Director Director Sanjay Gupta certainly didn’t leave any stone unturned to re-create the milieu of 1970s Mumbai as he has spent well over two crores only on one sequence of his next Shootout At Wadala with the lead cast John Abraham and Tusshar Kapoor.
The sequence needed a BEST bus from the era, which don’t ply anymore and not a single model was at the unit’s disposal.
“The sequence would have cost us under a crore but we had to get a vintage bus which was not available and even when we managed to get one, it wasn’t allowed to enter Mumbai city (due to a law which bans buses older than 20 years from entering the city). Because of that we had to shoot the sequence outside the city, which tripled our budget and we ended up spending more than Rs 2.6 crore,” says Gupta.
The director also had to twist the sequence as he had trouble getting permission to shoot at real locations in the city. Sanjay says, “We were faced with two severe problems. First was shooting at Haji Ali, it as disturbs the traffic there. And secondly, I wanted a bus from the era. Sunil Nigvekar, my art director and production designer was in charge, so the onus was on him.”
Sunil found a school bus on the outskirts of Mumbai, which they transformed into a BEST bus of that era. “He found an old school bus of the same model in Belapur. The authorities were very resistant on parting with it for a day as its shuttles school children daily. But the model was perfect for us so we converted it into 1970s BEST bus. Today a BEST bus won’t cost more that Rs 20 lakh, but we spend Rs 40 lakh in transforming it into one,” says Sanjay.
The scene was a rescue sequence where Tusshar Kapoor (playing slain gangster Sheikh Munir) was saved by John Abraham (Manya Surve) after being attacked outside the Haji Ali dargah. Sanjay is grateful to his art director Sunil for making the difficult sequence go through without glitches in the face of such problems.