While colonial railway infrastructure continues to be the most preferred shoot location for ad films and movies, there are at least two new locations that are now competing for film sceneries.
New locations like Virar car shed and administrative office at Churchgate Station are slowly becoming preferred shooting sites. Two years after it was inaugurated for stabling local trains, the Virar car shed is being used for the first time to shoot the remake of 1983 popular film Hero starring Sooraj Pancholi. The car shed which lies between Nalasopara and Virar Railway Station has multiple loop lines that allow for simultaneous movement of trains, making it a preferred location, said officials.
The Western Railway is set to earn Rs16 lakh from the film that is scheduled for release later this year. The availability of a service road also makes movement of film equipment easier. The success of films have shown a new preference. Irrfan Khan starrer Lunchbox (2013) and D-Day (2013) have made railway administrative offices popular. Shots of the administrative office at Churchgate Station will now be seen in Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif starrer upcoming film Phantom.
“While requests for shooting inside running trains or at platforms are regularly made, recently there is an increase in demand for shooting inside railway offices,” said Sharat Chandrayan, Chief Public Relations Officer, WR.
On Central Railway, an increased number of scripts demanding “typical” railway locations has helped double revenue from feature films and ad-films. “In 2013-14, CR earned Rs.1.72 crore from feature film and ad-film shooting, an increase of 72 per cent from its earnings in 2012-13. WR has witnessed a 10 per cent increase in its revenue, earning Rs 88 lakh in fiscal 2013-14,” railway officials said.
Meanwhile, among the old spots, Goregaon station remains a favourite for advertisement and film shooting, owing to the railway yard structure. Upcoming film The Villain (2014) starring Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh has been shot between Goregaon and Churchgate on a local train.
“There is a loop line at Goregaon station which helps to run trains reserved for shooting without disturbing regular services during the day. Also, the simultaneous movement of two trains can be shown, thereby making Goregaon Station a popular choice among film makers,” said a senior railway officer from WR.
Another typical location is platform 4 at Mumbai Central, which is usually unoccupied between 11 am and 5 pm. Shahid Kapoor starrer Phata Poster Nikala Hero (2013), Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone starrer Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani (2013) and Parineeti Chopra starrer Haseee Toh Phasee (2014) were shot at the Mumbai Central Station.
Unlike WR, CR is cashing in on the fact that 2013-14 was a year full of scripts requiring shooting at railway locations. While close to 15 feature films and ad-films were shot on CR in 2012-13, around 26 have been shot at CR locations in 2013-14.
“A proactive approach and more number of films with scripts requiring shooting at railway sites has helped increase revenue from feature and ad-films,” said Atul Rane, Chief Public Relations Officer, CR. Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor starrer Gunday (2014) shot at Wathar Station near Pune has been a major contributor to the revenue with CR earning over Rs 59 lakh from the film in 2013-14.
Aamir Khan starrer PK, scheduled for release this year, has helped CR net Rs 14.26 lakh. Parts of the film have been shot at CSTM and Chauk Station near Karjat. Salman Khan starrer Jai Ho (2014) was also shot at Chauk Station, with the CR earning Rs 12.13 lakh from the film.