Kochi: The Marine Drive can take a break. The most cinematic location in Kochi has competition. Kochi Metro and the swanky stations will soon be in the limelight as movie crews descend on them with the cameras.
Kochi Metro is the new hot shooting location. In fact, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) plans to earn handsomely as rent for letting movie makers work on the stations and coaches. Shooting in the Metro would be costlier than shooting in a train, railway station or airport. An hour of shooting inside a Metro station would cost Rs 2 lakh, plus 18 percent tax. If the script demands a scene inside the coach, the fee would go up to Rs 3 lakh.
The crews will have to pay a security deposit before they are allowed to shoot on KMRL property. The deposit has been fixed at Rs 4 lakh for shooting inside the stations and Rs 6 lakh for shooting inside the coaches. The production managers better arrange for Rs 10 lakh if they want to use both the station and the coach.
The deposit will be returned after the shooting is complete, after deducting the rent and any cost to cover the damages incurred during the shoot.
The KMRL has fixed different rates for commercial photography on the premises - Rs 1 lakh per hour inside and outside the stations and Rs 1.5 lakh per hour for shooting inside the train. The authorities will let the crew an additional hour to prepare for the shoot at no extra charge.
The Metro has already been featured in an advertisement film, which was shot within an hour.
The KMRL has received applications from three production units to use the Metro premises for shooting next month, officials said.
The officials said that they could also provide a special train if the team needs one. The crew could also shoot inside the service trains.
At the airport
Kochi Metro is an expensive shooting location compared to railway stations and airports. Officials at the Cochin International Airport Limited charges film crews Rs 40,000 to shoot outside the terminals and Rs 50,000 to shoot inside the terminals, plus 18 percent tax.
The runway is seldom used for shootings because the procedure is too complicated. An application has to be sent to the civil aviation security one and a half month ahead of the planned shooting dates.
The crews who want to shoot in runways are often led to the hangars where the airplanes are kept and repaired. They cost the same as the terminals.
In case the script involves the inside of an aircraft, the crew have to rent it from private airlines. Since the renting costs a bomb, most of the units settle for a set designed as an aircraft.
Shooting in a train for a day costs at least Rs 4.74 lakh, as per the new rates fixed by the railway in 2015. The fee has been worked out on the basis of the cost incurred for running a five-coach train for 200 kilometers. If the distance is longer, the fee would be higher. Taxes are extra. The deposit runs up to Rs 2.5 lakh, Rs 25,000 for each coach.
Railway stations carry different rates as shooting locations. The A1 stations, including Ernakulam Junction (South) and Thiruvananthapuram Central stations, would cost the crew Rs 1 lakh, while the B1 stations cost only half of it. The railway charges Rs 25,000 from a film crew which wants to shoot at any other property.
Even the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses are available for movie shooting. The daily rent for a bus is Rs 20,000 plus tax. A five-hour package starts at Rs 8,000. This is the rate for a journey up to 100 kilometers. The rate goes up to Rs 10,000 for six hours (150 kilometers) and Rs 12,000 for eight hours (200 kilometers). The rent includes the diesel expenses and the driver’s remuneration. The low-floor buses have been a hit with movie makers.