as the indie-film director. Vinod wanted a small but a distinct story telling sequence like in the film JAWS and PULP-FICTION. But Vinod was amazed by the effort Jinu put in to build the character and learn the story, that he decided to shoot the scene in one take. Jinu performed 3 long one takes. Vinod chose the last take. The story telling sequence is the longest single take in the film lasting 7 minutes.
The scene before the movie theatre with the thugs talking about making a film was shot in a single take.
The scene in front of the ticket office with Richie and Sidth was shot in entire darkness, and was manipulated in post-production. The electric power of the city shut down to complete darkness as Sidth exited the scene.
Vinod's vision was deeply underestimated by many artists, but as they started shooting they knew they were in good hands.
The scene in the movie hall with Tina and Arjun was single take, cut in the middle. A minute after that take, the film Dabang ended and the lobby became full of people exiting the theatre.
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