I want to tell you all about an incident that occurred during one of my shoots. We were shooting for a movie in the outskirts of Bangalore. It’s an undeveloped and a very remote area. The houses are about five hundred meters away from each other and are usually given for the shooting. We had been told to avoid shooting during the night times due to few reasons. We had finished shooting for the entire movie but we had patch work left. We finished all the day’s scenes and had one night scene left, so we continued to shoot on the terrace.
Our DOP (Director Of Photography) was brilliant with each frame,he usually lights up the whole place to make it look amazing. While shooting the night scene, he wanted background lights to be placed far in the next parallel roads (Seen from the terrace). Our Director was happy about how every frame looked like a portrait. The team decided to send our company Innova and switch on the car headlights. Suddenly,our still photographer came forward and said he’d accompany the driver because he knew the angles better and would know where to park the car (truth is he wanted some fresh air). The team was using a walkie-talkie to communicate with each other. We heard strange noises. We told all of them to maintain silence. We again heard people shouting for help! We were so confused and looked around. We all looked down from the terrace to see the driver and cameraman surrounded by 7 men with weapons in their hands. 😱 Suddenly there was ruckus everywhere! People started screaming at them in the hopes that they would run away. I was frightened and ran down along with everyone else.Somehow they escaped and arrived in front of us and pressed on the break at the last moment. They were bleeding and were in a bad state. They told us that five men had come in the car and two on the bike. The company car was thrashed, and the men had searched them for their belongings. Luckily the cameraman had left his still camera and gone, so he did not have anything for them to take, but they had taken the driver’s cellphone. The driver was still thankful for the fact they hadnot seen the chain that his sister had gifted him. They were both so emotional about making out of there alive.😦
We rushed them to the doctor. The still photographer got two stitches under the eye. Luckily he was hurt below the eye and not in the eye. I also noticed that the doctor didn’t look very surprised about what had happened. He behaved like it was a normal occurrence there. The team made me sit safely in the caravan and asked to lock the doors and the production team took it forward to handle it better. We resumed shooting to finish the pending work as soon as possible on the same night ( Since It was patchwork with many artists involved, it was important for us to finish it on the same night). We shot the scene at night but decided to do it without the headlights. Though we finished shooting, none of us dared to go out of the building until sunrise. We decided to stay the night and leave in the morning. All of us left the shooting set at 6 am the next morning. This incident is something I will never forget!