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Dubai cheaper than Mumbai: filmmakers

Faced with bureaucratic hassles and high cost of shooting in Mumbai, many filmmakers prefer to shoot their films in country like Dubai, writes Ashok Rai.
By Ashok Rai | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2008 05:43 PM IST

Mumbai is becoming increasingly difficult for movie shoots.

Not only does it cost more than other towns in the country but it also means surmounting bureaucratic hassles, besides the proverbial greasing of palms.

A young filmmaker who doesn't want to be identified (but naturally) points out that when he had gone to shoot outside the Hanging Gardens, he had to get the permission of the municipal corporation, the water supply department there, and, the cops who wanted their own batch of permissions.

Believe it or not the filmmaker swears, pulling the skin on his neck.

It's less expensive to shoot in Dubai and Switzerland than it is on our roads.

High connections
A producer who recently completed a shooting schedule at the CST railway station, on the other hand, brags, I was allowed to shoot round the clock there. At most you can get the station for a couple of hours at night. I got the permission straight from Delhi.

Contacts are of the essence if you want to shoot in Mumbai, which incidentally is more used to camera crews and top actors landing up on the streets thansay, New Delhi, Chennai or Kokata are.

On the sly
But of late even the most oft-used city locations like Hanging Garden, Nariman Point, Apollo Bunder, Girgaum Chowpatty and Marine Drive are used only occasionally.

One way to beat the permission scam, filmmakers state, is to shoot early in the mornings or through hidden cameras.

Since the movie action has shifted to the deep suburbs, many crews opt to shoot outdoor shots in Andheri, as evidenced in practically every Ram Gopal Varma movie.

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