Race 3, starring Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Jacqueline Fernandez and Daisy Shah among others, is on its way to becoming the biggest hit of 2018. The film has witnessed huge success at the box office grossing over Rs 150 crore in a week. According to film critics and the audience, one aspect of Race 3 which stood out was its action sequences. In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Race 3 cinematographer Ayananka Bose talked about what went into the filming of high-octane action sequences in the Remo D’Souza directorial and the experience of working with superstar Salman Khan.
Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
The action sequences of Race 3 have turned out to be the USP of the film. What went into the shooting of these action sequences?
We consciously wanted to raise the bar of action sequences in Race 3 and with that thought process, the film’s action sequences came in. In the climax scene which was shot in a desert, we actually blew up cars. A Jeep Wrangler in India costs 70 lakhs and we had bought 17 of them. We blew up every one of them live.
What preparations went into the high octane action sequences in Race 3?
For the action sequences, the first thing that we did was that we set out to get a lot of cameras. I had 8 to 10 cameras on set and some choppers, drones and Russian Arms, which is basically a high-end camera mounted on a high-speed Porche van or a Mercedes so that we can shoot from one car to another and match the speed of a Ferrari.
On Salman Khan’s entry scenes in Race 3
Salman’s Khan’s special entry was thought of by Remo D’Souza, He had this dream that in so many years Salman sir has done various kinds of entries and he wanted to do something different. So, he said, “main salman sir ko asmaan se launga”( I’ll bring Salman from the sky). There is an extreme sport called squirrel suit flying. He envisioned the entry of Salman sir in that kind of a sequence. The full credit goes to Remo for having thought of this kind of a sequence for him.
On working with Salman Khan
The one reason we all loved working on Race 3 is that one man called Salman. He made the whole journey of filmmaking a pleasure. There was a very positive vibe on the set and we always had fun on the set. I went to the set looking forward to work and there was not a single day when I felt ‘ki arrey vaapis jaana hai’. And, I feel that is more important as a technician who has to live 120 days of his life with the stars.
On the use of VFX in Race 3
A film like Race would always have a lot of VFX. There would be something that we cannot manage to do physically, say in terms of a man who has to be set on fire and drive a motorcycle, it is extremely dangerous. But we can make him drive the motorcycle and make fire the prime focus through VFX. Race I think has reached towards that barrier where you can’t make out in the cinema whether it is VFX or is it something shot on the set and I would like to appreciate Prime Focus for it who made it possible.
On Bollywood shifting to larger than life cinematic experiences
Today the choice which is available to every person is huge. Now people have Netflix, Hotstar, Apple TV and a hundred channels on television. So, in this era, how do you justify holding the attention of a man? Also, the cost of inflation is going up. So where a man has to pay Rs 200 for a movie ticket, it better be worth it. In Rs 600, people can get Netflix’s subscription for a month, so you better deliver something Netflix can’t deliver. So, in my opinion, that is the driving force behind showing films in a bigger and a larger way.
You have worked both in regional cinema and in Hindi cinema, what do you feel is the difference or similarity in the two industries?
They are two diverse industries in their own ways, and yet very similar. In the south Indian industries, there is a certain amount of old-school discipline which is still there. If you say nine o’clock is the shift time, everybody is on set by 9 and by 9:30, the camera is rolling no matter what. There, the time is respected. They respect everybody’s dedication and expertise. In Mumbai, no one makes much of an effort before 11. So, I think the only difference is in the starting time. Other than that, both the industries are very similar to each other, be it the passion, the dedication, the honesty or the hard work.