Chapter 3: Impossible Locations
Now that I had the script (and the money) in place, I was on the lookout for a great location to shoot the film. It had to be an odd and possibly scary looking house, run down but still safe to shoot.
Also, I didn’t want to spend one rupee on production design or artwork. I wanted to shoot it as it is.
Finally, through the help of my uncle Rajan and his friend Namboodiri we found a house that nobody lived in anymore. It was spooky. The first time I visited it, it was high noon, but inside, it was pitch dark. Great location.
But, how would I shoot there in low light. Selecting this location also meant I would have to use film lights – most likely HMIs – to get exposure here. It was a sudden increase in the budget. However, I realized I would have to pay the same price no matter what location I got. Spooky locations are not exactly filled with light and love.
The most important drawback of this location was that it didn’t have working lights, or an electric connection anywhere. It was an ancient house, more than a hundred years old. Neither was there a toilet. To make matters worse, we couldn’t bring in any vehicle closer than a hundred meters from the house because there was no road in. It would be (and was) an ordeal. Here’s a picture:
For the other locations, minor but still important, my friend Nimesh came through on his house and his farm. It was great to stage the ‘club’ scene and one of the interviews with Rajiv, the servant.
However, the main issue was: Nimesh’s home was in Thrissur, and the house was in Kannur – an eight hour drive. Again, I decided to go ahead regardless. On hindsight, it was not exactly the ideal decision. It would have been infinitely better if we had shot the entire thing in Thrissur, Kerala. But one makes these mistakes…
The last location we shot in Kerala was the Lodge, and that was quite easy. We got to shoot in the same lodge where our actors stayed, and that was that.
Three locations, for the price of none.