Sunday, July 27, 2008

Filming locations

On any given day, they say, there are 70 film crews at work at various public places in New York. The city has in recent years been a favored location for Bollywood film-makers. A few of their films – Kabhi Alvida Na Kahna, Aa Ab Laut Chale – have extensive footage shot in New York.

City apartments, with backdrops featuring familiar NY sights, are in demand not only for film and TV shows but also commercials and magazine ads. Producers of prime-time TV serial, Central Park West, hired an apartment with Central Park views. Bathrooms and kitchens big enough to give moving space for a couple actors and a filming crew are sought after for film shoots. One such apartment owner hired out the kitchen for $500 a day to a company called A Cocktail Napkin Production. A professional studio with a kitchen could have cost them $10,000.

A New York-based company, AKA Locations, maintains a library of available homes and other private premises to suit specific needs of film and TV production companies. They work with the company location scouts in identifying private houses for film shooting.

There is scope for outdoor location search agency in my city Mysore, which has been a traditional destination for filmmakers from all over the country. Many of them are unaware that, locations-wise, there is lot more to Mysore than Lalith Mahal Palace and Brindavan Gardens. Scores of other lesser known mansions, not to mention Crawford Hall and Oriental Research Institute, provide equally impressive backdrops. A local heritage group has identified over 200 sites within Mysore city alone. Besides, there are locales in Srirangapatna, Nagarhole, Bandipur waiting to be discovered for outdoor filming.

This could be a project for stakeholders in tourism to promote Mysore. The Mysore locations agency could be a joint initiative of tourism dept., local authorities and enterprising location scouts.

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