Giving the Swiss Alps or the streets of New York a miss, Bollywood is opting for new locales and coming home with unforgettable experiences.
Ek Tha Tiger
Under fire in Mardin
Kabir Khan’s blockbuster was filmed in nine locations, the most volatile being Mardin, a town bordering Turkey, Syria and Iraq. With the Kurdish issue simmering and terrorist organisations in operation, snipers were posted around town. “We were shooting an action sequence at the top of a fort. We’d taken the requisite permission, but were suddenly told to fall flat and hold fire till the snipers had been informed that this was no terror attack but a Bollywood movie being filmed or we’d be in danger of being shot,” recalls Kabir, adding that even his amused Tiger (Salman Khan) had to lie low till they got clearance.
1920: The Evil Returns
Sweden without haunted castles
The first film, 1920, was shot in Yorkshire’s Allerton castle that ranks seventh in the list of top 10 haunted castles in the world. Its sequel travelled to Sweden which was cold and desolate, but just as picturesque as Northern England. “It’s a filming-friendly country with beaches, mountains, snow and flowers,” says producer Vikram Bhatt. “And when you’re in Malmo, Sweden, you’re only a bridge away from Copenhagen, Denmark. It is great.”
In Fiji with the Anaconda
The psychological thriller is the first Hindi film to be shot in Fiji. Neil Nitin Mukesh has returned from a two-month schedule raving about the destination. “Our audience has seen scenic locations, but nothing like Fiji. My favourite is the island of Mana. The water is so blue and clear that you can see the seabed and the fishes swimming,” says the actor, who indulged in adventure sports like scuba diving, bungee jumping, skydiving and shark feeding.
They filmed in the same places as the Hollywood movie Anaconda 2 (2004). Reportedly, for one underwater sequence, Neil and Sonal were surrounded by water snakes. Fortunately, the venomous reptiles didn’t bite or they’d have become hissssstory!
Ishkq in Paris
On a train to the Alps
Ishkq in Paris was not only filmed inside the Eiffel Tower, but also a train travelling towards the Alps in the dead of winter. “We’d blocked two compartments for six hours, but the rest of the train was packed with locals who were used to British, American and French crews, and didn’t bat an eyelash,” reminisces director Prem Raj. “But at one stop, a German college kid, who’d recognised Preity Zinta from Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), walked in to chat cinema with her.”
The Black Theatre
The paranormal thriller has been shot in Prague, a place devastated by the World War and the plague. The city’s dark history is reflected in the disturbed mind of its protagonist. “Since it’s a heritage city, you can’t build villas or sets there, but there are plenty of places to shoot, including the Prague Castle and museum,” says director Ashish Shukla for whom the biggest thrill was shooting at the Black Theatre.
A speciality of Prague, the Black Theatre uses black curtains, a darkened stage, and ‘black lighting’ (UV light) combined with fluorescent costumes to create visual illusions. Shulka says, “The performance is one of the film’s USPs, along with the shots of musicians who play on the streets as part of 100-piece orchestras, keeping the
tradition of Mozart alive.”
Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani:
Dhoom:3: Chicago, US
English Vinglish: New York, US
Student Of The Year: Koh Samui and Bangkok, Thailand
Khiladi 786: Shot a song in Bangkok, Thailand
Yash Chopra’s untitled Shah Rukh Khan-Katrina Kaif
starrer: London, UK
Go Goa Gone: Mauritius
From Sydney With Love: Sydney, Australia
LSO SHOT ABROAD
Jism 2: Beaches of Sri Lanka
Housefull 2: London and Peterborough, UK, and Krabi Island, Thailand
Jodi Breakers: Mylonos, Greece
Agent Vinod: Morocco, Latvia, Russia, UK, South Africa and Pakistan
Players: St Petersberg and Murmansk, Russia and New Zealand
Tezz: London and Scotland
Blood Money: South Africa
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu:
Las Vegas, US