When two Kannada artists died performing a stunt for Duniya Vijay-starrer Maastigudi near Bangalore on Monday, one question everybody’s seeking answer to is this: Is our film industry disciplined enough to ensure safety to the stunt artists and body doubles it employs?
Reports suggest that Anil and Uday, the two artists who performed the stunt, weren’t good swimmers, and when the accident took place, the film unit wasn’t prepared to deal with the mishap. Sadly, Bollywood is no different from its southern counterpart: It’s plagued with indiscipline and indifference, with junior artists bearing the brunt of everything.
Without doubt, Hollywood is light-years ahead of the Indian film industries when it comes to ensuring safety of all those present on the sets. Just take a look at the behind-the-scene shots of shooting schedules of big-ticket Hollywood films like Mad Max: Fury Road or Mission Impossible 3, and you’d realise it’s also about the mindset of filmmakers.
The administrators on the sets of these movies have taken precautionary measures, while most Indian film industries treat stuntmen as the secondary citizens. They aren’t paid well and their health is not of much concern to producers.
Not that there are never any mishaps on the sets of Hollywood films. They also see deaths in many of their projects. From The Avengers to The Expendables 2, many crews have dealt with fatal accidents. Still, the situation is much better than India.
In these videos, you can see the use of strings even in the simpler action scenes. Also, most of the local authorities where a film crew is shooting, ask for no objection certificates from different departments.
In the Mission Impossible video, you can see Tom Cruise doing his own stunts, but the crew looks prepared to tackle any unwanted developments.
We should seek lessons from yesterday’s accident, and devise stricter safety policies for the stuntmen too. After all, they are the ones who make heroes larger than life.
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