The 2015 Chennai floods formed the backdrop of the recent release, House Owner, directed by Lakshmy Ramakrishnan.
Now, the team of Jayam Ravi’s Comali has also shot a sequence that is set during this period, but on a bigger scale.
“We have recreated the flood situation that happened in the Madipakkam area, which was one of the worst affected in the floods. We shot this sequence over three days, with the cast and crew working day and night on all these days.”
The team put up the set in AR Rahman’s studio, as it has the biggest space in Chennai.
Art director Umesh, who has worked in films like Irumbu Thirai and Trisha Illana Nayanthara, came up with an elaborate set that was as close as possible to an actual main road in Madipakkam.
One of the main challenges was to ensure the safety of the cast and crew because they were shooting with electrical equipment in knee-deep water.
“Safety was our priority and we had to ensure that there was no mistake. We planned the whole thing extensively using 3D modelling,”
The other challenge was to ensure that the tank where the water was filled up did not burst open due to pressure.
WOW, sounds hectic but sure as hell it looks promising!
Since they had shot the sequence in summer, given Chennai’s water shortage, Pradeep admits they had difficulty in procuring water. “We brought sea water and treated it to reduce the salinity as standing in salty water for long would lead to issues like itchiness,” he reveals.
Since the scene required continuous downpour as well, the crew also had to recreate rain.
“Everyone on set was drenched to the core. It was definitely a difficult scene to shoot, even though it appears in the film only for five minutes,” says Pradeep.
Many families suffered from the Chennai 2015 flood. Ever since, filmmakers from Chennai have tried to show what it was like to go through it.
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