Shooting for films, advertisements or television on city roads is one of the toughest tasks. So when you see Hrithik Roshan skating past Marine Drive in Dhoom 2 or Imran Khan riding a horse through Colaba to get to the airport in Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, you know plenty of government bureaucrats are watching them closely.
Says Sachin Kotre, an ad film assistant director: “It’s hardest to get permission to shoot on roads. If it’s a private bungalow or a studio or some mill compund, we just need permission from one source. But if we’re shooting on the road, we have to get permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the traffic police, city police and many others.” Those looking to shoot at specific times of the day should keep their schedule flexible as government authorities can fix any time they think is fine.
“Prices differ sometimes, but roughly, it costs about Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh to shoot on most roads, be it Marine Drive, Carter Road, Bandstand, Worli Seaface, Gateway of India or Juhu. A major part of this money is spent in getting permissions,” says a production in-charge, on condition of anonymity. Shooting on any beach in the city requires a separate list of permissions. “For beaches, we need permission not only from the BMC and the police, but the Navy and the custom officers too. It’s random, but these are rules that we have to adhere to,” says Kotre.
While film studios, colleges and promenades are obvious locations for shoots, some celebrities also allow their houses to be used as locations. Hrithik Roshan and Mandira Bedi are two stars known to lend their houses out for various film activities. Bedi’s bungalow in Madh costs about Rs one lakh per day. Within the city, the Mumbai General Post Office is one of the most-wanted locations to shoot at.
Marine Drive: Rs 90,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh
Bandra Reclamation: Rs 90,000 (Rs 18,000 deposit)
Carter Road: Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000
Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link: Rs 1 lakh per shift. Only 3 to 4 cars allowed.
Mumbai General Post Office: Rs 90,000
Lokhandwala or Andheri roads: Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000
Most roads from Mumbai Central Station to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000
Most mills: Rs 75,000 per shift
(In case of additional art direction, an extra Rs 35,000 is charged)
Any local railway station (mostly Churchgate and Bhayandar): Rs 85,000 per shift, Rs 3 lakh deposit (reimbursed after a month)
Train bogey: Rs 2 to Rs 2.25 lakh per shift
Vie Lounge, Powai: Rs 25,000 per hour
Dome at Intercontinental, Marine Drive: Rs 2.5 lakh for one shift
Café Mondegar, Colaba: Rs 75,000
Mandira Bedi’s house, Madh Island: Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh per day
Beaches: Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 lakh
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Rs 1 lakh