Film crews have left no stone unturned when it comes to identifying shooting spots in and around the city. Of late, garbage dumping yards in Chennai have caught the attention of many in Kollywood.
Some portions of ‘Endiran,' the film starring Rajinikanth, were shot in the Perungudi dumping yard recently. Sources from the film unit said the crew had taken scenes involving the villain at the site for five days. Many portions of the movie have been shot in and around Chennai.
According to Chennai Corporation officials, a garbage transfer station belonging to Neel Metal Fanalca, the private agency involved in waste collection, the Velachery dumping ground, the Thiru Vi Ka and Napier bridges were most sought after locations in recent years. A few scenes of ‘Tamizh Padam' were shot at the Kotturpuram park.
The Corporation gets nearly 25 requests every week to shoot in its areas, including the burial grounds at Moolakothalam, Besant Nagar and Anna Nagar, playgrounds and Tower Park at Anna Nagar and Sivan Park in K.K.Nagar. Some of the other popular shooting places include beaches along the East Coast Road. “We do not permit shootings on holidays and Sundays. The companies also have to give a CD of what they shot,” said S.Selvaraj, Public Relations Officer of the civic body.
Similarly Metrowater's Kilpauk water works and the reservoirs in Red Hills and Chembarambakkam are occasionally used for shooting. The Corporation, Chennai Metrowater and Public Works Department provide no-objection certificates and the payment is made at the Directorate of Information and Publicity. “The number of companies seeking permission has been on the rise ever since the State government reduced the rates of shooting in the city in 2006. School and college students also seek permission for making films,” said Mayor M.Subramanian.
Officials of the PWD said Rajaji Hall, Valluvar Kottam, Marina beach, Koyambedu Market and Vandalur zoo are also some of the most preferred destinations. The rate for television shooting is almost half of what is charged for films.
While shooting at Rajaji hall used to cost Rs.1 lakh per day a few years ago, it now costs Rs.10,000. Those using the sands of the Marina for films pay Rs.3,000 a day. Permission is needed even to take an outside shot of a public building, an official said. The departments collect a fine if there is any damage to their property during the course of the shoot.
Film shooting companies said that the decrease in shooting fee has helped in reducing their expenditure. Sundar K.Vijayan, a television serial director, said outdoor shooting was more appealing to the audiences as they could relate to the places.
“Officials of the departments concerned ask for the storyline and the scenes that would be shot on the day before giving permission. We are expected to shoot without causing hindrance to the public,” he said.