Transfusing the adrenaline rush of a character into the viewers without losing an iota of thrill is an extremely demanding job for moviemakers. When you can't boast a big purse, it becomes an almost impossible task. Sujith Vaassudev and his team had such a bumpy ride in 'Autorsha'. Sujith shared with Onmanorama how he and his team were up to the task.
“In the movie, there is a scene where Anusree helps to transport a girl, rescued after a near-drowning incident, to hospital in her auto,” said Sujith. To establish the selflessness of the character and to heighten the thrill, Sujith planned that sequence in a narrow village pathway. Anitha (Anusree) would ride her auto through that alley without bothering about the damages happening to her vehicle, her only source of a livelihood, to save a life.
“We scouted around Kannur for an apt location as the place has many narrow alleyways with high natural walls on both sides. Bikers and small-vehicle drivers use these byways to avoid traffic congestion on the main roads. Our requirement was a route which will allow an auto to pass, but not without scratching the sides,” said Sujith.
Procuring the vehicle was not a roadblock for them as a Mahindra & Mahindra dealer gave them three autorickshaws for the shooting purpose. “I had warned them about the risk factors involved and they were okay with it,” said Sujith.
The 'Autorsha' team kept one of the three autos exclusively for this sequence. But they did not realise how tough the scene could be until the clapboard went off.
“The road we chose was wide enough to allow an auto to pass if one drove cautiously. By the time we decided to shoot the scene, Anusree had become an expert rider good enough to manoeuvre through the narrow road,” revealed Sujith.
The only option left with them was to do some camera gimmicks to show the vehicle hitting and scratching while tackling tight corners to make it realistic for the viewers. “This made us spent at least four or five days on this particular sequence which we had originally planned to finish off in a day,” said the 'Autorsha' director.
Their next hurdle was getting the ideal camera for the shot. As it was not possible to use normal extremely expensive movie cameras to shoot the sequence, they had to hire action cameras. However, people were reluctant to rent their cameras due to the risk involved in the shot. “We had to promise to buy them new cameras in case something went wrong,” said Sujith.
The result of the team's commitment was a tensed and thrilling race-against-the-time sequence in the movie, which was appreciated by many moviegoers.
“Those who watched the movie told us that the visuals along with the background score and sound effects rendered a nail-biting experience. It meant a lot to us as it proved our efforts were not wasted,” said Sujith, who is on the pre-production works of his next film.
More in Decoding a Scene