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Behind the Scenes: The Intricacies of Filmmaking and its Impact on Tourism

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Behind the Scenes The Intricacies of Filmmaking and Its Impact on Tourism

TTJ dives deep into the world of filmmakers and production houses to explore their unique perspectives on film tourism. Through firsthand accounts, we unveil the dynamics of filmmaking, showcasing the behind-the-scenes efforts that blend creative vision seamlessly with logistical challenges. As we understand the intricate synergy between cinema and travel, we uncover how movies leave an indelible mark on destinations worldwide.

– Prashant Nayak

While filmmaking is often perceived as glamorous, it involves numerous challenges and complexities behind the scenes. Navigating this intricate landscape requires filmmakers to balance creative vision with logistical realities. Ultimately, their collaborative efforts result in impactful storytelling that resonates with audiences, leaving a lasting impression on both the global cinema and tourism industries.

The Art of Selecting Filming Locations

When selecting filming locations, filmmakers and production houses must prioritise multiple factors. Filmmakers consider the location to be of paramount importance, recognising its crucial role in storytelling. Malvika Khatri, Head of Films, Roy Kapur Films, emphasises, “We assess the inherent visual uniqueness of the location, as these elements often contribute significantly to the narrative of our films. Locations enhance the aesthetics of film and immerse viewers in the story’s environment.” For production houses like Roy Kapur Films, choosing the right setting involves evaluating how well it aligns with the script and reinforces the story’s authenticity.

Ankur Garg, Partner and Producer, Luv Films, echoes this sentiment, “We often scout for visually appealing locations, unseen and unexplored to the human countenance. The locations that we shortlist are the ones that align with the script and are logistically convenient for shooting. However, choosing a filming destination involves a careful balance of artistic vision, practical logistics, financial considerations, legal constraints, and overall experience for the cast and crew.”

Ashvini Yardi, Founder, Viniyard Films, adds another layer to the discussion, focusing on the emotional and practical aspects of location selection. She says, “First and foremost, the location should impart a feeling of directly being lifted from the script. Be it a cosy countryside or a bustling cityscape, it is imperative that a perfect match is achieved with the story’s mood and characters.” Ashvini emphasises the need to be smart with finances while maintaining quality, highlighting the challenge of finding a perfect shooting spot that blends script requirements with budget constraints. “In short, finding the perfect shooting spot is like uncovering buried treasure—it’s exciting, it’s challenging, and when it all comes together, it’s pure movie-making magic,” opines Ashvini.

Abir Sengupta, Writer-Director-Producer, Jaadugar Films, brings a storyteller’s perspective to the conversation, explaining, “Every story I tell demands a certain geography for it to be narrated in the best way possible. Likewise, every location tells a story of its own.” Abir stresses the symbiotic relationship between a film’s narrative and its filming location, underscoring how a well-chosen setting can elevate the storytelling experience.

Striking the Balance

For these filmmakers, the choice of filming location goes beyond mere logistics; it is about finding synergy between creative vision and practical execution. Malvika Khatri further elaborates on the complexity involved, “We carefully consider factors such as weather, tax rebates, travel costs, permit fees, accommodation, and local production expenses when evaluating potential filming destinations.” This meticulous approach ensures that each location enhances the film aesthetically and fits within the production’s budgetary and logistical parameters. Ankur Garg affirms the pivotal role of production schedules and budgets in location selection. “Strategic planning ensures alignment between location and project needs,” he remarks, stressing the need for meticulous assessment to optimise outcomes.

Ashvini Yardi emphasises the intertwined nature of schedule constraints and budgetary parameters in their decision-making process. She explains, “When contemplating a summer shoot, for instance, attention is directed towards assessing the climatic conditions prevalent in potential regions. The budgetary framework stands as a cornerstone, delineating the parameters within which our choices must be made. Moreover, the accessibility of the chosen destination is of paramount importance. The availability of direct flights emerges as a critical factor, facilitating streamlined logistics for our actors and staff by circumventing the inconveniences associated with layovers and protracted road travel. Furthermore, the financial viability of our chosen destination is augmented by the potential for rebates and incentives.”

Abir Sengupta provides insights into how budget considerations can alter filming plans. He says, “Cost-effective destinations can sway decisions, highlighting how fiscal constraints may necessitate compromises or strategic adjustments in location choices. Abir also shares, “Sometimes, even if producers initially overlook a certain location, discovering that it offers substantial support and cost-saving benefits can prompt filmmakers to adjust their scripts to fit that location.”

Navigating Complexities and Challenges

Filming in any country often comes with its own set of logistical challenges and requirements. Getting the right permits and approvals can be complicated and time-consuming because every place has different rules. Malvika highlights the intricate logistics involved, from navigating complex permit processes to overcoming transportation and accommodation hurdles in remote locations. “Getting the right permits and approvals can be time-consuming,” she notes, stressing the need for skilled local crews and specialised equipment.

Ashvini underscores the importance of comprehensive support from municipal and law enforcement authorities, particularly in sensitive border areas, reflecting on the complexities filmmakers face in certain regions. Ashvini mentions, “Collaboration with the armed forces may be necessary for added security measures.” Abir voices concerns over bureaucratic delays and local mandates affecting crew hiring and impacting budgets and decision-making, advocating for merit-based selections to streamline operations. He points out that mandatory local crew hiring, regardless of competency, increases costs unnecessarily.

Filmmaking in India, renowned for its diverse landscapes and cultural richness, presents filmmakers with a tapestry of challenges and rewards. Ankur reflects on India’s evolving infrastructure and support systems, noting improvements in handling logistical and climatic challenges. Ankur highlights advancements that have made shooting in India more efficient, “Local assistance and better facilities have transformed the filming experience.”

Driving Destination Growth

Roy Kapur Films’ The Sky is Pink showcased London and the Andaman Islands in a non-traditional light, drawing audiences with its authentic portrayal and subsequently boosting inquiries from other filmmakers. Luv Films’ Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar significantly impacted tourism in Spain, showcasing its picturesque locales like Barcelona and Mallorca. The film’s vibrant depiction sparked interest among viewers, leading to increased inquiries and visits to these locations, illustrating the role of cinemas in destination promotion.

Andaman Islands served as the backdrop for The Sky is Pink
Andaman Islands served as the backdrop for The Sky is Pink
Cala S’Almunia, Mallorca, Spain, served as the backdrop for Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar
Cala S’Almunia, Mallorca, Spain, served as the backdrop for Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar

Viniyard Films strategically highlighted Kashmir as a wedding destination in Masaba Masaba, leveraging Netflix’s global reach to promote the region internationally. Ashvini emphasises cinema’s potential to transform perceptions of destinations, akin to how Yash Chopra popularised Switzerland and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara boosted Spain’s appeal. Jaadugar Films has shot three films in West Bengal in the past decade, showcasing the state from various perspectives, and attracting both visitors and filmmakers alike. Lamahatta, near Darjeeling, is a tourist hotspot.

Dil Dhadakne Do
Dil Dhadakne Do

Dil Dhadakne Do significantly boosted cruise tourism by showcasing the luxurious and adventurous lifestyle aboard the ‘Pullmantur Sovereign.’ The film’s vibrant depiction of cruising, featuring picturesque destinations and top-tier amenities, led to a surge in interest and bookings for cruise vacations. It effectively positioned luxury cruises as an appealing travel choice.

These success stories underscore how films can serve as powerful ambassadors, reshaping global perceptions and driving tourism growth through captivating storytelling and visual allure.