Japan caught fancy of Kollywood filmmakers

Guess which place has caught the fancy of Kollywood filmmakers of late? It is the land of the rising sun, Japan. Earlier this year, the team of Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru (TVSK) flew to that country to shoot a song, becoming the first Tamil film in 29 years to shoot there (the previous one was Jappanil Kalyanaraman). And now, two other films have joined this list — Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara and Vettai Mannan.

Says G Dhananjayan, the south business head of the studio which produced TVSK, “We had decided to shoot the song in a foreign country. But director Sundar C did not want the usual Switzerland, Australia or New Zealand, as the locations there have become familiar to our audiences. We could shoot in never-seen-before locations after a friend suggested Japan to us and coordinated the schedule.”

For director Gokul, who went to the country to shoot his Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara, it was important to shoot it in Japan because of the lyrics in the song. “It is a number in which the hero talks about the birthday gifts he will give to his girl. The lines went like Ulaga Pookkalin Vaasam Unakku Sirai Pidippen, and so, I wanted to shoot the song in a flower garden in Kobe. It is also a location that we haven’t seen so far in Tamil cinema. The lyrics also talk about the guy inviting the birds to sing birthday wishes for his girl and there was also a bird park nearby,” he says.

In addition to the virgin locations, the other main advantage of shooting in Japan is that it is easier for film crews to get permission to shoot there. “We were welcomed warmly and extended complete cooperation. In fact, the head of the state visited the shooting spot and assured us that his authorities will help us out with all our requirements,” says Dhananjayan.

Now, Simbu’s Vettai Mannan team is shooting in the country while a couple of film crews are mulling over going to Japan to shoot their films. Meanwhile, we hear efforts are also on to hold an audio launch for Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiiyaan there as the Superstar has a significant fan following in that country.
However, people who have shot in Japan also admit that the cost of shooting there is higher than in some other countries. While the travelling expenses are higher, hiring equipments is also expensive. “For example, hiring costs for a jimmy jib is almost 10 times higher than what we pay here,” says Gokul, who reveals that their five-day schedule cost around ` 60 lakh.


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